After a season of setbacks, Jonathan Page did the unimaginable by becoming the first American pro cyclocrosser to finish on the podium at the World Championships. Starting in the fourth row back, he slowly worked his way through the field. In fact, he did not even realize that mid-way through the race he was in the lead; cyclocross is so hectic and the crowd noise was so loud that he was not able to tell where he was in the race. In the end, reigning World Champ Erwin Vervecken was able to bridge up to Jonathan, and after a nail-biting last lap managed to get a three second gap. An unbelievable result for Jonathan, and we’re very proud that he was able to achieve this historic result on a prototype R3X.
Which of course begs the question: What is an R3X? The answer starts back to 2004, when we began the development of a cross version of the R2.5, specifically for Jonathan, at that time already a multiple US cyclocross champion. Halfway through its development, we decided to change to the R3 platform. Not only did this open up the opportunity to increase the stiffness of the frame and the tire clearance, it also allowed us to construct the world's lightest cyclocross frame while at the same time making it the strongest.
Jonathan Page received the final pre-production frames just two weeks before the 2006 Cyclocross World Championships. He tested them, liked them and rode them to an impressive 10th place finish, the highest finish ever for a US cyclocross rider in a pro world championship. The development of the frame continued based on some of Jonathan's feedback. His season was interrupted by a torn rotator cuff but his incredible ride at the 2007 Worlds proves that both Jonathan and the Cervélo R3 are still on the way up.
There is actually not that much difference between the regular R3 and the R3 Cross, as the road-going version was designed with Paris-Roubaix in mind and is already plenty strong. The biggest difference is in the geometry of the front end (to accommodate the cross fork) and in the seatstays, which require pegs for the cantilever brakes. Though we have not assigned a release date yet for the R3 Cross, if it goes into production you will read about it first here in eNews.