Just seven months after the close of the previous edition, the 2021 Giro d'Italia got underway on Saturday.
Returning to its normal early-summer position in the calendar, the race kicked off with a flat 8.6km prologue around the city of Turin. To the surprise of no one, the sub-9km time trial was obliterated by Filippo Ganna, riding the course aboard a stunning new metallic blue time trial bike in 8:47, beating Edoardo Affini into second place by 10 seconds.
The Italian's bike might have captured the imaginations of the Tifosi, but it wasn't the only new bike on show in Turin. We've already covered Eolo Kometa's stealthy unbranded non-sponsor bikes in our time trial tech highlights, but a few days ahead of the Grande Partenza, it was announced that EF Education-Nippo's bikes were given the Euphoria treatment along with their changeout kit.
The team's GC hope, Hugh Carthy, posted a respectable time of 9:35, 38 seconds down on Ganna and 21 down on arguably the best-placed GC contender, João Almeida. Shortly after the opening stage, we got up close and personal with Carthy's all-new colourful creation.
Despite the fact that riders such as Rigoberto Urán have been using an all-new Cannondale time trial bike at recent races, the model being used at the Giro d'Italia is the same Cannondale SuperSlice that has been in existence for over half a decade. No details have been given as to when the new bike will launch, so this kaleidoscopic colour scheme could well be a fitting final hurrah for the outgoing model.
Starting with a blue base coat, Carthy's bike is given a blocky pattern of various colours across the top half of the frame. The Cannondale logo remains in its usual position on the down tube, but in keeping with the theme, it is finished in a contrasting yellow. The top tube is where the majority of the design takes place, with those blocks of colour travelling from the head tube to the seat tube.
The bike is kitted out with plenty of go-fast tech from Vision, including the Metron TFE carbon fibre cockpit which is fitted to the Trimax carbon base bar. Vision also supplies its Metron wheels. Upfront, Carthy was using the 81mm deep, Metron 81 SL clincher. At the rear, it's unclear whether Carthy was using the Trimax disc, or the hyper-expensive Metron TFW disc, which retails for €4,820.00.
These were shod with Vittoria's Corsa Speed tubeless tyres, likely fitted with Vittoria's Air Liner too.
The shifting comes courtesy of Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 groupset, however, the jockey wheels on the rear derailleur have been swapped for the watt-saving OSPW (Over-Sized Pulley Wheels) from CeramicSpeed. Although, as reported in our tech highlights, Tejay van Garderen was actually using a similar product from Muc-Off.
When it comes to stopping power, instead of using Shimano's own rim brake calipers, Carthy's bike is actually fitted with the direct-mount rim brake calipers from FSA. FSA also takes care of the chainset, which integrates the NG Eco power meter from Power2Max.
Carthy's pedals come courtesy of EF's sponsor Speedplay, although despite the recent relaunch of Speedplay within the Wahoo Fitness portfolio, the pedals in use are the older, now-superseded version of Speedplay's Aero pedals.
|Frame||Cannondale SuperSlice TT|
|Groupset||Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2|
|Brake levers||Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 mechanical|
|Brake calipers||FSA Direct Mount Caliper|
|Front wheel||Vision Metron 81 SL|
|Rear Wheel||Vision (Metron TFW / Trimax)|
|Base bar||Vision Trimax base bar|
|Extensions||Vision Metron TFE|
|Power Meter||Power2Max NG Eco|
|Tyres||Vittoria Corsa Speed TLR|
|Computer||Garmin Edge 1030 Plus|
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Josh has been with us as Senior Tech Writer since the summer of 2019 and throughout that time he's covered everything from buyer's guides and deals to the latest tech news and reviews. On the bike, Josh has been riding and racing for over 15 years. He started out racing cross country in his teens back when 26-inch wheels and triple chainsets were still mainstream, but he found favour in road racing in his early 20s, racing at a local and national level for Team Tor 2000. He's always keen to get his hands on the newest tech, and while he enjoys a good long road race, he's much more at home in a local criterium.
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