Big win for Rock Racing's new bike
By James Huang in Sausalito, California
Mancebo's Dura-Ace crankset
rotates on a standard external bottom bracket.
PRO provides Rock Racing
with cockpit components
A different seat clamp
allows for the use of a round post
Mancebo's Vibe carbon seatpost
Rock Racing enjoyed a bit of a respite from the latest controversy
surrounding the team's long-term viability with a well-earned victory
by Francisco Mancebo. Mancebo made a lone breakaway from the peloton
after just 5km - leaving a foreboding 167km to the finish in Santa Rosa
- yet still had enough energy remaining at the end to outsprint Vincenzo
Nibali (Liquigas) and Jurgen Van Der Waale (Quick Step) just 500m from
the finish. Making the win even more impressive is the fact that the
team had supposedly only received their race bikes from new sponsor
Kestrel just before the race started so Mancebo had little time to get
Mancebo's new Kestrel RT 800 road machine comprises a decidedly unusual
mix of curves, angles and creases that stand in stark contrast to the
smooth and highly organic shapes that once defined the brand. The moderately
oversized, slightly sloping top tube and nominally aero-shaped down
tube appear to completely envelop the ends of the head tube while the
seat tube sports a deep cross-section and modest rear wheel cutout.
Kestrel fits consumer versions with a matching aero-shaped carbon post,
too, though the team has opted for the round seatpost option here.
The multi-shape top tube arcs into the curved seat stays out back,
which then meet the chain stays at a pair of sculpted aluminum dropouts.
All throughout, visible bond joints illustrate the modular monocoque
construction and Kestrel's own EMS fork is fitted up front, but with
an alloy 1 1/8" steerer instead of the stock carbon tube.
Though perhaps not the tidiest-looking frame on the circuit, at least
the team's primary bikes wore a proper paint job instead of the spares'
hodge-podge graffiti scheme.
Rock Racing has also switched its component sponsor this year from
Campagnolo to Shimano. In addition to the complete Dura-Ace 7900 group,
Shimano has also fitted the team with a variety of wheels as well as
bits from its PRO division.
Mancebo crossed the line in Santa Rosa with a 50mm-deep Dura-Ace carbon
tubular rear wheel mated to a 24mm-deep carbon-aluminum Dura-Ace clincher
up front. Yet this odd pairing was not the result of a puncture on the
road. Stage 1's bitter, wet cold and gusty winds had many riders reaching
for shallow-section front wheels for a modicum of control and in Rock
Racing's case, these may have been the only ones on hand.
In terms of cockpit components, Mancebo is in the minority what with
his carbon fiber seatpost, stem and anatomic handlebar. Registering
speed and distance for the day - and little else - is a surprisingly
basic Cateye Velo 5 computer.
Total weight for Mancebo's RT 800 that day was a reasonable 7.52kg
(16.6lb). Though a bit heavier than the UCI-mandated 6.8kg minimum,
that extra mass apparently had little effect on what ended up being
a golden ride regardless. Chapeau!
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