Ahead of the race, she and her Valacar Travel & Service squad did course recon to test a variety of equipment configurations to dial in Balsamo’s ride for the historic day.
While Balsamo did not win — that honor went to former world champ Lizzie Deignan of Trek-Segafredo — she did finish the Paris-Roubaix Femmes, which less than half the field did, in her first race in the rainbow bands of the current world champion.
Italian Elisa Balsamo rides aboard a Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod Disc Ultegra Di2, which has been decked out with rainbow stripes that signify she’s the world champion.
This is Balsamo’s second time wearing the rainbow stripes. She won the women’s junior road race in 2016, just ahead of American Skylar Scheider.
Balsamo’s team, Valcar Travel & Service, is partnered with the American-based bike manufacturer Cannondale.
Barely a week after her world championship win, the 23-year-old Balsamo was on her freshly-painted Cannondale SuperSix Evo, with Vision wheels, an FSA power meter, and Prologo saddle and bar wrap.
While the rainbow stripes identify the owner of this bike, Balsamo’s name is on the right seat stay for futher clarification.
Somewhat unusual in the pro ranks where Dura-Ace dominates, Balsamo is using Shimano Ultegra with 11 speeds — the previous version of the component group — not the just-announced Shimano Ultegra 12-speed group.
Fresh and pristine Prologo bar tape will help Balsamo keep a grip no matter the surface.
The top cap on the stem also gets the world championship color treatment.
There’s no internal cable routing through the Hollowgram bars and Knot stem on Balsamo’s bike.
Some Cannondale SuperSix Evo Hi-Mod bikes have hidden brake hoses and shifting wires that are routed through an aerodynamic spacer that sits between the underside of the stem and the top of the head tube.
On Balsamo’s bike, cables are routed directly into the frame. Her team mechanics did an excellent job with tucking cables out of the way and making the exposed lines look as elegant as possible.
Balsamo sits atop a Prologo Dimension NDR saddle with a unique color scheme.
Elite bottle cages are in place to keep Balsamo’s bidons from being jarred out on rough roads and pavé.
The 23-year-old world champ monitors her effort with an FSA PowerBox power meter.