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Specialized has made a bit of a habit of bringing custom-painted gravel bikes to Unbound Gravel. First, it was the Rockcombo and its painfully 80’s teal and cream paint. Then in 2022, their athletes raced on vibrant pink Diverge bikes based on the Team Stumpjumper.
This year, their bikes pay homage to the 1988 Specialized Technical Support program with custom-painted Diverge STR and Crux bikes.
According to Specialized’s own 1988 press release, the Technical Support team was a “highly recognized road and off-road Support Team that’s been at major cycling events the world over, providing neutral assistance to all racers – no matter if they’re at the front or back of the pack.”
Technical support is always a benefit at races, but the brown-red-orange-yellow striping of those support teams immediately reminds me of Specialized.
As mentioned, there are two different frames Specialized athletes are using at Unbound Gravel 2023: the Diverge STR with suspension and the lightweight Crux. Below is Allison Tetrick’s Diverge STR, Matt Beers’s Diverge STR, and Sofia Gomez Villafañe’s Crux.