There were high hopes at Cervelo when it appeared, in the closing kilometres of the Beijing Olympic road race, that the win might go to Andy Schleck or Fabian Cancellara, but in the closing metres it wasn’t to be, with Samuel Sanchez taking gold. Cancellara won bronze after an incredible late chase.

Eagled-eyed viewers will have spotted the very special Cervelo machines being ridden by both Schleck and Cancellara. They were riding the new S3, the successor to the SLC-SL, which heralds some significant changes.

The S3 is the company’s most aerodynamic road frame yet, with its aero properties improved via redesigned chainstays and seatstays. Cable routing is now internal, with the entry point behind the stem with internal cable stops on the downtube. Cervelo says: “This offers a clean cable entry without the problem of other cable routing systems that enter behind the stem, but which run the complete housing through the frame. The latter makes the whole set-up quite heavy (200g of extra housing) and the friction makes shifting and braking less than optimal."

The frame weighs 990g for the standard version (and a little bit more for the Olympic version as white is a heavy paint colour).