Cannondale “Battaglia Italiana” and the 2005 Giro d’Italia
Yesterday as part of my “Favourite bikes of the PRO peleton” feature the Cannondale “Battaglia Italiana” bike for LAMPRE came up from numerous sources including Paul from C3 Products and Mike Cotty who actually had his own Battaglia bike, BEAUTIFUL. So just after the post I contacted the guy who I’m most jealous of out of everyone I know Rory Masini of Cannondale and LIQUIGAS fame and asked about the origins of the bike and its place in the interesting battle during the 2005 Giro between Simoni and Cunego. Rory very kindly got straight back to me with all the following information including the original press document which I’ve reproduced below.
If you are interested in Italian cycling and Cannondale’s relationship to Liquigas and other PRO Teams check out Rory’s blog at www.rorymasini.blogspot.com he is one of cycling’s great characters.
Cannondale Celebrates Two Champions During the Giro d’Italia
Coppi-Bartali, Hinault-LeMond, Roche-Visentini… Simoni-Cunego! Once again, the cycling world has a rivalry between two champions on the same team that captures the fascination of the tifosi and press. Emotions run high as these battles play out on the roads of Europe. And it will be on the road where ultimate glory will be decided.
2004 saw Damiano Cunego catapult to the top of the cycling world as he sprinted and climbed to overall victory in the Giro d’Italia, leaving his designated captain for the race, Gilberto Simoni, biding his time for another chance at Giro victory.
This year, Cannondale suggests a slightly American way to settle the dispute… take it to the boxing ring! Much like Muhammad Ali’s greatest fights “The Thrilla in Manilla” and “The Rumble in the Jungle”, we see this clash as being 20 rounds (plus prologue!) of pure boxing excitement… the “Battaglia Italiana”.
Cannondale celebrates this often-reported (and much exaggerated) subject with a very-limited edition “Battaglia Italiana” bicycle and commemorative uniform. Twenty Six13 bicycles (one for each stage of the 2005 Giro) will be hand built at Cannondale’s Bedford, Pennsylvania factory, airbrushed individually, signed and numbered and then equipped with the finest selection of components around to please the most discriminating of collectors and enthusiasts.
In conjunction with this bicycle, Cannondale has received special exception from official team clothing sponsor Kappa to offer a commemorative team uniform which will be sold through Cannondale retailers worldwide and also worn during rest days of the Giro.
Many people are asking us or wondering ‘what’s Cannondale planning to do at the Giro,’ remembering some of our many past exploits and expecting more. With Mario Cipollini announcing his retirement just prior to this year’s Giro d’Italia, we’d like to remember some of the great opportunities that his magnanimous personality allowed Cannondale to express itself. The ‘Peace Jersey’, ‘Muscle Suit’, and ‘Caesar Cipo’, are just some examples of our collaboration. Cannondale in a way brought some color to this sport we all love. Let’s remember it was Cipo who first matched his entire uniform and bike to the pink and yellow leader jerseys of the Giro and Tour de France, with a little help from his bike and clothing sponsor, Cannondale!
New UCI ProTour rules prohibit teams from changing uniforms for even a single stage with the penalty being team expulsion! So you are not likely to see Gilberto Simoni, Damiano Cunego, or the Lampre-Caffita Team wearing our “Battaglia Italiana” jersey during live TV coverage. That’s ok. We’re sure you’ll love it. Check it out at Cannondale.com or at your local Cannondale retailer during the latter stages of the Giro.