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From Last to First - Pinarello

13 January 2015

A lot of you might be familiar with the brand, you’ve probably all seen photos of Sir Brad and the other Team Sky pros atop a Dogma or a Bolide, but for those who aren’t so familiar, here’s a bit of background.

Sir Brad looking dodgy in velour, and a stuck on head, with his Dogma 60.1. © Sky

Whilst the companies modern image is shrouded in success, with riders like Cipollini, Petachi, Ullrich and more recently Wiggins and Froome claiming famous victories with a Pinarello between their legs, the companies story begins with a last place finish and a it’s founder being booted out of a successful team.

That founder was Giovanni “Nani” Pinarello, a solid but unspectacular professional cyclist from Treviso. After turning pro in 1947, Nani picked up the odd win here and there, but his most memorable achievement was claiming the Maglia Nera, or black jersey, in the 1951 Giro d’Italia. This was a prize awarded to the rider in last position at the end of the race and held with it a bizarre type of prestige that could only exist in those days before colour TV and microwaves. In fact there are stories of riders deflating their own tyres to lose time and even stopping off for a beer en route, not something I can imagine Sir Brailsford condoning any time soon.

Nani Pinarello sporting his Maglia Nera after the ’51 Giro. ©

This last place finish meant Nani was the first choice for the axe the following year, when his Bottechia team decided they wanted to make room for a cast off from the great Fausto Coppi’s Bianchi team. Nani was compensated for his last minute dropping with 100,000 Lire, about £50 in today’s money. This money was the initial investment to start the Pinarello bicycle manufacturing company, making hand built frames in a tiny Treviso workshop.

 As the years and then decades passed, the company grew steadily. They started sponsoring teams and riders in the 60’s, they won their first Giro d’Italia in 1975 and have amassed 2 Olympic gold medals, numerous other grand tours, as well as beating the hour record with Miguel Indurain. The company has rolled with the times, always at the forefront of cycling technology and has mastered the art of steel, aluminium and carbon bicycle frames.

Indurain’s stunning hour record bike. © Pinarello

 We currently have 15 of these beautiful Italian machines in stock, in a range of sizes and styles. They are the most sough after 'pre-owned' bike and hold their value the best out of all the brands. So go on, treat yourself!

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