Vincenzo Nibali's 2019 Merida Scultura – Gallery

6.81 kilogram all-out race machine for two-time Giro d'Italia winner

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) arrives at the Giro d'Italia this weekend as one of the bookmakers' favourites for what would be the Italian's third career maglia rosa.

For the third season in a row, Nibali will race the Giro on a Merida Scultura after racing with a special, more aero-focused Merida Reacto at the 2018 Tour de France.

As one of an elite club of just seven riders in history to win all three Grand Tours, Nibali – whose nickname is the ‘Shark of Messina' – has special stickers on his stem featuring the yellow, pink and red colours of the leaders' jerseys at the three races. Nibali has the same shark design on a pair of custom Sidi Shot shoes.

Paired with the Merida Reacto frameset, Bahrain-Merida run Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 groupsets in conjunction with SRM Origin power meter cranks. Fulcrum provides the team with 40T Speed wheels, which are paired with Continental Competition tubular tyres.

Bahrain-Merida head mechanic Filip Tisma revealed to Cyclingnews that the bike weighs in at 6.81kg when it is fitted with the Velon data-collecting device under the saddle, and so just over the UCI minimum weight limit. Nibali will have three identical Sculturas for the Giro d'Italia. A hollow bottom bracket axle saves 260g, with other minor details helping to save the grams.

Nibali was also supplied a disc-brake bike at the start of the season but has opted to use caliper brakes for performance reasons. A slow wheel change can perhaps be accepted in a one-day Classic race but Nibali prefers to avoid any risks that could perhaps cost him overall victory in a Grand Tour.

Nibali is a self-trained mechanic and pays attention to detail but is not obsessive. Tisma explained that Nibali likes his bar tape wrapped neatly, with each wrap close to the next one, and has bubble wrap to stop the cables rattling in the frame. But he trusts his mechanics to ensure his bike is order each day.

Photographed at the Tour of the Alps, where Nibali finished third on general classification, it is understood the Italian will race on an almost identical setup at the Giro this weekend.

Click through the gallery above for a closer look at Vincenzo Nibali's Merida Scultura.

Vincenzo Nibali's Merida Scultura full bike specifications

Frameset: Merida Scultura

Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Brake/shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Crankset: SRM Origin with Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 chainrings

Wheelset: Fulcrum Speed 40T
Tyres: Continental Competition ALX, 25mm tubular

Handlebars: FSA K-Force Light
Handlebar tape: Prologo
Stem: FSA OS-99
Pedals: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100
Seat post: FSA K-Force Light

Bottle cages: Elite Leggero Carbon
Computer: SRM PC-8
Other accessories: SRM speed sensor

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