SAECO one of my favorite cycling teams
Saeco was the name of an Italian road bicycle racing team, sponsored by the company with the same name. The company didn’t prolong the sponsorship for 2005, and the team was merged with the Lampre team, forming Lampre-Caffita, sponsored by Caffita.
In the 1990’s the team was famous for Mario Cipollini‘s sprint train and his antics. One of their most memorable moments was Cipollini’s 4 consecutive stage wins in the 1999 Tour de France. The image of Mario Cipollini approaching the TV camera right after a win to say, “Cannondale makes the best bikes!” propelled Cannondale’s popularity among road racers.
The Saeco team won the Giro d’Italia in 1997 with Ivan Gotti, in 2003 with Gilberto Simoni, and in 2004 with Damiano Cunego. Saeco also won the Volta a Portugal in 1996 with Massimiliano Lelli. Saeco’s Stefano Zanini won the US Pro Championship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA in 2003.
Saeco team through the years
- Saeco-AS Juvenes San Marino, 1996
- Saeco, 1997
- Saeco Macchine per Caffé, 1998
- Saeco Macchine per Caffé-Cannondale, 1999
- Saeco Macchine per Caffé-Valli & Valli, 2000
- Saeco Macchine per Caffé, 2001
- Saeco Macchine per Caffé-Longoni Sport, 2002
- Saeco Macchine per Caffé, 2003
- Saeco Macchine per Caffé, 2004
The Saeco team is known for their pranks and antics. Cipollini’s antics are legendary, including showing up to the stage start at the Tour de France dressed in a Julius Caesar-inspired toga complete with an olive wreath, riding on a carriage pulled by his teammates on bicycles. More recently, the entire Saeco team raced a stage of the 2003 Tour de France wearing a Legalize my Cannondale chaingang cycling kit to protest the UCI’s lower bound on bike weight which means that their six13 prototype team bikes were underweight and required the installation of additional weight.