If you race locally in San Diego, you know there’s a sprint race about every other weekend. And if you go to these races, you’ll always see the same guy at the top of the pro results: Brazilian Caue Suplicy.
Caue has been a friend of mine for several years, when we were both coached by San Diego Xtraining coach Sergio Borges. Like many local-level pros, Suplicy languished in pro triathlon limbo-fast enough to win local sprints, but with the payout of a box of PowerBars. (If you read Triathlete magazine, you might recall seeing Caue in a story I wrote about the unglamourous life of a pro triathlete).
Well, Caue could see the writing on the wall. Sure, he wanted to continue racing, because going fast is kinda fun. But he wanted to take his experience as an athlete, and apply it to bike design. So came the birth of Suplicy Bikes.
I didn’t think much would come of the brand, but he’s surprised me. For one, he has been scooping up wins on his own bike. and has a collection of nice gear, road and tri and his order-online website and a few local shops here. At the Encinitas Sprint Triathlon that he won a couple weeks ago, Caue told me he managed to get his bike under an athlete racing in the men’s Beijing Olympic Games Triathlon: Brazilian Juraci Moriera. And he pulled out the stops.
It was thought that Brazil would have just one spot for the Beijing Games, and Reinaldo Colucci had the points on Juraci. But a late surge put Juraci on a plane and on the start for this weekend. He needed a bike, and Suplicy, ready to help a friend, supplied his lightweight road bike, the CS-0.7.
The frame has a slightly sloping compact design a fork with a 1 1/8” carbon steerer with an integrated cut-to-fit seat mast, and, as sold, features some of Suplicy’s house gear, including wheelset, bar and stem. The bike comes in eight sizes, ranging 50cm to 60cm. The stock offering is completed with SRAM’s Force groupset. Complete with this kit, the CS-0.7 retails at $5,000.
For Moriera, Suplicy was able to secure a set of the 2009 version of the Lew Composites Pro VT-1 carbon wheelset. which feature ceramic bearings in a Tune freehub body, and weight a guaranteed 850 grams or less. Yes, it’s that $5,495 wheelset. Moriera’s race bike is fitted with a SRAM Red groupset, a Vision by FSA Mini Clip-on, and Speedplay Zero pedals.
Frame weight for his 58cm frame: Suplicy pegs it at 6 kilograms, or 14 pounds, complete. One nice little details, Moriera's bike has the plug on the top tube's underside, for a tidy race number placement on race day.
Here's what Juraci emailed me today: "I really like the bike otherwise I don't think I would be using it at the Olympics! I'm very impressed with how light it is especially for such a big frame," he said. "I definitely feel that this bike accelerates better and is more responsive than any other bike I've ever ridden. This bike will be my weapon to defeat the hilly bike course. I was able to ride on the Olympic course yesterday and felt very good — the hill didn't seem as bad as it was last year so I'm very excited to use this bike at the race. I'll be racing the lucky number "8" on the Suplicy on Monday!"
It’s not news for those that have been watching the Games to see that Cervelo has sent its road athletes to Beijing on the new S3 road bike, complete with a floating Olympic ring motif, and will make these bikes available in a limited run. Differing from the Soloist, the S3 has cable routing that ports in at the front of the top tube (avoiding the extra weight and shift slop of a full housing run) and new, more aero stays. While Fabian Cancellara used the S3 to bridge to the break, then take bronze in the road race, the triathlon will see a few athletes: Canadian Simon Whitfield and TeamTBB pros Reto Hug and Nicola Spirig of Switzerland, and Mariana Ohata and Reinaldo Colucci of Brazil.
So in a race with what will certainly be some of the finest bikes, a little Brazilian designer has the newest (and certainly one of the most expensive at $12,000 as Suplicy puts it) bikes in T2 this weekend. And Cervelo will certainly have one of the cleanest-looking (and aerodynamically-fastest) new models on the racks.
Best of mechanical luck to all the athletes racing this weekend.