The Bike that Won the Vuelta

© Bettini

When Juan Jose Cobo assumed the podium as the champion of the season’s final grand tour, it was not only a life-changing moment for the Spanish rider who only months ago considered giving up the sport. It was a defining moment for his bike sponsor, Fuji.

Fuji has been working with the team for the past three years, developing their top-of-the-line road bike – the Fuji Altamira – based on input from the team’s staff, mechanics, and most importantly, the riders.

In January of 2010, Fuji V.P. of Marketing Karen Bliss traveled to Spain for team training camp, and while there, toured Cantabria’s prehistoric 35,000-year-old Altamira caves that feature Paleolithic drawings of animals – most prominently, bison.

Upon discovery of the caves at the end of the 19th century, the Altamira caves were deemed the earliest example of human development and creative expression.

With their new racing platform as the pinnacle of Fuji’s product development, Fuji decided that “Altamira” was the perfect name for their new road racing bike, and the brand wanted to pay tribute to the Cantabrian-based team they partnered with to design it.

And so the Fuji Altamira was born. And on Sunday, September 11, 2011, it won its first grand tour – and by the rider known as “The Bison” no less.

Just like the cave is a monument to the development of mankind, the Fuji Altamira – a perfect marriage of lightness, stiffness, and handling – marks a milestone in the development of Fuji carbon road bikes. And last Sunday, it earned Fuji its first ever grand tour victory.

© Bettini

Want the bike of the Vuelta champ? Learn more about getting your very own Altamira Team Replica HERE.

And in honor of the brand’s Vuelta winner, Fuji will be releasing limited edition Fuji Altamira “Red Bison” framesets. More details coming to the team blog very soon.