2011 road sponsorship round-up, part 2

What the Liquigas and Vacansoleil pros will be riding this year

Liquigas team bikes will have a familiar look for the coming season, with the same Cannondale Super-Six Hi-Mod carbon fiber road frames and – at least for now – similar paint jobs as in years past based on our early preview of Vicenzo Nibali's machine. 

Nearly all of the component sponsors have returned for another year as well, including Mavic wheels (and now tires), FSA bars, seatposts and stems, Fi'zi:k saddles, Speedplay pedals, SRM power meters and computers, and Elite water bottles and cages.

Long-term supporter Campagnolo will be replaced by SRAM, however, for both road and time trial bikes. The company's top-end Red group will be featured on team rigs when they make their 2010 competition debut at next month's Tour Down Under. 

As on most ProTour-level bikes we've seen in the past, Liquigas will substitute quieter-running PG-1070 cassettes and faster-shifting steel-caged front derailleurs for the stock PowerDome and titanium versions. SRAM Professional System cable systems made by Gore Ride-On will provide smooth and weather-resistant shift performance.

Vicenzo Nibali (Liquigas) poses with his new bike for the 2011 season

New SRAM bits notwithstanding, Nibali's SuperSix Hi-Mod is a close copy of the Ivan Basso pro bike profile we published earlier this year save for a few key areas. While Basso prefers a traditional-bend alloy bar, Nibali's bike is seen here with a compact-bend FSA K-Force model. Similarly, Nibali has opted for FSA's carbon-wrapped OS-99 stem rather than Basso's forged and CNC-machined OS-115. 

Big changes for Vacansoleil

The Dutch Vacansoleil-DCM team are undergoing a major overhaul heading into 2011 with a recently earned ProTeam license, nine big rider signings including two-time Ronde van Vlaanderen winner Stijn Devolder, and a virtual clean slate of equipment sponsors. The team will move from Batavus to Ridley as their official frame suppliers, with riders using the Noah and Helium for road stages and the Dean for time trials. 

Vacansoleil's Borut Bozic stands proudly with his new Ridley

Vacansoleil-DCM may also get all-new aero road and time trial models still in development. Among the planned features are carbon fiber brake arms that are directly integrated into the carbon fiber frame and fork molds for smoother lines, reduced drag and drastically reduced weight.

SRAM will replace Shimano as the official component suppliers, with the team running the top-end Red group with various aero bits as required. Rotor will step in at the crankset position, though, with their clever 3D+ machined aluminum arms and elliptical Q-Rings at riders' discretion.

In yet another major shift, Vacansoleil will move away from Cole wheels to ones from Benelux neighbors FFWD. Other equipment sponsors include Selle San Marco saddles, Vredestein tires, Deda Elementi handlebars and stems, KMC chains, Lizards Skins bar tape, Jagwire cables and housing, and Tacx water bottles and cages.

Ridley Noah and Helium road bikes await finishing touches at the Vacansoleil team camp

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