At Flanders this past week, Omega Pharma-Lotto were riding two bikes. Some rode the Canyon Aeroad, Canyon’s aero road bike offering. Others, including Andre Greipel and Jurgen Roelandts rode a different bike, which at first glance you might assume is an Ultimate SLX.
Don’t let the graphics package fool you – the only difference isn’t in the paint scheme. The frame looks suspiciously like an Ultimate AL, with some camouflage/touchup work done to the welds. Normal Ultimate AL’s have what look like single-pass, stack-of-dimes TIG welds, while Greipel’s frame has the smooth look of a Cannondale; perhaps a second pass with the pulse turned off, or some judicious use of bondo.
Greg Van Avermaet, and other members of then Silence-Lotto were spotted on a similar beast in 2009, as was Philippe Gilbert in last years edition of the Amstel Gold race. Its likely this is a similar variant on the Ultimate AL, tweaked to team specification for races like Flanders and Roubaix. We don’t see aluminum frames very often these days, but when it comes to building one-off frames used in a handful of races or by just one rider, its hard to beat.
If the video below is any indication, they’re pretty tough too:
No doubt we’ll be seeing these frames on Sunday!