The 26th Japan Cup, scheduled on Sunday, October 22nd, will turn into a special occasion as Bianchi will return to its many Japanese fans together with Team LottoNL-Jumbo, the World Tour team sponsored by the Treviglio’s company. The event will be even more special since Italian Enrico Battaglin will debut in the race aboard the new Specialissima Pantani-20th Anniversary – the bike celebrating the spectacular Giro-Tour double achieved by Bianchi in 1998.
With ten Bike Stores and one Bianchi Café&Cycles, Bianchi is an historical and significant presence in the Japanese market, with plenty of passionate fans appreciating Bianchi's state of the art technology, Italian design and distinguishing Celeste frame color.
The Japan Cup, one of the most important race and with the longest tradition in the Asian calendar, will be hosted in the city of Utsonomiya, featuring a demanding 10,3 km-long circuit to be repeated 14 times for a total of 144,2 km. Team LottoNL-Jumbo will be one of the four World Tour teams at the start, with a competitive five-man lineup: Antwan Tolhoek, Alexey Vermeulen, Koen Bouwman, Juan José Lobato and Enrico Battaglin. Riding his Specialissima Pantani-20th Anniversary, Battaglin will spread again over the peloton the legendary Bianchi's celeste-yellow livery that made history in modern cycling.
Starting with legends as Coppi and Gimondi, Bianchi reached the highest peak in cycling: "Bianchi achieved a lot with their bikes the past decades. It’s now our turn to perform at the highest level. By riding on this bike we honor the history and the future of Bianchi", said team manager Richard Plugge.
SPECIALISSIMA PANTANI-20th ANNIVERSARY: TECHNOLOGY AND MYTH
The Specialissima Pantani-20th Anniversary is the 2018 very special commemorative edition of the world-renowned ultralight Specialissima, designed by Bianchi to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pantani’s Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double in 1998.
The celebrative model Battaglin will ride to its debut is finished in exactly the same celeste-yellow livery as the 1998 Bianchi MegaPro XL used by Il Pirata. The frame and fork are meticulously hand-painted in Treviglio, 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 winning bike in the magical year of 1998.
Heritage meets today’s ultimate technology, in typical Bianchi style. Indeed, Specialissima is a pinnacle of modern racing performance and at the forefront of carbon frame construction, with its 780gr ultralight frame engineered with Countervail vibration cancelling technology that cancels 80% of vibrations, maximizing power and control.