Pascal Ackermann’s (Bora-Hansgrohe) maglia ciclamino was only secured late in this year’s Giro d’Italia. Swathed in bandages from a heavy crash on stage ten, it was a Ackermann’s second place on stage 18 that saw the German pull ahead of Arnaud Démare (Grouapama-FDJ) in the points classification and reclaim the cyclamen jersey. The next day, he headed into the mountains covered head-to-toe in purple, and riding a bike with two faces.
We often see special kits and bikes to celebrate Grand Tour achievements, but the paintjob on Ackermann’s Specialized Venge is one of the finest we’ve seen. Depending on which photos or video footage you saw of him, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was swapping between two bikes.
The bike’s design was done by Kayla Clarot, a graphic designer at Specialized’s head offices in Morgan Hill, California. As Clarot explains, “I wanted the design for this bike to have two completely different looks depending on which side you stand on. One side is grittier with a collage of abstracted black and white photos of Italy that represent the scenery of the race.”
Flip the bike to driveside and it takes on another personality. “The other side is a simple fade, but full of sparkle and color.” explains Clarot. “The juxtaposition of the two represents the fight the athletes go through trying to get the jersey. One side representing the tough battle through different terrain. The other side representing the simple, but beautiful moment of taking the lead.’
Beyond the paint and matching Supacaz bartape, Ackerman’s bike is the same 2019 Specialized Venge that he and many of his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates have ridden this season. The bike is covered in Specialized’s own components, including the Venge’s integrated handlebar, stem and seatpost. Wheels are Roval CLX50 tubulars, equipped with Ceramic Speed bearings. Even the powermeter is Specialized’s own, a product produced by 4iiii. Like the rest of the Bora-Hansgrohe team, Ackermann rides a Shimano Dura-ace R9170 Di2 and disc brake groupset.
The Giro’s points classification is a title Specialized has dominated the past three years, with Fernando Gaviria winning in 2017 and Elia Viviani winning last year. This is the first time Bora-Hansgrohe has won the maglia ciclamino.