Made In Italy: The companies that Maintain Italy in a league of its own



The terminology of the peloton could traditionally be French but Italy has ever been where the love is.

By Fausto Coppito Ferrari, java culture to Colnago, the nation has ever prompted serious charm in anyone with a sense of heritage or style.

There is a reason Dave Stohler, the young protagonist at the biking flick Breaking Away, could not get enough of spaghetti rather than cottage pie.

Along with using a mile-long pedigree in fashion, Italy remains a worldwide force, with the majority people possessing a couple of parts of Italian apparel, from bicycles, to completing apparel to clothes. We looked at a few of the significant players that the majority of us have owned or lusted after in one of these white, green and crimson reveries so prevalent in cyclists.


Egan Bernal at Colombia through lockdown (Photo from Maximiliano Blanco/Getty Pictures )

HQ: Fonzaso (Veneto)
Twist: Gabba jersey

The roots of Castelli are located in Milan, in which firm founder Vittore Gianni made clothes for the town’s soccer teams and ballet. The business was eventually purchased by Armando Castelli at 1939, in which time it had been a recognized biking supplier, trading under the Gianni name. However, having watched his dad develop around expert bike racers, Armando’s son Maurizio wished to experiment and experiment outside the limits of Gianni’s conservative short, also in 1974 he formed his own breakaway company, complete with all the scorpion emblem — the Castelli we understand now.

Shortly after its creation, Maurizio Castelli attained his first of several — customer Lycra biking shorts, and initiated synthetic chamois pads soon then. Now the firm remains ultra-relevant, providing Team Ineos using their own kit. Nonetheless, it’s arguably best known for the often-imitated Gabba rainproof jersey, started 10 years ago and a key thing from the wardrobes of several riders.


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Mike Teunissen in the 2020 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Photo by Tim p Waele/Getty Pictures )

Formed: 1885
HQ: Treviglio (Lombardy)
Twist: Celeste

Having set up shop 1885, Bianchi has existed a substantial time. There are lots of historic bike businesses, but none more recognisable than the Treviglio brand, whose minty green-blue trademark paint job has changed into a bicycle game icon.

The color even offers a romantic legend behind itfounder Edoardo Bianchi was commissioned to provide bikes to Queen Margherita and has been taken with the color of her eyes which he had the bicycles painted at precisely the exact same colour.

Others say it’s just the color of the skies above Milan, although Bianchi itself, perhaps not needing to burst the bubble, asserts”the fact is, there are several truths”.

Within time Bianchi has become the brand of choice to Fausto Coppi and Marco Pantani, and it keeps a foothold in the maximum level now, maintaining pace with Italian rival brands by providing the prosperous Jumbo-Visma WorldTour team.


Formed: 1948
HQ: Milan (Lombardy)
Twist: 1A quill stem

Cinelli’s most up-to-date flagship product is a bicycle known as the Nemo Zagato. It is a street bicycle in a limited run of 100, made of Columbus Omnicrom steel, finish with polished nickel finish. The hyperlink into Zagato — a prestigious Italian auto design home — is exemplified perfectly by photographs of this bicycle side-by-side onto a motor racing circuit using a traditional Alfa Romeo.

In fact it amounts up Italian biking pretty well — fashion is certainly the equivalent of material, and motor racing legacy is not too much apart.

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The firm, formed 1948 by former Milan-San Remo winner Cino Cinelli, was known for its componentry, and there were not many Seventies and Eighties roadies who did not lust after the beautiful, polished metal lines of a 1A (still available) or XA quill stem.


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UAE Team Emirates’ bicycle in the 2020 Tour Down Under (Photo by Tim p Waele/Getty Pictures )

Formed: 1954
HQ: Cambiago (Lombardy)
Twist: C40

Give a fisherman a selection of any Italian bicycle — any bicycle whatsoever — and most would select a Colnago. The Milan firm is potentially the most prestigious motorcycle brand available on the current market, possibly as a consequence of having won a lot of crucial races and names — and of course a lasting affection to Eddy Merckx.

Have a poke round the small, but perfectly shaped museum on the top floor of this business headquarters, and you’ll discover signs — a real Aladdin’s cave of bikes moving back almost 50 years. Merckx’s iconic 1972 Hour Record bicycle, while being easy and somewhat tatty, with tyres dangling off in shreds, is certainly the centrepiece. However, Giuseppe Saronni’s Worlds-winning bicycle from Goodwood is also there, as can be Franco Ballerini’s Paris-Roubaix-winning C40 out of 1998 — covered from the sand of northern France, it is still perhaps the funniest machine in the group.

However Colnago isn’t just about history — it stays very much applicable, sponsoring UAE Team Emirates and boasting 11 WorldTour wins this season with cyclists such as Tadej Pogača and Fernando Gaviria.

The business was even from the information throughout the writing of the attribute, having sold a vast majority share to Abu-Dhabi-based investment finance Chimera Investments.

Wilier Triestina

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Astana in the 2020 Clasica de Almeira (Photo from Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Pictures )

Formed: 1906
HQ: Rossano (Veneto)
Twist: Worlds-winning Cento

This most Italian of businesses has English origins. The first proprietor, Pietro Dal Molin, purchased what’s explained on Wilier’s site as”an almost unknown English manufacturer, Wilier” way back 1906 so as to start his own business in Bassano del Grappa from the Veneto area.

Two wars handed before Dal Molin, whose bicycles were utilized from the Italian infantry, entered the expert biking scene with a group named Wilier Triestina — called after the town of Trieste.

Without needing requirement for infantry bikes, it was not long until Wilier came back: in 1952, following a non-payment to get a dispatch of machinery, the business closed. It had been just another 18 years ahead of the Wilier mill was raised from the dead and purchased from brothers Lino and Antonio Gastaldello, and Wilier Triestina had been extended a second wind.

It manyn’t have the existence of Colnago or even Bianchi, but it’s well re-established, using a foothold at the WorldTour beneath the riders of Astana.

Selle San Marco

Formed: 1935
HQ: Asolo (Vento)
Twist: Rolls saddle

Most bicycle riders will understand what its like to locate themselves halfway across a very long ride with a tender buttocks, also there;s not actually a much better example of how significant a part the bicycle is.  But with it being largely concealed by a backside, it is also the part least on display.

Happily, that has not stopped companies like Selle San Marco (selle signifies saddles) from bettering the saddle into a bit of artwork to outshine the majority of its finishing-kit competitions.

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San Marco’s Rolls, developed from the early Eighties, is the best illustration of this. It was offered in many different colors, but it was certainly the mottled black leather variant, rimmed with a golden ring and railings and ended off with an diamond shaped Rolls emblem, which was the star.

And there are other people. A lot people will recognise that the riveted Regal, or even the daring rear logo of this first Concor, each of which, such as the Rolls, are still available to purchase new now.


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Mads Pedersen in the 2020 Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne (Photo by Tim p Waele/Getty Pictures )

Formed: 1965
HQ: Lallio (Lombardy)
Twist: The rainbow rings

If you are a part of a cycling club, then you might already have some Santini kit, possibly unwittingly — maybe not everyone would always be aware that the new longstanding’SMS’ emblem stands for Santini Maglificio Sportivo. Making club apparel to order is an integral component this modestly sized, family-run company’s remit.

Considerably more alluring however, is the simple fact that Santini continues to be quietly accountable for generating a lot of cycling’s most famous jerseys within the last couple of decades. Its emblem is the one you’ll have observed on the vast majority of all Giro d’Italia leaders’ jerseys within the past 30 decades, in addition to about the rainbow rings of several world champions throughout that exact same period — though in the event that you assess Mads Pedersen’s Worlds jersey from this past year, you are going to see the new logo is a less coy’Santini’. Additionally, it sponsors Trek-Segafredo and functioned together with Lizzie Deignan on the’Lizzie x Santini’ apparel array.

Founded in 1965 from Pietro Santini and run by brothers Monica and Paola, the provider can be found in Lombardy, nestled up against the foothills of the Alps just outside Bergamo.


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Ineos in the 2020 Tour of Colombia (Photo from Maximiliano Blanco/Getty Pictures )

Formed: 1953
HQ: Treviso (Veneto)
Twist: Dogma

In 1951 Giovanni Pinarello, a helpful bicycle racer, rode into Milan on the last stage of the Giro d’Italia clad at the maglia nera (black jersey) of final rider in the race — a stance he’d fought to continue to for the recognition that it would attract.  For contemporary lovers accustomed to seeing Pinarellos being staged victorious into Paris under different members of Team Sky, Giovanni’s black jersey narrative seems somewhat at odds with where the firm he set finds itself now. That is not likely to have bothered Giovanni, who passed away 2014 having lived to see equally Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome win the Tour de France on his bicycles.

Obviously, he could have enjoyed watching Miguel Indurain win the Giro d’Italia at the 1990s on one of his bicycles more.

The organization’s modern machines may be recognisable for their own wavy fork profiles and in house MOST finishing kit. However, the word on the lips of almost any enthusiast of Pinarello 0 or really Team Ineos — is Dogma. The British group was using these machines, also been winning Grand Tours on these, because 2011. In case you fancy owning the most recent version, the F12, #12,000 is exactly what you will want to beg your bank supervisor for.


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UAE Team Emirates’ bicycle in the 2019 Tour Down Under (Photo by Tim p Waele/Getty Pictures )

Formed: 1933
HQ: Vicenza (Veneto)
Twist: Superb Record groupset

For several decades, Campagnolo was viewed as componentry for its connoisseur, a gorgeous and artisan anecdote into Shimano’s clinical efficacy. “Campag wears , Shimano wears out” is your expression — except it is not anymore since the Italian gruppo has gotten much less used.

However, while’Campy’ no longer has the market share it used to, it’s still utilized at the WorldTour by UAE, Cofidis and Lotto-Soudal, and using a 12-speed digital disk groupset, it is current.

Lots of Campagnolo’s goods are works of art. Few could deny that the slick, polished and nearly delicate lines of a few of its groupset things are irresistible. There is a reason a nice illustration of its Delta brake can market to get a four-figure amount. Add to this a persuasive 1920s backstory between a youthful Tullio Campagnolo devising the quick-release after becoming stranded during a race, and then you’ve got an iconic brand that’s set to survive.

This feature originally appeared in the print version of Cycling Weekly, available in newsagents and supermarkets, priced #1. 25.


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