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Giro tech: Astana's Specialized Tarmac SL4 bikes get built

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An Astana Specialized Tarmac SL4 - midway through being built by the Astana mechanic

An Astana Specialized Tarmac SL4 - midway through being built by the Astana mechanic (Image credit: Astana)
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Nibali gets his own shark logo on his top tube

Nibali gets his own shark logo on his top tube (Image credit: Astana)
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The mechanic gets the brake hoods in the right position

The mechanic gets the brake hoods in the right position (Image credit: Astana)
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It pays to measure these things

It pays to measure these things (Image credit: Astana)
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One more tweak and the levers are good

One more tweak and the levers are good (Image credit: Astana)
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Nice detailing on the fork of Nibali's Tarmac

Nice detailing on the fork of Nibali's Tarmac (Image credit: Astana)
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Astana are going to have to do a lot of this to win the Giro

Astana are going to have to do a lot of this to win the Giro (Image credit: Astana)
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Astana are running FSA bars and stems. In this case a set of K-Force New Ergo handlebars and an OS-99 carbon/alloy stem

Astana are running FSA bars and stems. In this case a set of K-Force New Ergo handlebars and an OS-99 carbon/alloy stem (Image credit: Astana)

Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will start the 2013 Giro d'Italia as one of the top favourites, hoping to challenge Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Cadel Evans (BMC) for overall honours.

A day before the race kicks off with a 130km road stage starting and finishing in Naples, we spotted Nibali's Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL4 along with the other Astana team bikes being built up by their mechanic.

The mechanic was particularly concerned with the height of the Campagnolo Super Record shifters (some riders were on mechanical, others EPS), using a tape measure to check the distance between the bottom of the lever and the fork dropout. Nibali and his teammates will be spending a lot of time on their bikes over the next three weeks and it's important that they're comfortable.

In addition to the Super Record groupset, the team are using Specialized S-Works carbon cranks, Look KeO Blade pedals, FSA K-Force New Ergo handlebars, FSA OS-99 carbon/alloy stem, FSA K-Force SB25 seatpost, a Selle Italia SLR saddle and Tacx bottles and cages.

Nibali and the team will be running Corima wheels: a Carbon Aero+ MCC rear and Carbon Viva S front. This wheelset was the same used by Alexandre Vinokourov to win the Olympic road race last year.