This year’s Giro was no short of a thrill, with crashes, weather, Covid and injuries shuffling the race around, and it was not clear until the very last stages who was going to bag the overall win. In the end, it was 33-year-old Primož Roglič who secured himself a considerable lead over Geraint Thomas and by winning the 2023 Giro d’Italia, made history as its first Slovenian champion - and also as the first rider to have done so with gravel gearing.
The Giro d’Italia pink Cervelo S5 we have here isn’t the same model that secured Primož Roglič’s victory, but it is the one that he rode over the 2023 Giro d’Italia finish line in Rome on Sunday. So, we're taking a look at both of these bikes regularly ridden by team Jumbo-Visma.
This aero-orientated S5 was not the one present at the mountain time trial on Friday where Roglič secured the pink jersey and a guaranteed victory over Geraint Thomas.
Roglič’s weapon of choice for the stage 20 time trial was a Cervelo R5 with a peculiar setup, featuring a gravel cassette. Despite suffering a chain drop he still managed to push a 40-second gap to Thomas who was the race leader.
The R5 with s gravel drivetrain was something that made a mid-stage appearance already on the mountains of stage 19, where Roglič swapped to the 1x setup mid-ride. But why make the change to a 1x setup?
A 1x setup can be advantageous on a mountain stage for several reasons. It is lighter, as you lose the front derailleur, and for the same reason, it can be argued that it's more aero (at least when you’re doing pro-level speeds). In addition to those gains, you can also achieve a better chain line, which might offer better efficiency than a more traditional, 2x setup.
For the mountain time trial - also the first in Giro’s history - the riders rode their dedicated time trial bikes for the first part of the course, and swapped onto a climbing bike at a dedicated, 25 metre-long bike exchange zone. This is where Roglič took tradition out of the equation and swapped onto the R5, handed to him by a mechanic.
Gearing was the main talking point on Roglič’s Cervelo R5 - which is renowned for its light weight, tipping the scales at 703g for a size 56 frame. The frame was an obvious choice for the climb, but the drivetrain wasn't. With SRAM’s XPLR XG-1271 10-44t cassette at the back, paired with a single front chainring - which was rumoured to be 44t - the Slovenian achieved a gear ratio of 1:1.
Having a 1x setup is not new to the WorldTour, but is often seen on time trials and flat races - as you can see on the S5 here, too.
With SRAM's wireless AXS system, combining gravel and road components has also been made easy. Barring that dropped chain, Jumbo-Visma are likely very happy with the performance the brand has provided the team, having just swapped from Shimano to SRAM for 2023.
In February, Lotto-Dstny’s Victor Campenaerts rocked a 1x setup with a Classified hub at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. But having a gravel cassette feature in a time trial is rather historical, and has sparked conversation about their future in the pro peloton.
Back to the race-defining time trial: the road leading up Monte Lussari was filled with enthusiastic Slovenian fans who had come across the border to cheer their countryman to victory. They were not disappointed as Roglič hammered up the hill, becoming the first Slovenian to win the Giro and reversing years of bad luck.
Elsewhere on both the R5 and S5, Roglič was rocking the standard set-up of Reserve wheels, a Cervélo handlebar and stem, Wahoo Speedplay pedals and Vittoria tyres (although not in the Giro pink special edition ones that we've spotted since).
The saddle is Fizik, the bottle cages are by Tacx and the cycling computer is from Garmin.
Let us know in the comments what you think about 1x setups in the road racing scene, and remember to check out our other Bike at Bedtime features as well.
Suvi joined F-At in 2022, first writing for off-road.cc. She's since joined the tech hub, and contributes to all of the sites covering tech news, features, reviews and women's cycling content. Lover of long-distance cycling, Suvi is easily convinced to join any rides and events that cover over 100km, and ideally, plenty of cake and coffee stops.