Bianchi has released a special edition Specialissima road bike to mark the 20th anniversary of Marco Pantani's Giro d'Italia stage victory on the climb to Santuario di Oropa in northern Italy.
Wearing the race leader's pink jersey and riding a Bianchi MegaPro Concept, Pantani suffered a mechanical with 10km to go and was left trailing the lead group, including all of his GC rivals, by 30 seconds.
"Assisted by his teammates of the Mercatone Uno-Bianchi squad, Pantani regained contact with the leaders, before flying past them and forging onto the finish line alone – winning the stage and setting the fastest ever time on the climb to Santuario di Oropa," says Bianchi. "It was perhaps his greatest performance, but he crossed the line without celebrating – believing there must still be some riders ahead."
Bianchi has created a special edition Specialissima frameset with a paint scheme that's the same as that of the bike ridden by Pantani in 1999, with a special commemorative logo on the shoulder of the fork blade.
The Specialissima Pantani frame is engineered with Bianchi CV system, using Countervail composite material to help cancel vibration. The frameset weighs a claimed 780g.
While still wearing the pink jersey, Pantani was disqualified from the race for an excessive hematocrit level before the penultimate stage, Ivan Gotti taking the overall win.
The Bianchi Specialissima special edition frameset is priced £4,300.
Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.