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It was a storybook ending for Spanish cycling fans at the 2011 Vuelta. One of their fellow countrymen, Juan Jose Cobo, emerged victorious in the end, proving his merit among the world's best cyclists. The victory was equally rewarding for Geox-TMC team sponsor Fuji, as Cobo took the crown aboard its new flagship Altamira frame. Perhaps it was a twist of fate, seeing that prior to the Vuelta Fuji had named its top-of-the-line racing platform after a prehistoric cave in Cobo's native Cantabria region of northern Spain. Within this cave, the earliest examples of human development and creativity are found, which provided inspiration for the frame developers at Fuji. And so, to celebrate Fuji's first grand tour victory, it released a limited edition Altamira frameset in 'Vuelta Red,' complete with graphic renderings of the Altamira bison cave drawings.

With the Altamira, Fuji's objective was to build a frameset suited specifically for grand tour racing. At the time, the majority of Fuji's pro riders were aboard its rigid SST (Super Stiff Team) sprinter-specific frame, which was really a 'quiver' frameset. The engineers knew their athletes would benefit more from a well-rounded workhorse frame, so they began collaborating directly with its team Geox-TMC pro riders during the development process. They used real-time race feedback gathered from the Spanish squad to refine its new frame platform, eventually leading to the Altamira design. The two-year R&D process proved to be a success, as Geox's Juan Jose Cobo relied on his trusty new steed to claim that top spot at the grueling Vuelta. His bicycle handled beautifully, reassuring the Fuji team that their hard efforts produced the world-class race machine they had originally set out to build.

Fuji built its top-end Altamira from a high-modulus D-6 carbon blend. This is the highest level of carbon material Fuji manufactures, capable of producing incredibly low tube weights that deliver a stiff yet compliant road feel. Fuji applied the D-6 carbon to the Altamira using a three-tube -- top, head, and down tube -- monocoque front end, which was then molded to a second monocoque section that encompasses the bottom bracket and chainstays. The IST integrated seat tube and seatstays were molded separately, with all of the components assembled together using a modified tube-to-tube joining process. According to Fuji, the joints of the frame were strategically placed in low stress areas of the frame to provide a light, stiff, and vertically-compliant ride.

By working with Geox pro riders, Fuji's engineers were able to tweak the carbon tube shapes for an optimal race-tuned feel. They kept the lower chassis incredibly stiff by mating the large down tube and chainstays to an oversized press-fit BB86 bottom bracket. The enlarged juncture created an ultra-stiff pedaling platform, which, for you, means an efficient transfer of power directly into your rear wheel. Moving up from this section of the frame, Fuji paired a tapered top tube and slender seatstays for an overall balanced road feel. The result in this matchup is a rigid lower half of the frame combined with a more compliant upper section.

Rounding out the front of the frame, a tapered 1-1/8in to 1-1/2in head tube provides maximum rigidity and predictable handling. The fork Fuji developed specifically for the Altamira was molded from a lightweight FC-330 carbon layup. Below its tapered carbon steerer, Fuji's signature flared upper-blade fork design, which works to provide both front end rigidity and aerodynamics, flows down into the slender carbon dropouts.

The frameset includes an FSA No. 42 integrated headset with carbon top cover, a braze-on front derailleur mount, and carbon dropouts (with a replaceable hanger) at the rear of the frame.

The Fuji Altamira LTD frameset comes in at a claimed weight of 955g. It is available in 53cm, 55cm, and 58cm sizes, and in the Vuelta colorway.

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