Art’s Employee: Greg O’Keeffe
Position: Assistant Service Manager
Bike: 2009 Giant TCR Advanced SL Team
Team Highroad used to be quite the powerhouse in the pro peloton. The boys in yellow snagged 6 stage wins with Mark Cavendish in the 2009 Tour de France, numerous more in the 2010 Grand Tours, and were deservedly named Cycling News’ 2011 Team of the Year. With high-priced race rosters each year that included the likes of George Hincapie, André Greipel, Tony Martin, Tejay Van Garderen and Cav himself, the team was a force to be reckoned with and a local favorite (The old Highroad Sports headquarters is just down the road from us at Art’s Cyclery in San Luis Obispo). It was this overflow of expensive talent and an underflow of sponsorship money that eventually did the team in after the 2011 season, but not before making fans of the entire Central Coast and most of America. And who helped keep our favorite “local” team’s bikes running perfectly? That would be former Highroad Team Race Mechanic, current Art’s Cyclery Assistant Service Manager, incredibly talented and all around swell guy, Greg O’Keeffe. Greg managed to keep a few pretty nice souvenirs from his Highroad glory days and he has graciously allowed us to check one out today. We’re going to take a look at his cherry 2009 Giant TCR Advanced SL, Team Highroad Edition of course.
Trivia: Who’s back-up bike did this used to be? (Answer after the break)
- The Gorilla
- Big George
- The Manx Missile
(Hint: It’s a 52cm frame and you should be able to hazard a guess even if you’ve never heard these nicknames before.)
Ding ding ding! Feast your eyes on Mark Cavendish‘s alternate race bike for the 2009 Tour of California. If anything happened to his main rig, he would have relied on this exact bike to finish the race.
About the Build: Professional cyclists are on an entirely different level. Not only do they have more talent in one calf than I have in my entire body, but they have access to equipment and technology that may never be brought to market. Cav’s, and now Greg’s, Giant TCR Advanced SL has internally routed cables, but this feature was never made available in the 2009 regular production models. There are exclusive features like this on pro bikes every year but you may never realize it unless you see one up close.
If you look closely at the top tube, the 2009 Highroad TCRs all included an inscription that reads “Die Mannschaft.” This means “The Team” in German and is just about the only thing the Highroad team kept from the T-Mobile days. With all that high-powered talent I’m sure a little reminder of who they’re ultimately working for didn’t hurt.
This special-edition Highroad also features a prototype Fizik Arione VS saddle and a murdered out Edge Composites (now you know them as Enve Composites) wheelset. The aluminum Pro Vibe 7S Handlebar and Pro Vibe 7S Stem were an obvious choice for a sprinter like Cavendish who can easily torque a handlebar to its breaking point. Shimano actually created the Pro Vibe Carbon Sprint Stem and the Pro Vibe Sprint Anatomic Handlebar to meet Cavendish’s stiffness requirements in later seasons. As for the group set, a complete Dura Ace 7800 group, complete with 53/39 chainrings, remind you that this is not a bike for an amateur. It was specifically designed to transform sheer power into podium glory and you can bet that Greg will give it the attention it deserves. If only we were all so lucky.
Frame: 2009 Giant TCR Advanced SL Team Highroad
Fork: Giant TCR Advanced SL
Wheels: Edge Composites (Now ENVE Composites) Carbon Clinchers
Brakes: Dura Ace 7800
Crankset: Dura Ace 7800 172.5
Cassette: Dura Ace 7800 12-27
Chain: Dura Ace 7800
Bottom Bracket: Dura Ace 7800
Shift Levers: Dura Ace 7800
Front Derailleur: Dura Ace 7800
Rear Derailleur: Dura Ace 7800
Saddle: Prototype Fizik Arione VS
Stem: Pro Vibe 7S 120mm
Handlebars: Pro Vibe 7S Anatomic 42cm
Tires: F: Continental Attack Grand Prix 700×22 R: Continental Force Grand Prix 700×23
Pedals: Dura Ace 7810
Bar Tape: Pro Smart Silicon
Weight: 15 lbs., 11 oz.