ATOC Pro Bike: Christian Vande Velde’s Cervelo R3SL

For stage 6 of the 2011 Tour of California, Christian Vande Velde chose a 2010 bike.

PASO ROBLES, Calif. (VN) — While most of his teammates roll on the latest that Cervélo has to offer, Christian Vande Velde was curiously aboard a 2010 Cervélo R3SL at the start of the stage 5 in California. The model is no longer in production.

Team mechanics and officials wouldn’t comment and VeloNews was unable to catch up with Vande Velde regarding his choice. Cervélo would clearly prefer that VDV ride either a regular R3 or R5, so our best guess is he simply prefers the feel of the older model.

The R3SL he’s riding features a standard English bottom bracket instead of Cervélo’s BBright. Cervélo also made small changes to the R3 geometry for 2011. It could very well be that he prefers the fit of his R3SL.

In any case, the bike is clearly up to the task. In fact, like most WorldTour bicycles weight needs to be added to keep the bike above the UCI weight limit. Solid Rotor chainrings, a heavier SRAM cassette and 3T Pro level handlebars and stem (instead of the lighter LTD or Team versions) add functional weight to Garmin-Cervélo’s Tour contender’s bike.