Elisa Balsamo is perhaps
the outstanding favourite for the Tour of Flanders, having single-handedly made a mockery of the curse of the rainbow jersey in the past fortnight. After sprinting to victory in Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Exterioo Classic Brugge-De Panne, and Gent-Wevelgem Balsamo seems almost unbeatable in the rainbow jersey.
Of course, as world champion, Balsamo needs a world champion’s bike, and Trek has duly obliged. Although Balsamo won Brugge DePanne and Gent-Wevelgem on a team edition Madone, she sprinted to victory in Alfredo Binda on this rainbow edition
Trek Emonda SLR. Balsamo is likely to race Flanders on the Emonda again, and so we took the chance to shoot this unique bike. Will Balsamo and bike make it four World Tour wins in a row for the world champion?
A paintjob fit for a world champion. Each world champion gets a unique paint for their 12 months in the rainbow jersey. The jersey is one of the most coveted prize in cycling, but the custom bike must be a close second.
Trek and Balsamo have opted for a classic solid white with rainbow bands design.
From a distance it almost looks understated. But the bling is there, its subtle, but it is there.
Get up close in the right light and a glitter effect comes to life.
The bike is peppered with glitter throughout is hard, and although hard to capture with a camera, it is fabulous.
There are other subtle touches also. Who wouldn’t love a rainbow banded forename?
We aren’t quite sure what Unicorn Power is, but we have asked.
The UCI approved frame sticker moves aside for the UCI rainbow bands on the seat tube.
Balsamo is taking no chances, a chain catcher sits inside the chainrings.
Trek’s components brand Bontrager suppliers the build kit. Balsamo opts for 38cm c-c handlebars.
Although with just a “seat collar” and a one piece integrated cockpit, a build kit is not exactly what it once was.
Bontrager does also supply the wheels, Aeolus RSL 51 in this case….
And the saddle, Balsamo has opted for the Aeolus Pro
Trek bottle cages on bidon carrying duty. Balsamo is unlikely to be on bidon carrying duty anytime soon.
Pirelli has stepped up from tyre supplier to partner sponsor of the team for 2022. Balsamo looks set to race on P-Zero Race TLR tubeless tyres.
We measured those Pirellis on the Bontrager wheels at 29mm wide, and the Emonda has clearance for plenty more.
SRAM again supplies the groupsets for the team.
Balsamo races with a 50/37 chainring combo…
And a 10:33 cassette
Balsamo’ bike is a thing of beauty, but undoubtedly such a fabulous paintjob will add some weight. We weighed the bike at 7.41kg as it sits in this photo. As for Balsamo’s setup, we measured her saddle height at 71 cm with a setback of 6.9 cm. The world champion has a reach to the bars of 54 cm from the tip of the saddle with the levers at 67.5 cm. Drop to the handlebars is 10.5 cm, very pro!
The glitter makes another appearance as the sun breaks through the Belgian grey.
The Emonda features Trek’s latest OCLV carbon blend, 800. The OCLV 800 is said to be lighter and stronger than its predecessor the OCLV 700.
This paint job has to be earned.
The Emonda has semi-fully internal cable routing.
Only the tiniest bit of cabling is left exposed.
The Emonda has an integrated race number mount
Straight levers, almost feels time to call this the “traditional setup”.