Bianchi released Marco Pantani edition “Specialissima”, a special bike to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Marco Pantani’s Giro-Tour double. The bike has the iconic celeste-yellow fade paint job, the same color schema of Marco Pantani’s 1998 Bianchi. In 1998, after winning the Giro d’Italia, Pantani rode the yellow and celeste Bianchi Mega Pro XL (serial number H 314-74) in the famous July 27 Grenoble—Le Duex Alpes stage of the 1998 Tour de France. He attacked Jan Ullrich on the Galibier climb and won the stage, taking the race lead. He went on to win the Tour in Paris ahead of 2nd finisher Ullrich and 3rd Bobby Julich.
This was a feat only achieved by seven riders in history: Fausto Coppi (1949, 1952), Jacques Anquetil (1964), Eddy Merckx (1970, 1972, 1974), Bernard Hinault (1982, 1985), Stephen Roche (1987), Miguel Indurain (1992, 1993) and Marco Pantani (1998).
There is an important difference between two bikes: Pantani’s 1998 Mega Pro XL was made with light aluminum, but the new 2018 Specialissima is full carbon. The frame, which also features Bianchi’s ‘Countervail’ vibration canceling technology, is only 780 grams.
The new bike is equipped with a Campagnolo Super Record mechanical groupset, Bora Ultra 35 tubular wheels and a gold FSA K-Force carbon stem – very light components to compliment the frame.
The historic edition of the Bianchi Specialissima is exquisitely finished in exactly the same livery as the 1998 Bianchi MegaPro XL ridden by Il Pirata on his incredible double achievement. The frame and fork are meticulously hand-painted in Italy by dedicated artisans. Even the famous Bianchi eagle head badge on the Specialissima’s head tube is a faithful recreation of the one that adorned Pantani’s double Grand Tour winning bike.
- Bianchi website