Last May, Ryder Hesjedal became the first Canadian to win the Giro d’Italia, piloting his Cervélo R5CA to the top of the final podium. This year, the Garmin-Sharp rider is looking to repeat the feat aboard a new super light climbing machine — the Rca.
Through six stages, Hesjedal is just 34 seconds behind race leader Luca Paolini, and is dead even with pre-race favorite Bradley Wiggins.
Hesjedal’s race rig is the lightest bike offered by the Canadian bike maker, with the frame tipping the scales at a jaw-dropping 670 grams, while the complete build is a claimed 15.3 pounds. Unlike some riders who switch back and forth between bikes depending on the day’s route, Hesjedal opts to stick with just one bike for the entirety of the three-week grand tour.
Highlights of the super light frame include a Kamm tail-shaped seat tube, aero-efficient narrow head tube and narrow seat stays. Hesjedal chooses a size 56cm frame because he likes to stay low.
Hesjedal’s spec includes a 10-speed Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 electronic drivetrain, SRM power meter, 40mm Mavic Cosmic Ultimate wheels mated with Mavic Yksion tires, and lengthy 180mm Rotor cranks and Rotor No Q chainrings.
On flat stages, Hesjedal runs a 11-25 cassette and 53-39 chainring. When the route turns hilly, he’ll swap on a 11-27 cassette and use a 53-36 cassette. Because of this large gearing gap up front, he also chooses to use a Rotor chain catcher just in case.
The Garmin captain’s cockpit includes a fully slammed -17 degrees 140mm alloy 3T ARX Team stem, 42cm 3T Ergosum bars, and of course a Garmin head unit. Though if you look closely at this video it appears that teammate Thomas Dekker’s Garmin is pictured. However, we know it’s Hesjedal’s bike because of the No. 1 number plate that’s always reserved for the previous year’s overall winner.
A fi’zi:k carbon-railed Arione Tri 2 saddle and Arundel carbon cages complete the spec.
“When I test a new bike, it’s not just about getting up on the pedals or being lightweight,” said Hesjedal. “It’s the way that the bike works with your body and responds; the stiffness the bike provides me. The RCA certainly makes a big difference in that regard.”
Want one of these for yourself? Buckle up. The frame and fork will run you $10,000 and Cervélo is only planning to make about 325 of them.
Video courtesy: Global Cycling Network