This article originally appeared on BikeRadar
Dutch climbing and time trial specialist Thomas Dekker has a long road ahead of him after serving a two-year suspension for EPO. Garmin-Barracuda directeur sportif Jonathan Vaughters has given the fallen rider a second chance, however, and Dekker is hoping his new team-issue Cervélo S5 will help him prove his worth this coming season.
The Cervélo S5 strikes a distinctive profile what with its wild array of teardrop forms, hard edges, and unusual angles. In addition to the aero cross-sections and very Cervélo P4-like rear end, there's also an hourglass profile straight 1 1/8in head tube to minimize frontal area, a dropped down tube that blends cleanly with the fork crown and just barely clears the front tire, and even a flattened section on the down tube that Cervélo claims helps direct air around water bottles.
But that shape is exactly what gives the S5 its edge according to Cervélo, posting drag numbers that supposedly even rival some companies' full-blown time trial chassis. In Dekker's case, that's likely about all that matters when he's sticking his nose into the wind this year.
That aerodynamic advantage hasn't come at a heavy cost in terms of mass, either, with claimed frame weights hovering around 1kg.
The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group on Dekker's S5 is a rather common sight in the pro peloton these days but it's a key distinction that the team buys those components instead of receiving them for free from Shimano. It's obviously a more expensive route than a full-blown sponsorship deal but it also affords Garmin-Barracuda the freedom to mix and match componentry at will as well as choose wheels and cockpits that don't lie beneath the Shimano and PRO corporate umbrella.
That latitude in component choice plays an especially critical role in time trial gear as Garmin-Barracuda is now free to use the new Magura RT8 TT hydraulic rim brakes on the new Cervélo P5 without having to worry about sponsorship conflicts.
Key substitutions on Dekker's road bike include the Rotor 3D+ cranks and Q-Rings, 3T bar and stem, Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate carbon tubular wheels, and Garmin's own Vector power measuring pedals (though the transmitter pods are conspicuously absent in the photos).
Total complete bike weight according to team mechanic Geoff Brown is 7.0kg (15.43lb).