Home > Bike Types > Cyclocross

Pro Bike Check: Decathlon x Van Rysel RCX Pro Helps French Team Land Rainbow Jerseys

Van Rysel RCX Pro carbon cyclocross bike by Decathlon of Aubin Sparfel of France, photo by Maty Podroužek, sprint finish(Photo/Maty Podroužek)
7 Comments
Support us! Bikerumor may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

The 2024 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships have kicked off in Tábor, Czechia and we already have a World Champ Pro Bike Check with U19 European Champion Aubin Sparfel winning the sprint for Mixed Team Relay gold on his custom-painted Decathlon x Van Rysel RCX Pro cross bike. With a young mix of riders the French team edged out Great Britain to take the first World Championship race win as Junior racer Sparfel outsprinted Elite racer Cameron Mason on the fast paved finishing straight.

An exciting end to the first race for rainbow stripes of the weekend!

Van Rysel RCX Pro carbon cyclocross bike by Decathlon

Aubin Sparfel is racing on the second generation Van Rysel RCX Pro carbon cyclocross bike, launched by outdoor goods superstore Decathlon late last year. And you can buy it directly from your local big box retailer with affordable Apex AXS or Force AXS builds.

He took the European U19 (Junior) win back in November, so there was plenty of time to get him a custom EU Champ paint job before representing his nation at the World Championships. It’s a subtle update to the standard black team-edition bike, but really makes it stand out.

While we love to drool over premium superbikes at pro races, it’s refreshing to see something a bit more affordable on the top step of the podium. Complete builds of this bike are sold from just 2500€ complete with a wireless groupset. Wow!

Since the Mixed Team Relay is made up of a mix of men & women from multiple teams and multiple age categories, not all of the French racers were on the same bike as Sparfel. But a few of his fellow AG2R Decathlon teammates also race on the Van Rysel RCX Pro cross bike.

As if the white, and blue & stars don’t give it away, Sparfel’s RCX Pro gets his name on the top tube to keep it straight. We only spotted one with the EU Champ paint scheme, and this is bike #1.

Junior Pro bike build

His bike is built up with a well-worn Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, and XTR pedals.

Tires are the long-proven 33mm Dugast Rhino tubulars that you’ll see on many bikes for this slippery muddy course, glued up to some mid-depth aero Swiss Side carbon wheels. The cockpit comes straight from the road with a Deda Elementi Superzero RS carbon bar & stem.

A closer look at the headtube of the RCX Pro reveals a bit of sparkle in the custom EU champ paint. Not much sun is forecasted for the weekend of racing, so it’s not likely to shine much more than this.

Junior racers might not always get the newest kit, but Sparfel’s Di2 levers seem to work well, with some battle scars.

Clean, ready & waiting for one lap of the Mixed Team Relay on Friday afternoon.

Getting the Van Rysel RCX Pro muddy

In the relay format, Aubin Sparfel was the last of his national team to race. And he had just one lap to get his Van Rysel RCX Pro cyclocross bike muddy. But the bike has plenty of mud clearance – officially 10mm of clearance around a 33mm cross tire. Van Rysel calls it “Mud Proof Certified”.

The hi-mod carbon frame from Decathlon served Sparfel well for his one lap. And it delivered on its stiffness promise as the 17-year-old outsprinted the UK’s Elite Men’s racer down the long asphalt finishing straight on the Tábor track.

UCI CX Relay Rainbows for the French Federation

So that’s it. The 2024 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships is underway, and the French have claimed the first set of rainbow jerseys. We’ll be here all weekend, scoping out cool custom bikes, and maybe a few prototypes!

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

7 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jeff
Jeff
18 days ago

It’d be cooler if it was a Festka, but ok

Jeff
Jeff
18 days ago

When I see a bike like this I wonder why the manufacturer didn’t just go one small step further and put in mounts for fenders. It just seems like they are turning their backs on a potential market segment. It wouldn’t be much trouble, they wouldn’t need to change the basic bike they made at all, just have some way to add fenders. I’m not trying to single out this bike or this manufacturer, I see it from most manufacturers.

WhateverBikes
17 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

I think with a carbon frame, it takes a bit more work than you imagine. Metal screw holes needs to be integrated, possibly on spots where the frame is not built for it, so it needs to be made stronger there.
As for this bike, it will probably not be used for commuting (where rain can not be avoided), so the question is how many people will actually want to ride it in the rain.
I’m guessing the number of people going for a road ride in the rain is getting less and less, with indoor cycling getting more popular.

Richard
Richard
16 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

Its a CX bike not a gravel bike. Im amazed it even had bottle cage mounts,

Milessio
Milessio
15 days ago
Reply to  Richard

Pro CXers seem to be increasingly having a bottle mounted during early season races + Barcelona. So not the distinction it once was.

G-Bike
G-Bike
18 days ago

Competition in the market place is always good for the end consumer…

Lorelei
Lorelei
18 days ago

Impressive price/bulld for a bike with a lap for the records!

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.

Subscribe Now

Sign up to receive BikeRumor content direct to your inbox.