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Giro d'Italia tech, May 24, 2005

The contenders' bikes

If the Giro had finished yesterday, the podium would comprise Paolo Savoldelli , Danilo Di Luca and Gilberto Simoni . Unless something dramatic happens in the next few days it's a good bet that those three will make up the podium in Milan, though we wouldn't put money on the exact order yet. Tim Maloney takes a look at the bikes that have got the current Giro top three this far.

Paolo Savoldelli's Discovery Channel Trek Madone SL

Paolo Savoldelli's Trek Madone SL
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Savodelli's Bontrager Race XXX Lite Team Tubular rear wheel
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Il Falco Savoldelli was ready to fly up le Dolomiti with his Trek rig and shortly after 5these pics were taken, he won Stage 11 to Zoldo Alto on this bike. Savodelli has a Bontrager Race XXX Lite Team Tubular wheelset, with a OCLV 110 one piece carbon fiber rim, lightweight carbon hubs and red DT Aerolite spokes. His cockpit is complete with Race X Lite OS stem Race Lite handlebars.

Aside from the Bontrager goodies, Savoldelli's bike is equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace group including SPD-SL pdals and Shimano's rarely seen but super-reliable seatpost.

Danilo Di Luca's Liquigas-Bianchi FG Lite

Danilo Di Luca's Bianchi FG Lite
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Bianchi has a long history of making celeste blue bikes for Giro stars, but Danilo Di Luca's Liquigas-Bianchi team rig isn't celeste in colour, but white, to celebrate Di Luca's status as leader of the inaugural ProTour series.

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Danilo Di Luca's Fizik Arione saddle
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Di Luca's Liquigas-Bianchi FG Lite team bike is built from triple butted aluminium tubes, custom drawn by Dedacciai to a special design from Bianchi R&D. The FG Lite frame - named after Felice Gimondi - has sloping geometry, with Bianchi's Mega Pro Evolution downtube and semi-integrated 1 1/8in Compact Steering System.

Cockpit view
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The headtube and bottom bracket shell are CNC machined from aluminium billet, and the FG Lite frame uses Bianchi Structural Foam Injection that absorbs road vibrations and shock.

Campagnolo supplies most of the running gear with the Record ten-speed group and Campagnolo Bora wheels. The carbon-rimmed wheels have radial spokes up front and Campagnolo's G3 spoking in the rear. The pair weighs just over 1300g.

Bars and stem are from ITM, while Di Luca uses a non-sponsored carbon fiber seatpost that provides the setback he prefers. Fizik has created a one-off blue and white Airone carbon saddle that matches DiLuca's ProTour color scheme.

The teams also has access to Bianchi frames with carbon fiber seatstays, but Liquigas-Bianchi's team director Stefano Zanatta told Cyclingnews, "most of the team riders prefer the frame without the carbon fbre seat stays because they like a more rigid frame."

Gilberto Simoni's Cannondale "Battaglia Italiana" Six13

Gilberto Simoni's Cannondale 'Battaglia Italiana' Six13
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Cannondale has created a special "Battaglia Italiana" version of their Six13 bicycle for the 2005 Giro d'Italia. To celebrate the supposed battle between Lampre-Cafitta teammates Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego, Cannondale made 20 Six13 bikes (one for each stage of the '05 Giro), hand built at Cannondale's Bedford, Pennsylvania factory, custom airbrushed, signed and numbered.

FSA's one-piece Plasma bar and stem
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Rear triangle
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The always combative Gilberto Simoni evidently likes a "Battaglia Italiana", as he's been riding his own special version of the Six13 since Cannondale had their big reveal on the Giro's first rest day in Ravenna.

The spec of Simoni's Cannondale includes Campagnolo Record gears and brakes, with Cannondale's one cranks; Time pedals; and Mavic Cosmic wheels. Up front Simoni's Cannondale has FSA's new Plasma integrated bars and stem with Fizik's comfy Gel tape.

Simoni was closely involved in the development of Fizik's Airone Carbon saddle, so it's no surprise to find one on his Cannondale.

The 2003 Giro winner seems to like his Six13, while '04 Giro champ Cunego usually rides a team bike with an Optimo CAAD 8 frameset.