Bianchi are one of Italy’s iconic bike
brands, and at the Giro we caught up with the Vacansoleil-DCM team, one of two Bianchi-sponsored
teams in the race. We’re only trying to fit the PS cable. But
neatly, if possible. We have to get our artistic vein going here, but when we have attached this
one, get it covered up, then we will do the handlebar tape. The Dutch world tour team chooses the Bianchi Ultra
XR frame, this particular machine belonging to the team’s best-placed GC rider Rafael
Valls-Ferri, also known as ‘Raf’. Vacansoleil use Campagnolo Super Record EPS
electronic transmission combined with FSA brakes and drivetrains. The Ultra XR frame sets have electronic-only internal cable routing to give the bike a cleaner look. FSA supply
the bars and stem, Valls-Ferri uses a 140mm model, long for a 179cm rider. A San Marco Concor saddle sits atop Bianchi’s
seat tube. 95 gram Look-Keo Blade pedals. The team choose Dutch Fast Forward wheels
with Vredestein tubulars. For all-round use, Valls Feris has chosen the low profile F2R
model. It’s a solid looking machine, with a gold KMC chain the only touch of bling.
The bike’s weight however is impressive, weighing in at 6.83kg. Unlike many team leaders going into the mountains,
Raf has chosen not to go into any of the stages with a compact, instead opting to use a 29-tooth
gear on his usual bike and have a pure mountain machine in reserve.