This article originally published on BikeRadar
2012 Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) doesn't just get to romp across the roads of France still basking in his win – he also is doing so as a proud Canadian aboard a specially painted Cervélo R5ca.
There's simply no mistaking Hesjedal's heritage when looking at his bike, much of which is covered in glossy white paint and countless red maple leaves in contrast to the matte black finish of a standard R5ca. Rotor gets into the game as well with custom anodized 3D+ crankarms – they're smattered with a bit of pink but also another maple leaf that's laser-etched on the inside of the arm. Finishing touches are provided by a white 3T ARX Team stem, a white fi'zi:k Arione Carbon Tri 2 saddle and handlebar wrap, and red finishing tape.
Aerodynamics may be all the rage in the cycling industry these days but Hesjedal's R5ca epitomizes the classic performance metrics of stiffness and low weight. In fact, the R5ca – which is hand-built in Cervélo's California development facility by its own engineers, not factory workers – is the company's lightest-ever frame at a claimed mass of around 700g. The bike still has to meet UCI minimum weight guidelines, however, but Cervélo CEO and co-founder Phil White tells BikeRadar that the 100g or so of savings relative to the standard R5 affords greater latitude in selecting the rest of the equipment while still yielding a highly responsive chassis.
As such, Hesjedal's build kit is light but not unusually so. Noteworthy bits include a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 transmission with top mounted satellite shifters, 180mm-long Rotor 3D+ cranks with an SRM power meter spider and custom laser etching, a comfy fi'zi:k Arione Carbon Tri 2 saddle, stainless steel bottle cages from Arundel, and an aluminum bar and stem from 3T. Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate tubulars were fitted when we visited the team hotel along with Garmin Vector pedals – albeit without the electronic guts.
Hesjedal stands at 1.88m (6' 2") tall and yet he rides a comparatively tiny 56cm frame. Much of that is based on his extreme position, which includes a gargantuan handlebar drop of over 17cm. Even with the shorter head tube afforded by the downsized frame, Hesjedal still runs a 140mm-long stem with a -17° angle, and even removes the upper headset cover to gain another couple of millimeters.
Team mechanic Alex Banyay told BikeRadar that the bike wasn't quite 6.8kg as shown but that it "will be" come the mountains. Our guess is that it likely isn't far off now.