Marianne Vos is one of the most talented and decorated cyclists of all time. On the road, she’s been world champion three times, won 28 stages of the women’s Giro d’Italia, the overall of the same race three times, the Olympics road race, La Course twice and a host of Spring Classics, too.
In cyclo-cross, she’s worn the rainbow stripes seven times and she’s even won gold on the track. For this reason, she was the marquee signing and will lead Jumbo-Visma’s new women’s squad, joining the team from CCC-Liv.
As a result of her transfer, when 2020 ended, Vos’s obligations to ride CCC-Liv’s team bikes also ended. For cyclo-cross, this was the Giant TCX. Her new team will ride Cervélo bikes in 2021 just like Wout Van Aert and the rest of the men’s Jumbo Visma team.
However, rather than switching to Cervélo, Vos made a slightly confusing transition from her Giant TCX to a Bianchi Zolder, resprayed in Jumbo Visma colours to cover up any Bianchi logos, just like the bike ridden by Wout Van Aert. But why?
We reached out to Jumbo Visma for information.
As is reasonably well documented at this point, Cervélo doesn’t make a ‘cross bike and, as a result, Vos was given the option to choose what bike she rode.
It seemed likely that she would take a similar approach to Van Aert and ride a resprayed version of the TCX she’s grown accustomed to, removing the Giant logos and round out the campaign on a familiar bike – but this was not the case.
Despite her stature in the sport, not even Vos is immune to the way the sponsorship model works. She was required to hand her Giant and Liv bikes back at the end of the year, even though she was midway through a ‘cross campaign. The only resulting option was to respray a second fleet of Bianchi bikes for Vos alongside Van Aert’s.
A “rather unavoidable start to the partnership”, according to a Cervélo spokesman.
Luckily, Vos won’t be restricted to a resprayed Bianchi for her entire time at Jumbo Visma. CyclingTips recently uncovered confirmation that a new Cervélo cyclo-cross model is on the way, and images have been floating around social media of Tom Dumoulin riding what looks like another new road bike from the brand. With the coincidental timing, Cyclingnews predicts that the two new bikes could be related.
We reached out to Cervélo for comment, but with the inability to share information at this stage, the response was your typical marketing response: “Our athlete and ambassador partners are an essential part of our research and development process as we aim to deliver the best performance bikes and ride experience to riders.”
In the absence of any real clues, all we know is that there’s plenty on the horizon at Cervelo HQ, but we’ll be sure to keep an eye on the Jumbo-Visma team for any never-before-seen tech.