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

What's that bike CVV is riding at the Swiss Tour?

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

2011 Tour de Suisse, Christian Vande Velde
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

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