A special Ask Nick column to answer a reader question about the Tour de Suisse.
What bike is Christian Vande Velde riding at the Tour de Suisse? It looks like someone tried to cover up the Cervelo brand name on the downtube.
Actually, Vande Velde is on a R5CA, that’s the finish. The R5CA, you may recall, is a limited edition Cervelo model with a retail price of near $10,000 for the frameset.
It’s so rare and expensive that few Cervelo-sponsored riders get them. I rode one last month at the Tour of California and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
At the California tour, Vande Velde was spotted racing a 2010 R3SL. It appears that Garmin-Cervelo persuaded its Tour GC hopeful to upgrade to a 2011 model, albeit a very exclusive one, for the Tour de Suisse.