Our standout items of gear
Zefal Vintage bottle cage £12.99, chickencyclekit.co.uk
Bikes such as these are all about the small details, so while it might seem fussy, bottle cage choice is important, as you definitely need water in Tuscany, and a skinny steel bike will be completely undermined by anything other than a proper metal cage. All the better if it’s finished with little wraps of leather. Bellissimo.
Ashmei KOM jersey £129, ashmei.com
As far as dressing for the conditions goes, this jersey was on point. Our early start was cool and the KOM kept me warm, but as the temperature climbed I didn’t overheat. Ashmei says that’s down to the merino wool mix. All I know is it’s incredibly comfortable. And most importantly, it matched the De Rosa’s Rosso red perfectly.
Quoc Night shoes £219, quocpham.com
I like the look of lace-up cycling shoes but often find they bite into the foot. I had no such issues here, possibly due to the lacing pattern that doubles over in two areas up the foot to give more solid anchor points. The supple uppers had that cossetted trainer feel, while the composite sole felt stiff enough for efficient pedalling.