The images below capture the events of the evening just before the official team presentation. Following a few days of training and photoshooting, riders were introduced to the media on Tuesday night. The Cannondale Factory Racing team includes World Cup cross country racers such as Marco Fontana, Manuel Fumic, Martin Gujan and Jeremiah Bishop and American junior cross country racers Keegan Swenson and Taylor Smith. Endurance pros Tinker Juarez and Alex Grant are also in attendance. In 2012, the team will also provide support for US Olympic Long team member Krista Park.
Jerome Clementz, Mark Weir, Ben Cruz and Aaron Chase are on hand representing Cannondale's OverMountain team. The site of the gathering, Finale Ligure, is west of Genoa and is home to the 24 hours of Finale Ligure mountain bike race, an enduro race and a new for 2012 Alta Via mountain bike stage race.
Cannondale SuperSix 6 Apex review 2174 €, 4 out of 5 stars
"Handles brilliantly with gearing that'll help you climb a wall. The frame deserves some better kit, though" We tested Cannondale's SuperSix 5 late last year and were impressed. The SuperSix 6 comes in £200 cheaper due to a few spec differences – most obviously, from the model names at least, the choice of groupset. You may consider SRAM Apex a step down from Shimano 105, but on the scales it’s very close and we think most riders will get more mileage and climbing ability from SRAM’s wide-range WiFli setup.
Matching a 50/34-tooth chainset to a 28t rear cassette blesses the SuperSix 6 Apex with the ascending setup of a mountain goat. It also has a wheelset at a similar level to its more expensive brother, and in our opinion gets the better brakeset. Climb aboard the SuperSix, set off and you get an instant feeling of efficiency. It’s prompt to accelerate and direction changes are sharp – very sharp. Unlike most bikes around the £1,500-£2,000 mark it makes no concessions to comfort, with standard race bike geometry – parallel 73 degree angles, low head tube and a short wheelbase. The SuperSix has the pro rider’s needs etched into its DNA. If you’re interested in comfort above anything else then you’ll need to look elsewhere. That’s not to say it's stubbornly uncomfortable – we love the way it rides both up and downhill, and it’s nicely mannered over coarse roads.
At £1,799 the SuperSix 6 Apex, like the 105 model, loses out on a few specification points. But this chassis is so good that you’ll really want, and need, to start upgrading it as soon as you can. That said, it's ideal as the first step into the world of superbike ownership. This bike was tested as part of Cycling Plus magazine’s 2012 Bike Of The Year feature – read the full results in issue 260, on sale Friday 2 March.