Pro bike: Andy Schleck's CSC-Saxo Bank Cervélo R3-SL

Young Luxemburger sticks with convention

Team CSC-Saxo Bank comes into this year’s Tour de France with a potent three-pronged attack that includes perennial Grand Tour contender Carlos Sastre as well as cycling’s own dynamic duo, brothers Andy and Fränk Schleck.  

As is often the case in these situations, the true leader of the race would be determined when the riders hit the mountains. Stage 10’s tough finish up the Hautacam didn’t completely resolve the issue but likely reduced the number of candidates to two as Fränk put forth a fantastic performance to finish third (and is now only one second out of the race lead behind new leader Cadel Evans) and teammate Sastre was less than two minutes behind.  

Andy wasn’t to partake in the team’s celebrations that day, though, as he had a rough day and lost over 8 1/2 minutes to stage winner Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval-Scott) by the time he crossed the line.

The younger Schleck’s role in the Tour will likely change from this point but his choice of bicycle will almost certainly stay constant.  Save for stage 4’s individual time trial, Andy has been rolling along aboard one of CSC’s now familiar-looking black-and-white Cervélos.  Like veteran Sastre, though, he (and Fränk) has opted for the more conventionally-shaped (and slightly lighter) R3-SL over the SLC-SL of most of his teammates.   At just 1.86cm (6' 1") and 66kg (145.5lb), the R3-SL’s smaller seat stays apparently provide the lanky rider with a little more comfort as the kilometers roll on.

Andy's bike is strictly team-issue elsewhere: road sponsor Alpha Q provides its GS-40 fork, 3T supplies its Arx Team stem and Rotundo handlebar (time trial bikes are fitted with 3T's more aerodynamic Funda Pro fork), Vittoria tubulars are stretched over any number of Zipp carbon race wheels and the Prologo Scratch TR saddle is fast becoming a peloton favorite.  Long-time sponsor FSA steps in with its K-Force carbon seatpost and SL-K Light crankset, although it appeared here with K-Force Light badging (Andy apparently favours standard 130mm BCD chainrings instead of the K-Force Light’s exclusively 110mm configuration).

As in the past, the rest of the bike is fitted with standard Shimano Dura-Ace componentry although we should note that there wasn’t a shred of new-generation 7900 to be found among the squad.  This should perhaps come as no surprise, though, since Shimano isn’t actually a team sponsor.  Instead, CSC-Saxo Bank prefers to purchase its Shimano bits in order to maintain its relationships with FSA and Zipp.  According to team mechanic Alejandro Tullalbo, the team may switch to 7900 in the future but would have to test it first. 

Tullalbo also graces Andy’s bike with a few tricks from his well-traveled tool box.  Ceramic bearings are fitted throughout and the derailleur housing ferrules are drilled out for smoother operation.  The latter obviously has some negative impact on their longevity in wet conditions versus Shimano’s sealed units but Tullalbo loads the housing with heavy oil and the cables and housing are changed frequently as it is, anyway. 

This year’s Tour de France still has a long way to go so it would be a mistake to write Andy off completely at this stage of the game (stranger things have happened).  Even if 2008 doesn’t turn out to be Andy’s year, though, the burgeoning rider probably shouldn’t be too disappointed.  After all, he finished a brilliant second in the 2007 Giro d’Italia (his first Grand Tour) and being just 22 years of age at the time also captured the white jersey of best young rider on which Riccardo Riccò had firmly set his sights. 

Moreover, Andy’s gifted riding has gone well noticed among in the sport and even Fränk admits that he is the more talented of the brothers from Luxembourg.  With such enormous natural potential and the guidance of his more seasoned teammates’ wisdom, we’ve surely not seen the last of Andy Schleck.

Frame

Cervélo R3-SL

Fork

Alpha Q GS-40

Headset

Cane Creek integrated

Stem

3T Arx Team, 130mm x -17°

Handlebars

3T Rotundo Team, 42cm (c-c)

Tape/grips

3T Bar Tape Team

Front brake

Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7800 with Shimano carbon-specific cork pads

Rear brake

Shimano Dura-Ace BR-7800 with Shimano carbon-specific cork pads

Brake levers

Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800

Front derailleur

Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7800-F

Rear derailleur

Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7800-SS

Shift levers

Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800

Cassette

Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 11-23T

Chain

Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7801

Crankset

FSA SL-K Light (labeled as K-Force Light), 172.5mm, 39/53T

Bottom bracket

FSA MegaExo Ceramic

Pedals

Speedplay Zero Titanium

Wheelset

Zipp 404 tubular with ceramic bearings

Front tyre

Vittoria Corsa EVO-CX tubular, 23mm

Rear tyre

Vittoria Corsa EVO-CX tubular, 23mm

Saddle

Prologo Scratch TR

Seat post

FSA K-Force SB20

Bottle cages

Tacx Tao Carbon

Computer

Sigma 1106

Other accessories

drilled-out housing ferrules, Morgan Blue lubricants

Rider details:

Rider's height:

1.86kg (6' 1")

Rider's weight:

66kg (145.5lb)

Seat tube length, c-c:

485mm

Seat tube length, c-t:

535mm

Saddle height, from BB (c-t):

779mm

Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem):

615mm

C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem):

555mm

Top tube length:

565mm (horizontal)

Total bicycle weight:

6.81kg (15.0lb)

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