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Wout van Aert won a cyclo-cross race on a gravel bike

Wout van Aert won a cyclo-cross race on a gravel bike

Wout van Aert races in Heusden-Zolder on his gravel bike Wout van Aert won his first cyclo-cross race of the Christmas period on Wednesday, and…

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Wout van Aert races in Heusden-Zolder on his gravel bike Wout van Aert won his first cyclo-cross race of the Christmas period on Wednesday, and the secret weapon was a gravel bike.

In a striking change from his usual ‘cross set-up, the Belgian rider switched to Cervélo’s dedicated gravel bike, the Aspero, for the race in Heusden Zolder , and it was clearly up to the job.

The Aspero – which Van Aert rode at the 2023 UCI Gravel World Championships – is not a million miles away from Van Aert’s customary cyclo-cross racing machine, the R5-CX, which itself draws from Cervélo’s top-end road climbing bike, the R5. Read more: Wout van Aert’s Cervélo Aspero for Gravel World Championships

However, there are some significant differences. Whereas the R5-CX features narrow seat stays that join at the seat tube-top tube junction, the Aspero has wider stays that attach lower on the seat tube, which itself is rounded to hug the rear wheel. This bears more similarity to the Cervélo’s aero road bike, the S5, and the Aspero also features a thicker fork than the R5-CX, although nothing like the S5. A closer look at Wout van Aert’s Cervélo Aspero for Heusden-Zolder © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images

The Aspero can accommodate tyres of up to 40mm, but there is no specified tyre clearance for the R5-CX, beyond the need to avoid mud clogging around the UCI maximum of 33mm tyres for ‘cross racing.

In terms of geometry, the Aspero generally puts the […]

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