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Pro bikes, May 18, 2007

José Rujano's Unibet.com Canyon Ultimate Al

Photo ©: Shane Goss/www.licoricegallery.com

UCI law-breaker

By Anthony Tan

None more beautiful
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The Lightweight Obermayer wheelset
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A heavily flattened
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Seems like these cages
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Campagnolo may be using more carbon fiber these days
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At just 1.62m (5'4") tall, 25 year-old Venezuelan José Rujano usually puts more effort into adding weight on to his bike to meet the minimum UCI weight limit than he does trying to shave every possible gram. When we weighed Rujano's teeny-weeny Canyon Ultimate Al back at the start of the ninth stage of the Tour de Langkawi in Putrajaya, it was smack-bang at 6.8 kilos, so the Unibet.com mechanics obviously made a few 'adjustments' to make it race legal.

While the climbing specialist wisely chooses the feathery 975g per pair Lightweight Obermayer wheels, other equipment picks are decidedly more conventional. Rujano's aluminum Ultimate Al frame incorporates some complex shaping and the same tapered and oversized front end as on Canyon's other top-end models, but still gives up roughly 350g as compared to the decidedly fancier carbon fiber Ultimate CF.

Other concessions include a relatively chunky Truvativ XR stem, but otherwise Rujano's machine is a standard-issue Campagnolo Record affair. With its stunning all-white paint-job contrasting with the plethora of carbon fiber weave, this bike really does look the business, and was by far the most ogled bike at the race in Malaysia.

Rujano's breakout moment came at the 2005 Giro d'Italia where he finished a spectacular third overall, scored both the climber's and most aggressive riders jerseys, and won the most spectacular stage of the race that crossed the Colle delle Finestre. After a lackluster 2006 season which saw Rujano made headlines for all the wrong reasons, the diminutive rider was hoping to return to the limelight for 2007.

In fact, Rujano showed a refreshing glimpse of his previous form with a third place finish on the queen stage of the Tour de Langkawi to Genting Highlands. Sadly, though, he may not get that chance he was hoping for. These days, the issue of adding on a few extra grams to its bikes likely ranks quite low on the list of concerns for the Unibet.com team, who may very well be wishing for those more carefree times of the early season before it was caught in the crossfire of the ProTour-Grand Tour organizer split. The team has already been shut out of this year's Giro and is still mired in legal battles over the remainder of the season, leaving the short-term future of one of the sport's most entertaining riders in serious question.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Shane Goss/www.licoricegallery.com

Full specification

Frame: Canyon Ultimate Al
Fork: Smart Flex CSL

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.62m (5'4") Rider's weight: 50kg (110lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 425mm
Seat tube length, c-t:
Saddle height, from BB center to top: 645mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars:
C of front wheel to top of bars:
Top tube length:

Crankset: Campagnolo Record
Chain: Campagnolo Record
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Record
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Record
Brakes: Campagnolo Record
Levers: Campagnolo Record
Rear sprockets: Campagnolo Record
Bottom bracket: Campagnolo Record


Wheelset: Lightweight Obermeyer tubular (16/20 F/R)
Tyres: Continental

Handle bars: FSA RD 200 7050 T6 Alloy, 42cm (o-o)
Stem: Truativ XR 3D Forged, 95mm
Headset: FSA
Tape: Cinelli cork

Pedals: Look KeO
Seat post: FSA K-Force carbon
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR, Ti rails
Bottle cages: Tacx
Computer: N/A

Total bike weight: 6.8kg (15.0lb)