A Winner’s Impressions
Subscribing to RIDE puts you into the draw to win amazing prizes. In the past, subscribers have won new bikes from some of the world’s best manufacturers. One of the latest subscriber prizes was no different. The $14,999 Bianchi Oltre with Campagnolo Super Record. Here’s what the lucky winner, Warren Potts had to say after riding the bike a couple of months:
Within the first week of receiving the Bianchi, I took the bike out for its first race. It may been D-Grade but the Lidcombe-Auburn Cycling Club (LACC) criterium course which runs around the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre would provide all the opportunities required to know how my new frame would perform.
Keen to do well, I began to test out the bike’s capabilities after a few laps. Turning into the main straight I could feel how the bike accelerated and, looking back, I could also see who was still on my wheel and who was not. As it turned out, more of them were left behind as they struggled to smoothly get through the corner at my speed but there was a while to go in the race yet so I let the field catch up as I settled into the race.
Cautious not to damage the brand new bike (I can proudly say that it is still scratch free) I sat in the bunch lap after lap until the whistle went, indicating three laps to go. “Beauty!” I thought, “time to move forward”. With two laps to go I was feeling good and sitting in fifth wheel. Then, the bell lap – still fifth wheel and holding position into the last corner and ready to leave them behind like I did at the start of the race.
Things didn’t quite go to plan. I found myself up the tail end of the pack all of a sudden (perhaps a lack of focus on my behalf) and had my work cut out for me. Regardless I still gave it a go and accelerated through the corner, passing a few riders and then hit the headwind. I hooked across onto the tail of a small group for a brief reprieve from the wind, then out again, pass some more riders; legs and lungs hurting but there are still more up the road. Over the line; sixth place. I could only laugh at myself for that last lap.
What can I say about the bike then? Beautiful to look at, effortless to ride with amazing attention to detail. The colours, graphics and neat construction of the bike make this a superb Bianchi. It is stiff and I can feel it accelerates very easily, but it is comfortable to ride too. It turns where you point it, brakes very well and the Campagnolo Super Record makes shifting a pleasure. All my previous bikes have been equipped with Shimano groupsets, but I am already accustomed to the Campagnolo system and I very much like downshifting three gears at a time while stomping on the pedals.
At the café the Bianchi attracts attention – I like to mention that I won it! A riding buddy of mine, Owen, who rides a retro, steel Colnago presented me with a Bianchi cycling cap that he bought 25 years ago and had kept stored for an appropriate occasion. Celeste is definitely my colour!