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Pro bike: Ivan Basso's Liquigas Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod

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Ivan Basso (Liquigas) is hoping to repeat his success at the Giro d'Italia on French soil.

Ivan Basso (Liquigas) is hoping to repeat his success at the Giro d'Italia on French soil.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Basso's FSA Energy T traditional-bend bars are single-wrapped with fi'zi:k bar:tape.

Basso's FSA Energy T traditional-bend bars are single-wrapped with fi'zi:k bar:tape.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Threaded spoke ends allow the rear wheel to be trued.

Threaded spoke ends allow the rear wheel to be trued.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The stout front end features a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" head tube.

The stout front end features a tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" head tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Speedplay provides Basso with its flagship Zero Nanogram pedal.

Speedplay provides Basso with its flagship Zero Nanogram pedal.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Mavic's Cosmic Carbon Ultimate wheels are impressively versatile being extremely lightweight and moderately aero.

Mavic's Cosmic Carbon Ultimate wheels are impressively versatile being extremely lightweight and moderately aero.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The FSA K-Force post is topped with a fi'zi:k Antares saddle.

The FSA K-Force post is topped with a fi'zi:k Antares saddle.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Hourglass-shape seat stays are meant to provide comfort out back.

Hourglass-shape seat stays are meant to provide comfort out back.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Basso runs a smaller-than-typical frame size to get the head tube length he wants - then has to run a 140mm-long stem to get the proper reach.

Basso runs a smaller-than-typical frame size to get the head tube length he wants - then has to run a 140mm-long stem to get the proper reach.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Even at a whopping 140mm long, FSA's OS-115 stem is still quite light.

Even at a whopping 140mm long, FSA's OS-115 stem is still quite light.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Mavic's Cosmic Carbone Ultimate is unchanged for 2011 save for the addition of neat black reflective decals.

Mavic's Cosmic Carbone Ultimate is unchanged for 2011 save for the addition of neat black reflective decals.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Campagnolo Record rear derailleur moves the chain over steel and titanium cogs.

The Campagnolo Record rear derailleur moves the chain over steel and titanium cogs.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Campagnolo bar codes all of its components these days in order to keep better track of where it all goes - mostly in an effort to cut down on grey market traffic.

Campagnolo bar codes all of its components these days in order to keep better track of where it all goes - mostly in an effort to cut down on grey market traffic.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Elite's latest Sior bottle cage includes a metal arc that is said to provide a better grip on the bottle while keeping weight low.

Elite's latest Sior bottle cage includes a metal arc that is said to provide a better grip on the bottle while keeping weight low.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The meaty bottom bracket shell houses Cannondale's long-standing BB30 integrated system.

The meaty bottom bracket shell houses Cannondale's long-standing BB30 integrated system.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Basso's carbon-specific pads have chamfered rear edges that presumably cut down on chatter.

Basso's carbon-specific pads have chamfered rear edges that presumably cut down on chatter.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The Liquigas team uses custom-made chain watchers. And underneath that conspicuously placed 'Liquigas' decal is a Shimano logo.

The Liquigas team uses custom-made chain watchers. And underneath that conspicuously placed 'Liquigas' decal is a Shimano logo.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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SRM provides the team with colored-to-match PowerControl 7 computers.

SRM provides the team with colored-to-match PowerControl 7 computers.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Basso's Cannondale Hollowgram SL crank is paired with SRM's power measuring spider.

Basso's Cannondale Hollowgram SL crank is paired with SRM's power measuring spider.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Like many Campagnolo-sponsored riders in the Tour de France, Basso is using a Record group, not a Super Record one.

Like many Campagnolo-sponsored riders in the Tour de France, Basso is using a Record group, not a Super Record one.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Basso is running 22mm-wide tires most of the time. These are labeled as Schwalbe Ultremo but they bear a strong resemblance to Veloflex Carbons.

Basso is running 22mm-wide tires most of the time. These are labeled as Schwalbe Ultremo but they bear a strong resemblance to Veloflex Carbons.
(Image credit: James Huang)

2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso is looking forward to the higher mountains looming ahead in this year's Tour de France, and hoping that his familiar Cannondale SuperSix Hi-Mod is the correct machine to carry him up and over with dreams of a podium finish in Paris.

Basso has been racing this version since returning to the sport early last year but Cannondale only officially launched it to the public the following May. In addition to a 150g weight reduction, Cannondale says a new construction method and updated tube shapes yield additional chassis stiffness over the previous generation.

Rather than use last year's one-piece chain stays-plus-bottom bracket shell combination, Basso's SuperSix uses one-piece seat stay and chain stay assemblies that join to a monocoque front triangle with large surface area bonds. The whole area is anchored with long carbon fiber strips that reach all the way around the seat tube and top tube up top, and around the seat tube and down tube below.

At least in concept, it's analogous to how guide rings are secured to fishing rods and Cannondale claims it's a more efficient use of material than even tube-to-tube construction.

The team's equipment sponsors have essentially carried over from last year, including Campagnolo, Mavic, FSA, Speedplay, fi'zi:k and Elite. As such, the major items are unchanged with a Record transmission and brakes and Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels wrapped with Schwalbe-labeled tubulars.

Upgrades include Speedplay's ultralight Zero Nanogram pedals and Elite's latest Sior carbon bottle cages but Basso has made more significant changes to his cockpit. A traditional-bend FSA Energy T handlebar takes the place of the company's New Ergo bend we saw him with last year and a forged-and-machined OS-115 stem – in a longer 140mm length – stands in for the carbon-wrapped OS-99 model. Also significant is a swap from fi'zi:k's Aliante to the far flatter-profile Antares.

Even with the change in frame size from last season's 58cm to this year's 56cm – mostly in an aim to get a shorter head tube – point-to-point reach from the saddle tip to the center of the bars has actually gone up 15mm. Couple in the more aggressive traditional bend and the result is that Basso can now stretch out more than before.

Mechanics wouldn't permit us to weigh the bike ourselves but quoted us a figure of 6.85kg (15.1lb) as pictured.

Complete bike specifications: