The Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela team has enjoyed a near-perfect run at the Tour de Langkawi over the last five years with Bianchi a key partner in the most recent overall victories in 2012 and 2011 - won riding the Bianchi Oltre. The squad arrived at this year's addition without a definitive leader but that didn't mean they would pass up the chance of making it three-in-a-row.
The team has made significant adjustments to its equipment for 2013 but the frame sponsor Bianchi has remained unchanged. This year however, sees the team swap the Oltre for the Sempre Pro.
The Sempre which translates to "always" is a bike that is designed for just that, every condition and every rider. The 1,040g frame incoprates Bianchi's monocoque nano-carbon technology with UTSS (Ultra Thin Seat Stay) and a 1 1/2 - 1 1/8inch fork to produce an ensemble that is perfect for the rigours of professionals and enthusiasts alike. Sempre's utilise the BB30 bottom bracket system and internal cable routing along with electronic groupset compatibility - also seen on the Oltre.
Campagnolo has come on board as the component supplier with Super Record fitted to the entire fleet. The addition of the Italian manufacturer's ensembles complements the Campagnolo-owned Fulcrum wheels - which were used in 2012 and remain integral to the sponsorship arrangement.
Carlos Ochoa, one of the elder statesmen on the team was at the Langkawi to support the team's general classification ambitions and had his bike set-up for the opening sprint stages.
Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR tubulars were used for the first two days at Langkawi however, the team had options for when the race hit the mountains on stages three and five with the Racing Light XLR tubular also on hand in Malaysia.
Similar to last year, the squad's Bianchi bikes were fitted with a full complement of FSA components with the popular controls manufacturer delivering brakes, cranks, handlebars, stems and headsets to Gianni Savio's men.
Rounding out the bike is a CycleOps Joule head unit, which replaces the Garmin Edge 500 units used in 2012 but there is no arrangement to use the PowerTap powermeter hubs for racing. The team is also supplied with Time pedals with Ochoa opting for the Xpresso 8 Carbon model while the ever-popular Elite Sio cages keep a firm grasp of the team's bidons.
Total weight as pictured (without bidons) is 6.80kg (14.99lbs).
Complete bike specifications
Frame: Bianchi Sempre Pro Carbon, 57cm
Fork: Bianchi Full Carbon B4P, 1 1/8-to-1 1/2"
Headset: Fsa Orbit CE Plus integrated, 1 1/8-to-1 1/2" tapered
Stem: FSA OS-99 CSI, 120mm x -6 degree
Handlebars: FSA K-Force Compact Carbon, 420mm centre-to-centre
Front brake: FSA Gossamer Pro w/ carbon-specific cork pads
Rear brake: FSA Gossamer Pro w/ carbon-specific cork pads
Brake levers: Campagnolo Super Record
Front derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record, clamp-on 34.9mm
Rear derailleur: Campagnolo Super Record
Shift levers: Campagnolo Super Record
Cassette: Campagnolo Super Record, 11-25T
Chain: Campagnolo Super Record
Crankset: FSA K-Force Light with silver AL7075 CNC chainrings, 172.5mm, 53/39T
Bottom bracket: BB30 ceramic
Pedals: Time Expresso 8 Carbon
Front wheel: Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR tubular
Rear wheel: Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR tubular
Front tire: Hutchinson Carbon Comp, 23mm
Rear tire: Hutchinson Carbon Comp, 23mm
Saddle: Fi'zi:k Antares w/ carbon rail
Seatpost: FSA K-Force SB25, set-back 25mm, 34.9mm
Bottle cages: Elite Sio (2)
Computer: CycleOps Joule
Rider's height: 1.80m (5' 11")
Rider's weight: 64kg (141lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 750mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 520mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 490mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 580mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 900mm
Head tube length: 160mm
Top tube length: 540mm