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When we saw Mathieu van der Poel go two-for-two at the U.S. World Cups in 2017, he was riding a Stevens Super Prestige to his many victories. Fast forward a year and Van der Poel’s rival Wout van Aert is on a Stevens, while the Dutch phenom and his team have a new bike.

At the start of 2018, Van der Poel and his Corendon – Circus team switched to the Canyon Inflite CF SLX and its hard-to-miss top tube. Even with the uniquely designed bike, Van der Poel continued winning nearly every race, with the notable exception of Worlds in Valkenburg.

Van der Poel opted out of the 2018 U.S. World Cups after a successful mountain bike season, so we did not get a chance to see his new bike in person earlier this year.

However, as part of our coverage of Superprestige Gavere, we got a close look at what has been the winningest bike in international cyclocross in 2018 for our latest bike profile.

Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX

Starting in the 2018 calendar year, Van der Poel began using Canyon bikes in road, mountain and cyclocross events. For the latter, he uses the German direct-to-consumer brand’s radically designed Inflite CF SLX. Last year we profiled Lucie Chainel’s yellow Inflite and earlier this year, we did an In Review Spotlight of the Inflite CF SLX 9.0.

Coming prepared, Van der Poel brought four bikes which are divided into two pairs, one in the red team livery of Corendon-Circus and a second pair in blue which highlights his past as European Champion. We photographed one of the latter, bike number three.

The distinctive and polarizing seat cluster of the Inflite CF SLX is designed to offer a comfortable ride and an open main triangle for shouldering. Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The distinctive and polarizing seat cluster of the Inflite CF SLX is designed to offer a comfortable ride and an open main triangle for shouldering. Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Launched in 2017, the carbon Inflite CF SLX has a distinctive seat cluster that is intended to provide both an extremely open main triangle for shouldering and a low mounted seatpost for comfort. Also unique to Canyon is the 1 ¼” straight steerer tube, which mostly locks riders into Canyon cockpit components.

Many Canyon bikes use a 1 1/4" straight steerer, which mostly requires use of Canyon cockpit components like this integrated bar and stem. Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Many Canyon bikes use a 1 1/4″ straight steerer, which mostly requires use of Canyon cockpit components like this integrated bar and stem. Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Fortunately, there are several options available to allow riders to tune their fit. Van der Poel equipped his bike with an H11 Aerocockpit CF integrated bar and stem from Canyon. The Aerocockpit has a 110mm stem and 41cm wide bars, the latter of which is a bit different than the 40cm and 42cm models offered by many manufacturers.

Measuring 41cm, Van der Poel's bar is somewhat unique in a world of 40cm and 42cm drops. Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Measuring 41cm, Van der Poel’s bar is somewhat unique in a world of 40cm and 42cm drops. Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Van der Poel also used a Canyon VCLS CF seat post, which measures 27.2mm and offers variable setback from 15mm to 35mm, atop which he mounted a Selle Italia Flite series saddle with carbon rails. He also utilized bar tape from the Italian brand, even though Canyon offers its own gel tape.

The VCLS CF seatpost offers adjustable setback from 15mm to 35mm. Van der Poel used a Selle Italia Flite series saddle. Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The VCLS CF seatpost offers adjustable setback from 15mm to 35mm. Van der Poel used a Selle Italia Flite series saddle. Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

As a Shimano rider, it is unsurprising to find the top-end Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 groupset in use on all of Van der Poel’s bikes. Hydraulic dual control levers power both Dura-Ace flat mount calipers and Di2 derailleurs. Van der Poel used the RT900 CenterLock rotors with the Dura-Ace calipers.

As a Shimano rider, Van der Poel used Dura-Ace chains, cassettes,and derailleurs. Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

As a Shimano rider, Van der Poel used Dura-Ace chains, cassettes and derailleurs. Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

He used Shimano Dura-Ace cassettes and chains as well as pro-only 46/39t chainrings mounted on his R9100 crankset with 172.5mm crank arms. His choice of a double is in line with what we saw many riders do—including Wout van Aert with his SRAM Red eTap setup—but different than Eli Iserbyt on his Ridley X-Night.

Dura-Ace cyclocross rings are already special, but the 39t inner ring is especially uncommon. Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Dura-Ace cyclocross rings are already special, but the 39t inner ring is especially uncommon. Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Another pro-only feature is the Shimano SPD pedals marked prototype, which are only available to some Shimano sponsored riders.

Available only to some sponsored riders, these prototype pedals appear more similar to XTR than XT pedals. Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Available only to some sponsored riders, these prototype pedals appear more similar to XTR than XT pedals. Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Also unsurprising is the sight of Dura-Ace R9170-C40-TU 40mm deep carbon tubular wheels, onto which Van der Poel mounted Dugast handmade tubular tires. For the conditions in Gavere he chose 700c x 33mm Rhino mud tires.

Van der Poel's Dugast tubulars got a little personalization. Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Van der Poel’s Dugast tubulars got a little personalization. Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

For a closer look at Van der Poel’s bike, see the photo gallery and specs below.

Photo Gallery: Mathieu van der Poel’s Stevens Super Prestige

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Mathieu van der Poel's Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Mathieu van der Poel’s Canyon Inflite CF SLX. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

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