By Simon Smythe
This is the bike Annemiek van Vleuten rode to victory on stage two of the Giro Rosa, taking the maglia rosa after an epic finale in which she crashed and later criticised the Giro Rosa organisers for a gravel section that was "unnecessary, crazy and dangerous."
The Dutchwoman – wearing the world champion’s rainbow jersey as well as the number one of the Giro Rosa defending champion – attacked at the bottom of the final climb to Seggiano and literally left her rivals for dust.
However, there was a moment of drama when her front wheel buried itself in the deep gravel of the Tuscan strade bianche and she lost control, was forced to dismount and run with her bike, cyclo-cross style, until she reached a firmer section and a neutral service motorcycle gave her a push.
Van Vleuten crossed the line in Arcidosso 1-16 ahead of compatriot Anna van der Breggen.
“It was really long ago that I suffered so hard. I committed from the bottom of the gravel section. I didn’t look back,” she said afterwards.
The Scott Addict RC has a custom world champion paintjob to celebrate van Vleuten’s epic solo win in Yorkshire in 2019. It’s black at a glance but sparkles with rainbow colours in the sun, while the silver prism logos also beam back all the colours of the spectrum.
A tulip, a windmill and clog form her personalised ‘Vleuty’ logo on the top tube while a silver ‘105’ on the down tube just up from the bottom bracket shell commemorates the number of kilometres solo she rode to win the Worlds in Yorkshire.
The latest Addict RC is claimed to be close to the UCI weight limit, and van Vleuten’s size XXS is likely to be as close to it as anyone’s.
The groupset on van Vleuten’s bike is the flagship Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 with hydraulic disc brakes. It rolls on Shimano Dura-Ace C40 wheels shod with Pirelli yellow-label tubulars: the yellow lettering denotes the softer compound that is designed for improved handling on tougher terrain.
Van Vleuten uses the Syncros Creston IC SL cockpit, from Scott’s sister component brand, choosing 38cm bars with an 80mm stem.
To get up the steep gravel, van Vleuten used a cassette with the biggest sprocket a Dura-Ace Di2 rear mech can handle – a 30t – paired with a a 36t inner ring and a standard 53t outer, with 170mm cranks.
Van Vleuten criticised the route on Twitter the following day: "Sometimes people ask me how your legs feel if you go all out. I think this video shows it... Could not even run or get into my pedals... But also [an] example [of how] gravel sections in stage races are unnecessary, crazy and dangerous. Leave it up to one-day [races] like Strade Bianche."
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