World champion Rui Costa has a new bike for 2014.
The Portuguese rider’s new team, Lampre-Merida, struck gold when Costa, employed by Movistar in 2013, won the World Championship road race in Florence, Italy, having agreed to sign for the Italian squad on a one-year deal.
And the team’s bike provider and co-sponsor have rewarded Costa with a Merida Reacto Evo in a custom paintjob to match the 27-year-old’s rainbow jersey.
The Reacto Evo, first spotted in the peloton last January, is Merida’s aero road bike. The striking frame takes its inspiration from the Warp TT machine, with aero-shaped tube profiles, an aero seatpost, low-slung seatstays and a seattube cutaway. The front brake is as you’d expect, while the rear brake is hidden on the chainstays, behind the bottom bracket, as is increasingly common on aero road bikes, including the Trek Madone.
Lampre-Merida’s team issue bikes have a black, white, green and fuschia paintjob, but Costa’s features a black and white colourway, with the rainbow stripes on the downtube, seattube and Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR wheels.
Costa, who is six feet tall, rides a M/L frame, with a saddle height of 76.2cm. The frame is dressed in Shimano’s 11-speed Dura-Ace groupset, with direct mount brakes front and rear. The only deviation from that groupset are the Rotor Q-Rings and 175mm Power cranks, which were first unveiled in 2012 and have an integrated power meter, with four strain gauges in each crank to provide left and right power measurement.
FSA provide the K-Force handlebar and OS.99 stem. Costa runs a 12cm stem (fairly short among professional riders who often prefer 13cm or 14cm), which is slammed, naturally.
Costa will have a selection of Fulcrum wheels at his disposal throughout the season, depending on the conditions and parcours, but his bike is pictured above with 50mm Racing Speed XLR hoops, which combine the mid-depth carbon fibre rims with a low claimed weight of 1,324g. The wheels are wrapped in Continental Competition tubular tyres, while a Prologo Nago Evo CPC Nack saddle, slightly titled nose down to Costa’s preference of minus 1.4 degrees, completes the world champion’s setup.
Costa, who also won two Tour de France stages in 2013, outlined his ambitions for the new season earlier this month and will start his campaign with the Dubai Tour in February, before targeting Liege-Bastogne-Liege, a third consecutive Tour de Suisse victory and the Tour de France.