Pink Jersey The English Voice of Italian Cycling™ Sun, 14 Aug 2016 13:55:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 05/01 – Taking Rest Days to Plan #ItalianBicycleShow e #SuperCorsaVail Tue, 03 May 2016 11:20:49 +0000 via (May 1, 2016) – Since our soft-launch on December 17, 2014, we have been reblogging daily Italian cycling news from around the globe. While we have gained a loyal following including Ale-Cipollini, Ambrosio, Bianchi, Biemme, Carrera, Colavita-Bianchi, Diadora, Effetto-Mariposa, GF Paolo Bettini, Limar, Dalia Muccioli, Pella, Valentina Scandolara, Scicon, Silca USA, Sportful, Vincenzo Nibali and Vittoria, for example, as well as all the Italian cycling passionates, this has become a four-hour daily proposition, on average.

As painful as it is, particularly at the start of the world’s most beautiful bicycle race, the Giro d’Italia, we must dedicate some time to planning our Italian Bicycle Show and SuperCorsa Vail events for August 2016. We are only taking a handful of rest days, so once completed will be back online with daily news feeds on Italian cycling news from around the globe. We hope you have enjoyed the coverage thus far, including all the exemplary photography via our friends at CyclingNews, Peloton and Rouleur to name a few, The English Voice of Italian Cycling™ is retuning soon. Forza Italia!

04/30 – GIRO -6: History of the Maglia Rosa Mon, 02 May 2016 01:25:47 +0000 via (April 30, 2016) – The Tour de France introduced the leader’s jersey concept in 1919, with the yellow colour being chosen on account of it being the colour of the paper its organising newspaper, L’Auto, was printed on. But it wasn’t until 1931 – 22 years after the Giro’s inaugural running – that the Giro followed suit, and the leader of the race overall began to sport a pink jersey, the ‘Maglia Rosa’, in which to be identified. The colour reasoning was much the same though, as the race’s founder and chief organiser, La Gazetta Dello Sport, was printed on pink paper.

Francesco Camusso was the winner of the 1931 Giro, and goes down in history as the first winner of the Maglia Rosa. Despite victories in 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1933, which equals the record 5 Giro d’Italia wins, Alfredo Binda can only count one Maglia Rosa to his name, as it was only his lattermost victory that came after the 1931 inception. Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx, who dominated the race with five victories each between 1940 and 1974, equalled Binda’s record, but technically have more pink jerseys to their name. MORE

04/30 – Mareczko Outspints Modolo to Win Turkey Final Stage 8 Mon, 02 May 2016 01:25:44 +0000 via (April 30, 2016) – Jakub Mareczko (Southeast – Venezuela) won the eighth and final stage of the Tour of Turkey today, after outsprinting Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida) and Francisco Chamorro (Funic Soul Cycles – Carrefour), in a final dash to the line. Meanwhile, José Gonçalves (Caja Rural-RGA) finished comfortably in the peloton to claim the overall title.

“It is a great satisfaction to win a second stage in the Tour of Turkey, especially as it wasn’t a flat stage. The big challenge for me today, setting out this morning, was to resist in the climb. My team mates helped me not to get dropped, and I managed to be there at the finish for the sprint. The first climbs were crucial. The breakaway went, which was good for us, and then on the longest climb, at the beginning, we decided to ride at the front as a team so I could stay in the first positions and not get dropped. That’s what we did in all the climbs, including the last one, close to the finish.

“What I did today gives me good hope for my future, because I’m a good sprinter but I have to improve my climbing so that I can be there for the sprint. In the closing section I followed my team mates Zhupa, Bertazzo and Belletti, who led me out into the final 300m. Then I took Modolo’s wheel and I managed to get past him. That’s how I won it. My conclusion of the TUR is positive. This has been excellent preparation for the Dutch stages of the Giro d’italia, and we’ll see if I can get a good placing in one of the first few stages”, Mareczko said. MORE


04/30 – Velominati Guest Article on GIRO: Prim and Proper Mon, 02 May 2016 01:25:40 +0000 via (April 30, 2016) – The 2016 Giro d’Italia looms and everyone with a pulse is excited, or should be. The Italian Grand Tour has always been more innovative, ready to shake it up, and we love them for it. And yes, some ideas work out better than others; time bonuses for every stage, including time trials, fuggetaboutit. Wiscot has been doing his usual excellent homework so enjoy and get ready for the Giro.

A while ago I penned a profile of Norwegian rider Knut Knudsen who rode for Bianchi between 1974 and 1981. Just as his career was winding down after his oh-so-close-but-no-cigar attempt to win the 1979 Giro d’Italia, he was joined on the team by a massively talented young Swede called Tommy Prim. After outstanding performances in 1978 and 1979 in the highly rated Italian stage race Settimana Bergamasca, at the end of 1979 Prim turned professional with the Italian Bianchi-Piaggio squad. It was not a hard choice: Norwegian rider Knut Knudsen and fellow Swede Alf Segersäll were in the team already. The team manager would be the experienced Giancarlo Ferretti. Good things were on the cards.

Like his Scandinavian teammate Knudsen, Prim would also come agonizingly close to winning a Grand Tour but fall short, not because of physical misfortune, but of the curse of being not from Italy. The situation for Bianchi in 1981 was rather like the philosophical paradox involving Buridan’s ass. This involves said animal being placed between a bale of hay and a bucket of water. The rationale is that the ass will chose whichever is closer. The result, however, is that the ass can’t decide which to go to – the water or the hay – and subsequently dies of hunger. Such was the scenario for Bianchi in 1981. On the team were the Swede Prim and Italians Silvano Contini and Gibi Baronchelli. Neither Prim, Contini or Baronchelli can be considered asses, in fact they metaphorically represented hay and water. The ass was Ferretti who couldn’t decide on which rider to go with as leader and so squandered his chances to win. Another ass was race director Vincenzo Torriani who, in a move designed to slant the race Giuseppe Saronni’s way, introduced of a series of time bonuses for each stage. First place earned a 30 seconds bonus, 20 seconds for 2nd and 10 seconds for third. Even the three time trials carried bonus seconds! This would dramatically affect the result more than he could have anticipated.

In addition to the expected Moser-Saronni rivalry, other Italians ready to go for pink were Roberto Visentini of Sammontana-Benotto, as well as the Bianchi trio of Prim, Contini and Baronchelli. Also at the start line was Inoxpran’s Giovanni Battaglin. No-one rated his chances as he had just won the Vuelta d’Espana and back in those days these two Grand Tours basically butted up against each other. Battaglin started the Giro on three days rest. What was not reckoned with was Battaglin’s smarts and realization that it was very much a case of playing the long game and seeking consistently good stage placings ― and taking advantage of rivalries. For example, by stage 6, Saronni had three wins and 90 seconds of bonuses that gave him the maglia rosa by 24 seconds from Moser.

By stage 18, with just three stages to go, the opportunity to win overall looked good for Bianchi with three riders in the top five. A clean sweep of the podium was not beyond hope. Contini held pink, followed by Prim at 59 seconds, Battaglin at 1:35, Saronni at 1:42 and Baronchelli at 1:59. It was that close. However, stage 19 saw Battaglin make his decisive move on a 208 kilometer mountain ride to San Vigilio di Marebbe that tackled the Palade and Furcia climbs. The Inoxpran rider won the stage by 10 seconds from Saronni with Prim tied for third with Josef Fuchs 11 seconds behind the winner. The bonus gave Battaglin an additional 30 seconds on top of the time gaps with Baronchelli and Contini both losing 1:02 on the day. Contini now led Battaglin by only 3 seconds with Prim a further 5 seconds back. Just as the Vuelta winner should have been on his knees after almost six weeks of racing, he was getting stronger and Ferretti was looking more and more like Buridan’s ass.

Battaglin then turned the screws tighter on the mountainous stage 20 to Tre Cime di Lavaredo, knowing that with a sprint stage and a short time trial to come, he needed to gain as much time as he could when he could. He finished third behind ace climber Beat Breu and veteran Josef Fuchs, gaining another ten bonus seconds to put him in pink, Prim and Contini finished 35 seconds and 1:37 behind respectively. The sprint stage was won by Pierino Gavazzi and didn’t affect the general classification. Prim rode his heart out to finish second behind teammate Knudsen in the final time trial but the Inoxpran rider finished third for ten more bonus seconds giving him a total of 60 seconds in bonuses for the whole race. Contini and Baronchelli were well outside the top 10 on the last day.

When Battaglin pulled on the final maglia rosa in Verona, he was the winner by 38 seconds from Prim. On actual time, Prim had won, but Battaglin had won more bonuses because of one stage win and three 3rd places. Prim had one 2nd place. Saronni was third at 50 seconds – a result more than aided by the 2:10 in bonuses he accumulated. Calculating time bonuses overall Battaglin had picked up 60 seconds, fifty of those in three of the last four stages; Prim had accrued 20. Bonus difference? 40 seconds to the Italian. The rules had been established on stage one and Inoxpran played them to maximum advantage.

The feeling that Prim coulda, woulda, shoulda won is hard to shake. His second place was no flash-in-the pan. It did show however, a lack of tactical nous by Ferretti who should have played his cards better. Designating a single team leader and watching who got top three placings would have helped the Bianchi cause. Instead, Battaglin and his DS Davide Boifava played the field like a fiddle – aided of course, by Battaglin’s remarkable form and tactical smarts in timing his efforts to perfection.

In 1982 Prim finished second in the Giro again, this time beaten by the majestic Bernard Hinault by 2:35. Again, Bianchi went with two captains and Prim and Contini finished 2nd and 3rd twelve seconds apart. In 1983 he was the designated leader for Bianchi and took the maglia rosa after the first stage team time trial. Alas it did not last and poor form in the mountains saw him finish 15th. In 1984 Prim was on form, winning Tirreno–Adriatico stage race but he crashed right before the Giro. 1985 saw Moreno Argentin brought onto the Sammontana-Bianchi squad and the Swede finished fourth behind such greats as Bernard Hinault, Francesco Moser and Greg LeMond. 1986 was the beginning of the end as his 21st place in the Giro saw his team withdraw from the Tour of Sweden which they – and he – had always ridden since its reintroduction in 1982. So disgusted by this, Prim announced his retirement. He was 31.

After his retirement, Prim held various jobs: he opened a bike shop in Sweden, worked for a mail order firm, a saw mill and then a salmon smokery. From 2000 – 2004 he was team manager at Team Crescent, a Swedish pro squad designed to develop Swedish under 23 riders, but he will be remembered as a rider who was not just good but great but also unlucky. It pays dividends to not just play by the rules but truly understand them and it’s not always the strongest who wins, but the smartest.


04/30 – Nizzolo Headlines Segafredo for GIRO, Alafaci e Coledan Support Mon, 02 May 2016 01:25:36 +0000 via (April 30, 2016) – The 99th edition of the Giro d’Italia kicks off in Apeldoorn, Netherlands on May 6th and Trek-Segafredo has organized a strong nine-man squad that will vie for top results in the season’s first grand tour. Last year’s points jersey winner Giacomo Nizzolo, 2012 Giro champion Ryder Hesjedal and Fabian Cancellara will headline the nine-man team.

They will be joined by Boy Van Poppel, Eugenio Alafaci, Marco Coledan, Jack Bobridge – all strong rouleurs who will work for the sprints and in the flatter parts of stages – and climbers Laurent Didier and Riccardo Zoidl, who will offer supporting roles in the climbs. [ed.]

Team director Adriano Baffi said this about the line-up for Giro: “We are coming to the Giro with big goals, but goals that we believe we have a very good chance of achieving. Our early target is to go for a stage victory with Fabian and Giacomo. Giacomo deserves a victory, he has been second enough times, and Fabian will try and win the first stage prologue and the dream to take home his first ever maglia rosa.

“We have opportunities in the stage nine time trial with Fabian and also Jack (Bobridge), the numerous sprint stages, and will fight to win the points jersey again. Of course, Ryder is aiming for the overall, and we strongly believe he can attain a top five and perhaps the podium if all goes well. We have a very strong team assembled and it will be a very exciting three weeks for us.”

Trek-Segafredo for 2016 Giro d’Italia:

Fabian Cancellara (SUI), Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA), Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Riccardo Zoidl (AUT), Jack Bobridge (AUS), Boy Van Poppel (NED), Eugenio Alafaci (ITA), Marco Coledan (ITA), and Laurent Didier (LUX)

04/30 – Modolo Laments Lack of Investment in Trenitalia Mon, 02 May 2016 01:24:53 +0000 via (April 30, 2016) – After winning a second stage at the Presidential Tour of Turkey in Marmaris, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) warned that his confidence is huge ahead of the Giro d’Italia but also lamented the lack of investment in trains for himself and the other Italian sprinters.

“It’s been six years since I first came to Turkey to finalize my preparation for the Giro d’Italia and I’ve come back every year,” Modolo recalled on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean sea. “There have been a few doubts over our participation this time. There were some changes in the organization but I haven’t seen the difference really. I’ve maybe felt a bit more stress because of the wind on stage 3 and stage 2 was a difficult one whereas in the past, the beginning of the race was more relaxed. But it’s a very nice Tour.

“Last year, Roberto Ferrari, Max Richeze and myself were strong at the Giro after racing in Turkey,” Modolo continued. “I guess it’ll be the same again. My only reservation is that I would have enjoyed a bit more time at home than just one day before going to the Giro. It’s quite a lot of travelling these days: coming to Turkey, flying from Istanbul to Cappadocia, flying to Istanbul and back to Italy after the race, flying to Holland for the start of the Giro, flying to the south of Italy to continue the Giro… But that’s part of the job. At least after the Giro I’ll take a good rest.” MORE

04/30 – Cyclist First Looks De Rosa SK Pininfarina Mon, 02 May 2016 01:24:50 +0000 via (April 30, 2016) – Despite its rich heritage, De Rosa sometimes gets overshadowed by the marketing machines of its more mainstream rivals. Yet founder Ugo De Rosa built more bikes for champions than most of them have had hot dinners, and its SK aero road bike suggests the Italian frame virtuoso is not resting on its laurels.

It’s a striking offering and, as commercial manager (and Ugo’s son) Cristiano De Rosa explains, it addresses the key issues of weight and stiffness in an aero frame. ‘It has undergone a new process called “inner-mould tooling”, where 3D printing and a revised resin formula combine to neaten the chassis’ internal and external surfaces, reducing waste and increasing frame integrity,’ he says. MORE

04/30 – Icons of Cycling: Ambrosio Nemesis Rims Mon, 02 May 2016 01:24:47 +0000 via (Apirl 30, 2016) – While composites technology made wheels lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic, it took a long time before teams dared to use them for Paris-Roubaix and even longer before somebody actually won the ‘Hell of the North’ on them. This legendary race, which is older than the Tour de France, had always demanded legendary wheels. The Ambrosio Nemesis was the epic final chapter in the story of wheels specifically designed and handbuilt for the cobbled Classics.

The hard-anodised aluminium box section rim with tied and soldered spokes used to be as much part of Paris-Roubaix as cobbles, suffering and crashes. Just as featherweight Grand Tour GC contenders have in the past had their hearts broken by the jagged pavé of the Arenberg Forest and Carrefour de l’Arbre, the repeated impacts of Roubaix have traditionally destroyed standard road racing equipment. The Ambrosio Nemesis was the sole survivor. MORE

04/30 – SiDi Releases Wire Carbon Katusha Team Limited Edition Shoe Mon, 02 May 2016 01:24:44 +0000 via (April 30, 2016) – Sidi Sport is pleased to introduce the new model Wire Carbon Katusha Team Limited Edition. This shoe is a faithful reproduction of the same model being worn by Alexander Kristoff, Purito Rodriguez, Ilnur Zakarin and their team mates in the 2016 season, and now it will be available to everyone at all the finest cycling shops starting in May.

The Sidi Wire shoe dedicated to Team Katusha is a masterpiece of technology and design, part of a wide collection of limited edition models throughout the years, which Sidi has dedicated to the best teams, to their great champions and their unforgettable victories. The Wire model is light and highly performing, so in 2016 it is sure to be the top model in the Sidi Sport collection for road cycling.

This new partnership, which decks out all the riders on Team Katusha with Sidi Sport shoes, is bringing immense satisfaction to the company from Maser; up to now the World Tour team has garnered 10 successes on roads the world over, from Europe to the Middle East. Now the team’s top riders will be called on to shine in the major tours of 2016, starting with the Giro d’Italia, which kicks off on May 6th from Holland, where Team Katusha will presumably be led by the Russian Ilnur Zakarin.

As always, this limited edition comes with special packaging. In fact, this model comes in a fancy box with fantastic graphics in the Katusha colors. But the surprises don’t stop there. Inside the box there is a custom shoe bag in the team colors, featuring the names of all the riders on the 2016 roster, plus a pair of Katusha Team socks and a picture of the team. The Sidi Wire Carbon Katusha Team Limited Edition is sure to become a collectors’ item for all enthusiasts and fans who love everything about cycling.

04/30 – Modolo Wins Another in Turkey, Italians Belletti e Zanotti Sweep Mon, 02 May 2016 01:23:17 +0000 via (April 30, 2016) – Having survived two late climbs, Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) profited from an excellent lead-out from teammate Roberto Ferrari to narrowly hold off Manuel Belletti (Southeast) in a reduced bunch sprint, with Marco Zanotti (Parkhotel) taking another third place in the 7th stage from Tour of Turkey.

Jose Goncalves finished safely in the bunch and so retained his 18-second lead over teammate David Arroyo. He faces a solid test on the final stage which is also the longest of the race at 201.7km. After a lumpy start, there’s a big category 1 climb after 35km of racing but from there it is predominantly downhill or flat until the riders get to the nasty sting in the tail. There’s a category 3 climb in the finale and the top is located just 10.9km from the finish, with a downhill run leading the line in Selcuk.