This article originally published on BikeRadar
Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) had the ride of his life when he won Paris-Roubaix in 2011. The lanky Belgian will try for his second cobblestone trophy on Sunday – and he'll again be on a Cervélo R3 that's been modified to tackle the punishing pavé.
Cervélo has applied its long-running – and highly successful – Paris-Roubaix formula to the latest R3, which now has an official name: the R3 Mud. Longer stays lend more tire clearance out back while the standard fork is swapped for one with longer legs for the same effect. Extra fork rake evens out the altered rear center to maintain the same fore-aft weight balance, too, plus the longer wheelbase that results from all the changes lends extra stability overall as well.
Given Vansummeren's success on the bike, then, it's rather surprising that he's downsized from a 61cm frame to a 58cm, which has gained him 25 additional millimeters of drop but also cost him 9mm of reach. Never fear, though, as 3T has supplied the lanky Vansummeren with a colossal 150mm-long ARX Team stem with an aggressive -17° angle. Add in the 865mm saddle height and what you get is an enormous 178mm of handlebar drop.
Garmin-Sharp has stuck with its proven Mavic M40 wide-profile carbon tubular wheels and 27mm-wide FMB Paris-Roubaix tires this year along with 3T cockpit components, another fi'zi:k Antares saddle, and – of course – a new Garmin Edge 510 computer to record Vansummeren's data along the way.
Also carrying over are a pair of Arundel stainless steel cages and Gore Ride-On sealed cables and housing throughout.
The team has since switched from SRAM to Shimano, though, and Vansummeren will use the company's previous-generation Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical group (the new 9000 version is still not only in short supply but also requires a longer freehub body so it'll take a while for the wheel fleet to refresh). Several Shimano-sponsored teams and riders – including two-time winner Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Leopard-Trek) – have suggested that the system's longer throws are actually an advantage since Di2's buttons can sometimes be too sensitive on the pavé.
Vansummeren has also switched to a more conventional two-bolt 3T Dorico seatpost in place of the secure – but somewhat convoluted – 3T Palladio, moved to a carbon fiber 3T Rotundo bar instead of the alloy version he used in 2011, and has gone with a beefier Rotor 3D+ crank setup that includes the company's solid 'Aero' outer elliptical Q-Ring chainring plus the matching 'Aero' solid spider.
Total weight without the computer or bottles is 7.62kg (16.8lb).
The chain stays are massive behind the bottom bracket. And note the Gore Ride-On cable liner