The last time Marianne Vos made the trip to the United States for the opening World Cups was in 2018, where she took the opening round in Waterloo. Some things never change, and this year Vos repeated history after an electrifying battle with Lucinda Brand and Denise Betsema.
While Vos hasn’t changed, her equipment has. On her last trip to America Vos piloted a Ridley X-Night, a departure from the Giant TCX she had been racing for years. This time around, Vos is supported by Team Jumbo-Visma, the Dutch powerhouse that also boasts road star Primož Roglič and multi-discipline superstar Wout Van Aert.
The road-focused team uses Cervelo, which doesn’t officially make a cyclocross bike. Early 2021 races saw Vos and Van Aert riding bikes from their previous teams, repainted in Jumbo-Visma colors.
The lack of a dedicated frame has been a problem for Cervelo teams before, former U-23 World Champion Joris Nieuwenhuis rode the Aspero gravel bike [see our review here] with an eccentric bottom bracket to offset the frame’s 76mm drop [profiled here].
Looking further back, Cervelo had a brief presence at the top level with Jonathan Page, who rode a one-off bike based on the R3 that never saw production. It would seem that signing riders such as Vos and Van Aert has Cervelo taking another look at cyclocross, however, as Vos’s winning bike appears to be an all-new and unreleased bike for the brand. We were on-site in Waterloo when Vos took the first World Cup victory for the new frame and got a closer look at the bike.
The frameset is a full carbon chassis, painted in Jumbo-Visma colors. As with the repainted bike Vos rode earlier this year, the fork is yellow with a black, or in this case raw carbon, frame.
As with almost all modern frames, the bike has thru-axles front and rear and uses flat-mount brake calipers.
It also appears on trend with completely internal cabling thanks to the FSA ACR system, meaning no visible brake hoses or Di2 wires.
Despite Shimano’s announcement of its move to 12-speed at the Dura-Ace and Ultegra level in August, Vos used a Dura-Ace Di2 11-speed drivetrain in Waterloo. The now-outdated groupset was Shimano’s flagship road line and did not include off-road features such as a clutch-equipped derailleur.
The last time we looked at Vos’ bike she was using Rotor Q-Rings in an unusual 46/38 combination. In Waterloo, she opted for round rings but appeared to use a similar ratio. The rings were unmarked but the inner appears to be a Dura-Ace chainring, while the outer may be an unbranded Ultegra ring.
For the fast conditions in Waterloo, Vos opted for a Dugast Typhoon intermediate tread in 33mm width, rather than the 32mm casing she used on her last trip to the United States, mounted on Dura-Ace carbon tubular wheels.
Vos controlled her speed using 140mm RT-900 rotors front and rear, which are finned to prevent heat build-up, but used non-finned brake pads in her Dura-Ace calipers.
The cockpit featured an FSA K-Force carbon handlebar wrapped in FSA-embossed black cork tape and an alloy FSA ACR-compatible stem.
Vos’ seatpost appears to be a proprietary Cervelo carbon post that is unique to the frame and not round. Vos also rode an unbranded carbon-railed saddle, perhaps another prototype component.
Marianne Vos’ Prototype R5CX Cyclocross Bike Specs:
Frame: Cervélo R5CX, 12mm thru-axle, flat mount disc
Fork: Carbon, 12mm thru-axle, flat mount disc
Shift/Brake Levers: Shimano Dura-Ace ST-R9170
Brake Calipers: Shimano Dura-Ace R9170
Rotors: Shimano Dura-Ace SM-RT900, Centerlock
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Chain Rings: Shimano Dura-Ace 46/39t, pro-only
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-R9150 Di2
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-R9150 Di2, direct mount hanger
Wheelset: Shimano Dura-Ace carbon tubulars
Tires: A. Dugast Typhoon tubulars, 700c x 33mm
Stem: FSA ACR, alloy
Handlebar: FSA K-Force, Carbon
Seatpost: Cervelo Carbon, D shape
Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M9100 SPD
More Info: cervelo.com