The now familiar deep radius head tube, Beat Box BB30/chainstay unit, and monster down tube provide Nibali with all the power transfer he needs while the thin line seat stay technology gives him enough relief to stay fresh over a 3 week grand tour.
After a 4 hour training ride that included rolling climbs and high speed descending Nibali said, “…the stiff forks and feed back the bike gives me from the road allows me to push the bike to its limits while descending…something that is very important for me.”
While the bike remains the same, the Liquigas-Cannondale still made some big changes. Campagnolo is no longer the team’s component sponsor. SRAM has now come on board supplying their premium RED group with its Double Tap shifting. However, Nibali and the rest of the team will be riding Cannondale’s Hollowgram crankset, the lightest and stiffest cranks in the peloton.
FSA and MAVIC are both returning to support the team. Nibali was training on Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels, a stiff and bomb proof set that still only tip the scales at 1485-grams. The wheels are fitted with MAVIC’s own Yksion tires, a Grip Link 23 up front for exceptional traction, with a Power Link 23 in the rear for extremely low rolling resistance, resulting in a pair optimized not only for MAVIC rims, but ride quality as well.
Nibali runs an FSA cockpit and seat post, as does the entire team. With numerous product choices available Nibali rides a 120mm OS-99 CSI stem that bonds carbon to alloy creating a hybrid with both materials qualities. For bars he’s been running 42cm K-Force with a compact ergo bend.
Fizik also returns to Liquigas-Cannondale for 2011 with their wide range of Italian made saddles. Nibali chooses the Antares with carbon braided rails which tips the scales at a scant 135-grams, despite having much more padding than other saddles at that weight.
Speedplay pedals again brings their now ubiquitous lollipop shaped pedal, the Zero, to the team customized in Liquigas-Cannondale’s trademark green. The team riders even get custom green cleats.
As with any team camp, it’s not just the riders that get a workout. Hundreds of bikes have to built, and painstakingly measured by the mechanics to ensure they fit each rider perfectly. A veritable encyclopedia of measurements and fit data is kept on hand to ensure each rider’s bike is perfectly built, to the millimeter.
After three days of long rides, massages, meals, and interviews, the riders, staff, and sponsors seemed very happy with the new package. Although, one of the mechanics was overheard complaining, “Now we’ll have to add more weight.” An obvious reference to the weight that will need to be added to get the bike heavy enough to reach the UCI’s required minimum weight of 15lbs.