The 101st Giro d’Italia kicks off in May 2018, with some of the world’s greatest riders assembled for another incredible battle between man-powered machines.
As we look forward to the tribulations of the time trial, twists of the technical stages, and drama of the descents, riders everywhere are wondering how they can take one step closer to this year’s pulsating peloton.
Last year’s centenary race saw a distinctly divergent top three. While just seconds separated General Classification winner Tom Dumoulin from second placed Nairo Quintana and third overall Vincenzo Nibali, lightyears lay between their style and equipment.
We wanted to take a closer look at some of the gear that helped these elite athletes reach the podium, and even some of the accessories that defined the epitome of pro-style during last year’s race.
Winner: Tom Dumoulin
The Butterfly of Maastricht Tom Dumoulin granted the Dutch their first Giro d’Italia win last year, with a powerful performance especially during a stonking individual time trial that put him ahead by 2 minutes and 23 seconds, earning him what would turn out to be an insurmountable race lead.
Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 Groupset
While a powerful time trialist, Tom’s real strength is his rounded performance, leaving few cracks or weaknesses. This consistency and capacity for speed is reflected in his choice of Shimano’s Dura-Ace Di2 that provides consistent power and precision.
Turbo trainer: Elite Drivo Rosa Direct Drive Trainer With Power Meter -
The turbo trainer of choice for pro-peloton teams like BMC, FDJ, Movistar, and Tom’s Sunweb team, the Drivo Rosa Direct Drive Trainer was probably instrumental in delivering the data analysis needed to develop the consistent performance’s that won the title. It’s in-built accurate power meter facilitates super-accurate training providing unrivalled insights for teams and coaches.
The Oakley Jawbreaker Prizm Road Sunglasses are already a modern classic. Lightweight yet durable, featuring impact resistance and superb optical precision, it’s no wonder Tom used them throughout the event.
Second place: Nairo Quintana
The Colombian climbing conquistador, ‘Condor’ Nairo Quintana, is known for his huge power and stamina, especially on the incline. One of the most successful stage-racing riders of the modern cycling era, and the best road cyclist in Colombian history, the Movistar team member is an exciting competitor and held the lead after Stage 9 of the competition, losing his advantage during one of the early individual time trial elements.
It takes a very special groupset to keep up with Quintana’s power. His use of the high-torque and extra-light Super Record EPS gives the Colombian the ideal platform to get the power from his thundering thighs onto the road without interruption. His use of a huge 54 tooth chainring further highlights his exceptional brawn. The example from Wiggle above features the disc brake option, while Quintana used traditional cantilevers.
Continental was the most popular brand of the competition last year. It was also the winning tyre at the Paris-Roubaix races and is a trusted by pro athletes around the world.
The efforts to capitalise on Quintana’s power were further illustrated by the use of Campagnolo’s exceptional Bora Ultra 35 Wheelset. Its CULT ceramic bearing technology provides the lowest friction coefficient on the market thanks to precision oil lubrication, allowing for nine times more efficiency than standard bearings. According to its makers, in testing the wheel will continue spin and only come to a stop after 47 minutes when starting from 500rpm.
Quintana’s fi’zi:k’s Antares saddle is designed to fit riders that fall under fi’zi:k’s ‘The Chameleon’ spine profile - those with medium spine flexibility and who’s pelvises have a low amount of rotation when pedalling. This is in keeping with the Columbian rider’s powerful cadence and neutral positioning.
Third place: Vincenzo Nibali
The Shark of the Strait, Italian legend Vincenzo Nibali, was third at the 2017 Giro d’Italia and had been a favourite after winning the event for the second time the previous year. Known primarily for his technique as a descender and bike handler, Nibali is also a strong climber and time trialist. Despite coming third, his first year as a member of the Bahrain–Merida team was a successful one, winning the Taiwan KOM Challenge, and setting a new course record in the process.
Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 Groupset
The Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 took its second podium spot at last year’s Giro, with its smoothness and shifting speed proving an important conduit for Nibali’s agile handling and aggressiveness in the decline.
The Fulcrum SPEED 40T Carbon Tubular Road Wheelset is extremely light and a specialist at handling high speeds - perfect for Nibali’s downhill surges. It also has superb braking, ceramic bearings, and exceptional quality.
The Continental Competition gained another top three finish on Nibali’s bike, chosen for its pro-standard rolling resistance, excellent grip, and durability.
Pro detail: Rudy eyewear
Rudy is one of the leading manufacturers of eyewear for cyclists, with innovative features and a focus on adjustability.
Giro pics by Flowizm