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Simoni - Handbuilt in the USA?
By Podofdonny
Date: 5/29/2003
Simoni - Handbuilt in the USA?

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Cannondale Celebrates New Lighter Hollowgram Crankset

With Simoni's Custom "Spider" Bike

Gilberto Simoni of the Saeco team kicked off the 2003 Giro d'Italia with a custom-painted bicycle that highlights the team's new lighter cranksets. The bike sports a beautifully rendered spider theme, reflecting the fact that its Cannondale-designed and manufactured Hollowgram cranksets have a new spider (and chainrings) that shave 27 grams off the parts' already remarkably light weight.

The bicycle was custom-painted by an artist in Bologna, Italy. The intricate spider/spider web art work took a full five days to craft, and it is also featured on the bike's lightweight, integrated Slice Si all-carbon fiber fork and its Cinelli Ram combination stem/handlebar. Simoni's spider bike is not the first work of art that the Italian artist has produced for us. Last year Saeco's Fabio Sacchi unveiled a CAAD7 with a stunning leopard motif painted by the same artist.

Saeco's Simoni, winner of the 2001 Giro and a top contender at this year's race, sees some similarities between his aggressive riding style and the traits of a spider. "The spider is small in stature, but also clever and astute," observed Simoni. "Also, the spider climbs its web with great skill and speed to attack its victims, as I hope to climb in the coming weeks in the Alps and the Appenines."

Saeco is off to its best start ever this year, having racked up more than a dozen wins in recent months, including a victory at Fleche Wallonne. The team currently sits atop the World Cup team rankings, and is ranked second in UCI points. Team riders also placed second at two of cycling's premier spring events, Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo. Cannondale has been the official bike sponsor to Saeco since 1997.

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