Ask Nick special edition: Vande Velde gets a pricey new bike

  • By Nick Legan
  • Published Jun. 17, 2011
2011 Tour de Suisse, Christian Vande Velde

A special Ask Nick column to answer a reader question about the Tour de Suisse.

Vande Velde's stealthy looking bike at the Tour de Suisse Friday. Photo: Graham Watson

Q. Nick,

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.

— Kurt

A. Kurt,

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.

Editor’s Note: VeloNews tech editor Nick Legan’s column appears here every Thursday. You can submit questions to Nick at, and be sure to check out Nick’s previous columns

FILED UNDER: Ask Nick / Bikes and Tech TAGS: /

Nick Legan

Nick Legan

After graduating from Indiana University with honors and a degree in French and journalism, Nick Legan jumped straight into wrenching at Pro Peloton bike shop in Boulder for a few years. Then, he began a seven-year stint in the professional ranks, most recently serving for RadioShack at the Tour de France and the Amgen Tour of California. He also worked for Garmin-Slipstream, CSC, Toyota-United, Health Net and Ofoto. Legan served as the VeloNews tech editor 2010-2012 before sliding across the line into public relations.

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