The hills and 'Dales of Piedmont

Fuelling up…

There are always several parts to a bike launch and the most important – to the journos anyway – are the tech presentation and the ride.

They always seem to come in that order, perhaps because the tech stuff is supposed to leave us thirsting to get our hands on the hardware. All that talk about vertical compliance, high modulus, vibration damping and the rest certainly has the required effect, if only as a way of getting away from the classroom stuff.

The kind people at Cannondale, in association with Liquigas co-sponsors SRAM, went one better on the SuperSix EVO launch, with not one but two rides, the first shortly after the tech spiel and the second today, after we’d had time to reflect on the experience of the first ride.

For sure, there were a few dropouts from the fast group for the day two long ride, day one’s big climb to Superga inducing apprehension given the longer and lumpier route for today. And not without reason; 1750m of climbing in 105km with an average riding speed of over 27kph is not hanging around and there were a few salt-streaked visages as we got back to the beautiful Castello di Montaldo hotel.

But then we were all mounted on individually labelled and carefully set up examples of the new bike, each resplendent in a monochrome strip that showed off its classic lines to a nicety.

A better route to show off the EVO’s wonderfully supple ride and incisive steering would be hard to conceive, the many valleys and traffic-free roads of the delightful Piedmont hills south of Turin offering the kind of climbing, descending and broken Tarmac that an absurdly light and yet crisp-handling road bike takes in its stride.

Lucky Liquigas; we’ll be popping in on their Giro prologue preparations tomorrow.

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