This is the machine Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) rode to yet another top ten finish at Paris-Roubaix.
Flecha is less of the Classics specialist and more of a Paris-Roubaix specialist having recording eight top ten placings in the last nine editions of the race following his eighth place finish on Sunday.
Vacansoleil-DCM’s bike sponsor, Bianchi, unveiled the Infinito CV three days before this year’s race, boasting of a “vibration cancelling” technology which reportedly dampens road vibrations before they reach the rider, thereby making for a more comfortable ride and reducing muscle fatigue.
Dubbed Countervail, a patented material developed by Bianchi and US firm Materials Science Corporation, the technology uses a viscoelastic carbon layer embedded between the standard layup on strategic areas of the frame and fork – but Bianchi won’t reveal where.
The bike sits in Bianchi’s Coast to Coast ‘endurance’ range and the Infinito CV’s geometry has been tweaked to reflect that, with a higher headtube, longer chainstays and longer wheelbase to make it less aggressive than the Oltre XR model used by the rest of the team for the rest of the year.
But what of Flecha’s bike? The 5’11” Spaniard rides a 57cm machine, equipped here with a mechanical Campagnolo Super Record groupset, save for the FSA crankset which comes with a custom 53-45t chainring combination for pounding over the flat but brutally bumpy roads of Paris-Roubaix, while FSA also provide the brakes.
The tyres bear the brunt of the cobbles and wider rubber is common place at the Queens of the Classics, with Flecha opting for 27mm Vredestein tubulars on top of 40mm-deep FFWD F2R wheels.
Otherwise, Flecha’s Paris-Roubaix machine has a 42cm-wide FSA Energy T aluminum handlebar fixed in place by a carbon-wrapped FSA OS-99 stem, while the 35-year-old sits on a Selle San Marco Regale saddle. The handlebar, by the way, is wrapped in two layers of Lizard Skins handlebar tape, with an additional gel insert, to help take the string out of the cobbles.