You won’t need any suitcases of courage riding this carbon road bike.
Like Armstrong taunting Der Kaiser Ullrich on Alpe d’Huez on Stage 10 of 2001’s Tour, flying up the moonscape in the 39×23, you’ll have the power of ten-men as you dance away from the bunch, looking back and seeing the grimacing faces of the bunch, just like Cadel’s explosion on Mt Etna in the 2002 Giro, except there’ll be the screeching sound of reverse beepers howling like a fleet of trucks reversing up to the depot.
With legs like hardened steel, you’ll be on the rivet, wanting to dominate all the cobblestone laneways around Melbourne, pounding those pedals into the submission of pavement, wearing your best Cancellara game face as you channel the electric motor buzz and dream of putting Boonen into the gutter, as in the 2010 Flanders. It’ll be a blur as you tackle Melbourne’s own Kapelmuur Roobaix extremes in your finest retro reproduction Merckx woollen Molteni kit, the cottages of wattages passing by like the Orient Express storming through the Simplon tunnel to Switzerland.
The curves and valleys of the Nongs will become your playground on this svelte stealthy carbon fibre frame, you won’t know what day it is, and you won’t want to as your Everesting assaults become more brazen. Your Strava followers increasing more rapidly and powerfully than your heat rate and VO2 output ever could on the ergo in the Summit training studio, with the ping ping ping as kudos thumbs melt your phone into a sticky mess akin to a half-eaten protein bar mashed into your jersey pocket on a scorching summer’s day.
With the neurons in your quads firing like sun storms from the hundreds of Hors category Yarra St repeats, you’ll attack like Il Pirata as the others get unceremoniously tacked, taking the bottom turn into Terry’s Avenue to start the climb, and like a comet, take off into the stratosphere in a green and yellow flash as the others can do little than wheeze and hiss just like an exasperated tube on the Boulevard.
Floyd will be cheering you from the sidelines, playing re-runs of his Stage 17 2006 flying the coop attack on Morzine. Seeing double, triple, maybe even quadruple, with all the rush you feel smashing a fresh custard bomboloni after a 6-hour winter’s 160km epic in the hail and horrendous howling northerly pushing into your face for 80kms straight on the way back from Sorrento as Danny hands you your slim tall glass latte over the counter at Racer.
Do yourself a favour. Enter a new era. Leave the past in the past. Take a chance on something new, from a distant exotic land. Do everyone a favour, snap up this chance to ride like you’re on the gear, without all the health problems and the shaming.
As you launch off the front of the North Road Ride, again, for the sixth time, all you’ll hear is the shouts of Mercy, mercy, mercy. Or is it Merci? Or Mercier? It won’t matter, you’ll be first to sit down, cupping your latte like the victor you are, and they can tell you then.
FRAME: Open Mould Carbon fibre frame, size Medium, 54cm.
GROUPSET: Campagnolo Athena EPS Electronic 11-speed
CRANKSET: Campagnolo Athena Carbon 11-spd 50/34t compact crankset 172.5mm PEDALS:
LOOK Keo 2 Max Carbon
CASSETTE: Campagnolo Chorus 11-spd 12-25t
CHAIN: Chorus 11-spd WHEELSET: Campagnolo Scirocco 35mm deep aero profile wheelset with titanium skewers TYRES: Vittoria Corsa gumwall 700 x 23c
HANDLEBAR: Bontrager Elite Aero VR-CF Alloy 42cm
STEM: Thomson Elite X2 lighter narrower 2-bolt interlocking stem
SEATPOST: Carbon fibre monocoque 2x bolt micro adjust
SADDLE: Bontrager Arvada saddle
Size: Medium 54cm
Top Tube: 540mm (Actual, centre-to-centre)
Top Tube: 550mm (Virtual, c-to-c)
Seat Tube: 530mm (Centre-to-top)