Custom painted bikes are nothing new in the Tour de France, with riders wanting to tout their own personal style or status as leader in a particular competition.
Cervelo TestTeam provided star sprinter Thor Hushovd with one in honour of Tuesday's green jersey, and unlike some other ones we've seen, this one is decidedly understated and subtle.
Hushovd's Cervelo S3 sports just a handful of green highlights on the frame plus a smattering of matching accessories, including the SRAM Red brake hoods, Zipp 404 and 808 rim decals, Speedplay Zero pedals, and accent graphics on the Rotor 3D crankarms and 3T Rotundo Pro traditional-bend handlebar.
Taken in total, there's no mistaking whose bike this is or what jersey Hushovd is wearing but it's certainly less over-the-top than some others and – dare we say it – even elegant. In fact, if Hushovd manages to carry the jersey all the way into Paris we wouldn't be surprised if CervÈlo were to offer this as a limited edition to consumers.
From a mechanical standpoint there are no differences whatsoever from his usual S3, with the same deep-section aero tubes, deceptively spindly seatstays to maintain a good ride quality (team riders used this bike on the cobbles, too), and identical build kit.
One thing worth nothing, though: team race engineer Damon Rinard tells us that pedal sponsors Speedplay offer three different inserts for their Zero clipless pedals so that riders can tune the release tension to their liking. According to Rinard, the Cervelo women's team mostly choose the softest option (similar to the company's 'Light Action' model) but not surprisingly, Hushovd opts for the stiffest setting.
SRAM clearly had these hoods already set to go before the start of this year's Tour