Juan Ayuso's do
Jul 02, 2023
The UAE Team Emirates issued Colnago V4Rs that Juan Ayuso is riding at this year's Vuelta a España
Young Spaniard is hoping to take a podium finish once again atop Colnago’s do-it-all superbike
One of the most iconic Italian bike brands, Colnago has supplied bikes to some of the best riders in the world, including Eddy Merckx and Tadej Pogačar.
ENVE Composites is based in the United States and specialises in wheels and components across all of the cycling disciplines.
Shimano is a bike component manufacturer based in Osaka, Japan. The company is one of the industry’s most popular manufacturers and it makes up around three-quarters of the bicycle component market by value.
Elite is a cycling accessories manufacturer based in Fontaniva, Italy, just 60km from Venice. The company started out producing bottles and has since expanded out into cages and trainers - innovating and finding marginal gains wherever it can along the way.
Last year Juan Ayuso finished third at the Vuelta a España, becoming the second-youngest rider to podium at a Grand Tour at the tender age of 19, five days short of his 20th birthday.
This year, he’s returning to his home Grand Tour where he’ll co-lead UAE Team Emirates alongside João Almeida, aiming to replicate or even better last year’s result. He’ll be doing it atop Colnago’s do-it-all superbike, the V4Rs.
Like many modern brands, Colnago has taken the one-bike-rules-all route, shunning a pure lightweight or aero bike for something that covers both bases. The V4Rs is designed for any terrain, whether it’s the viciously steep mountains that the Vuelta is famous for, or crosswind-battered flat roads.
To conquer all terrains, the V4Rs needs to be both lightweight and aerodynamic, something it achieves in equal measure. By our trusty calculations, Ayuso’s bike weighs a tad over 7.3kg. That’s above the UCI’s weight limit of 6.8kg but it could easily be cut for the mountains with some different component choices.
ENVE SES 4.5 wheels
Changing from the ENVE SES 4.5 wheelset to the shallowest wheels in the SES lineup, the 2.3s, would save over 200g alone. In between those two, there are also the 3.4s which clock in over 50g lighter. The first road stage of the Vuelta, stage 2, didn't feature any long climbs so mid-range rims like the 4.5s were optimal on a day like that. Stage 3 heralds the early entry to Pyrenees mountains, though, at which point we’d expect to see some shallower rims and the bike’s weight to tip below 7kg.
Ayuso's Carbon-Ti chainrings
The same can be said for the 54/40t Carbon-Ti chainset, which is on the larger size for climbing and may be swapped for something more compact when the Pyrenees hone into view. It’s paired with a Shimano 11-34 cassette, Dura-Ace shifters and derailleurs, plus a Shimano power meter.
Beyond being lightweight, Colnago says the V4Rs is more aero than ever, saving 13.2 watts over the V3Rs when riding at 50kph with one bottle and an empty bottle cage. Those savings come from a refined head tube and new CC.01 cockpit. Ayuso and UAE Team Emirates don’t use the latter due to their partnership with ENVE, whose integrated bar and stem adorns Ayuso’s bike. This will undoubtedly affect some of Colnago’s aero data, but by how much and in which direction is unknown. The set-up is made more aerodynamic by the angle of the shifters which, as is becoming common, are pointing inwards.
Many riders point their shifters inwards to improve aerodynamics
Finishing kit on the bike includes 28mm Continental Grand Prix 5000 TT tyres, a Prologo Scratch M5 saddle, Elite bottle cages and a Wahoo Elemnt Roam computer.
UAE Team Emirates uses Elite bottles and bottle cages
To see Juan Ayuso's Colnago V4Rs in action, tune into live and on-demand coverage of the Vuelta a España on GCN+. Territory restrictions apply. Plus, head over to our Vuelta hub for all you need to know about the race, including previews, news and results.
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