This article was originally published on Cyclingnews.com
Two-time and defending Giro d'Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) will roll out for stage 1 of the race's 100th anniversary today in Alghero on a custom Merida Scultura wrapped in gold leaf to mimic the iconic spiral Giro trophy.
Winner of the race last year and in 2013, Nibali will this year attempt to become one of only eight riders to have won the race three times, and he can check out the names of all the past winners on the gold leaf banderole that spirals across the bike's top tube and head tube.
The golden banderole is made of real gold leaf applied to the top layer of the carbon before a protective clear coat is applied. Merida says the bike is a unique, one-off creation that will not be available to purchase on the consumer market.
"The Scultura is one of three bikes that will be available to the Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team during the event," Merida said in a release issued about the bike. "Besides the super lightweight Scultura, the riders also have access to the wind slicing Reacto aero bike and the super adjustable Warp TT time trial machine for any time trial duties."
Shimano supplies the chainrings, brakes and shifting, with Nibali running the Dura-Ace Di2 groupset with electronic shifting. The rear brake is not in the traditional position but tucked away behind the bottom bracket. Other components come from FSA, SRM, Fulcrum and Continental.
Complete bike specifications
- Frame: Merida Scultura, M/L (56)
- Fork: Merida Road Carbon Race
- Stem: FSA OS, 120
- Handlebar: FSA Compact 42
- Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace
- Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace
- Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
- Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 11-28T
- Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace 11-speed
- Crankset: SRM, 172.5mm, 53/39T
- Pedals: Shimano Dura Ace
- Wheelset: Fulcrum Speed 40 tubular
- Tyres: Continental Competition tubular, 25mm
- Saddle: Prologo Nago C3
- Seatpost: FSA Non-series Adjustable
- Bottle cages: Elite Custom Race Plus
- Rider’s height: 181cm / 5ft 9in
- Rider’s weight: 65kg / 143lb
- Saddle height from bottom bracket: 756mm
- Total weight: 6.8kg