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.
Gold leaf on Nibali’s bike forms a spiral banderole (similar to the Giro d’Italia trophy) that feature the names of all former winners of the Corsa RosaBettini Photo
“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.