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Cervélo R5: The bike that won a grand tour before it officially existed

Cervelo R5
(Image credit: Cervelo R5)

Victory at the biggest bike races relies on the seamless integration of man and machine. A racer’s masterful tactics and fine-tuned fitness can only go so far. Without a capable bike, the rider will go nowhere. 

That’s why Cervélo designed the R5, a road bike that’s already won the biggest bike races under the feet of the sport’s biggest stars. 

In August, Primož Roglic was due for a big win at the Vuelta a España, a race he had won twice before. One of the most critical moments came during Stage 17 which finished in Lagos de Covadonga. 

The peloton was soaked by rain all day long, saturating riders as well as the road surface. With 60 kilometres to go, Roglic’s rival Egan Bernal launched an attack in a bid for the win. Roglic went with Bernal, making a gamble that would help propel him into the race leader’s jersey. 

The duo managed to claim 90 seconds on the chase before the day’s final climb up the Covadonga. As Roglic applied steady power into the cranks of his Cervélo, Bernal began to slip back. 

Roglic worked seamlessly with his bike, turning the cranks over, shifting gears, and cutting through the wind. He would cross the line with a 1:35 margin over Bernal, slipping into the lead. 

Four days later, when Roglic rode his Cervélo TT bike into Santiago de Compostela during the race’s final stage, the racer already adorned in the red jersey secured his third-career Vuelta victory. 

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA SPAIN SEPTEMBER 05 LR Robert Gesink of Netherlands Sepp Kuss of United States Primoz Roglic of Slovenia red leader jersey Nathan Van Hooydonck of Belgium Sam Oomen of Netherlands and Koen Bouwman of Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma celebrate winning on the podium ceremony while lifting his Cervelo bicycle after the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 21 a 338 km Individual Time Trial stage from Padrn to Santiago de Compostela lavuelta LaVuelta21 ITT on September 05 2021 in Santiago de Compostela Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

While the Vuelta was the first Grand Tour win for the new Cervélo R5, the bike had made its debut in the professional peloton months before in La Flèche Wallonne. In July, the bike earned what is one of its most prestigious victories under the power of Wout van Aert, when the Belgian piloted the bike over Mont Ventoux two times in what was one of the most talked-about stages of this year’s Tour de France. 

Van Aert proved his versatility that day when he took victory on a hard mountain stage just a day after placing second to Mark Cavendish in a sprint. 

The young racer had been riding with a group that included world champion Julian Alaphilippe when he dropped all of the riders around him while powering up the stage’s second ascent of the Giant of Provence. 

Van Aert isn’t considered a pure climber, which makes his performance aboard the R5 even more impressive. Despite his relative heft, the racer gained a minute as he made his way up Ventoux and over the mountain’s exposed peak. It was then 20 kilometres down the mountain to the finish line in Malaucène. 

When he got there, Van Aert stood up, raised his arms, and shouted in victory. Cervélo’s classic logo adorned the head tube of his R5 frame with the fork legs painted with Jumbo-Visma’s yellow colourway. 

It was another example of Cervélo’s dominance in the racing world. The R5 was designed to perform and indeed it does. Under the power of any rider, the new bike evokes the romance and rigour of racing at the most elite level of cycling. 

View the new R5 at Cervélo today

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