The Black Jersey is back at Giro d’Italia Under 23, a tribute to Giovanni Pinarello.

For the second year, Pinarello will sponsor the Black Jersey of the Giro d’Italia Under 23 Enel, starting next June 7th.

For Giro lovers, the word “Maglia Nera” (“Black Jersey”) is connected to the 1951 Giro d’Italia and will be forever connected to Giovanni Pinarello. A “lucky” jersey, that 67 years after offers a unique occasion to remember and celebrate of of the most fascinating stories of Italian cycling.

Giovanni «Nani» Pinarello was born in Catena di Villorba the 10th of July, 1922. He was the eighth of twelve children. His love for two wheels and an innate gift as an indomitable fighter, led him to pursue a career in cycling. This is the ‘Eroico’ (Heroic) era in cycling:  Coppi, Bartali, Bobet were the champions at that time.

But it is in 1951 that Nani has his personal date with destiny: racing in the 34thGiro d’Italia, which is won by Rosa Fiorenzo Magni and the great Louis Bobet winning the mountain classification. In last place comes Giovanni, but in those years last place was not a disgrace, instead, the last rider wore the Maglia Nera (Black Jersey). Giovanni loved to tell the stories of the strategies he carried out in order to take this ranking. There have been known cases of cyclists purposely flattening their own tires, hiding in barns or bars in the aim to lose time in order to arrive last in a stage…this was definitely another era of cycling. Arriving last also meant a moment of celebration, including a lap of honor with the winners in Vigorelli velodrome. Giovanni did it on June 10th, 1951 celebrating this triumph to Milan between Magni and Bobet.

In 1952, Giovanni prepares to ride the Giro d’ Italia gain, but at the very last moment, he is required to give his spot to the young Pasqualino Fornara. Giovanni is disappointed, but his team offers 100,000 pounds to set aside, a considerable sum of money for those times. This money is used to bear the fruit of what shall be the crown of his dreams: opening a small bike workshop in order to build his own bicycles. We are now in 1953 in Treviso and Cicli Pinarello is born.

My father always spoke about this “Black Jersey” with pride, telling me beautiful stories. Being the “Maglia Nera” was not a shame: in cycling nobody is the last one, there’s only the winner and the riders that get after him, our sport is unique for its values of humanity and sharing. This is why I’m very proud to bring back a jersey that represents some of the core values of cycling and I’m sure that those who will wear it will never feel like being the last. Gino Bartali, a great friend wrote to my father a dedication that is still visible in our Treviso store which says: "Black Jersey in cycling…but Pink Jersey in life".”
Fausto Pinarello

Today, with Fausto in charge, Pinarello is present all over the World and represents the absolute excellence in the cycling market. High end road bikes, still engineered and mounted in Treviso and capable to satisfy the most demanding customers and also the greatest champions Pinarello is Team SKY’s partner and owns the record of Tour de France won, thirteen in total. With Fausto, Giovanni’s dream goes on.