The 2002 season has only just ended with the triumphant victory of Michele Bartoli at the Tour of Lombardy and Cicli Pinarello is already thinking about the future.
Even though the transfer market is not yet closed and rumours are still filling the sport, Fausto Pinarello the managing director of Cicli Pinarello has already confirmed all the company¹s sponsorship agreements for 2003.
The sponsorship of the three major professional teams has naturally been confirmed. German team Telekom have signed Giro d¹Italia winner Paolo Savoldelli and will also have fellow Italian Daniele Nardello and Australian Cadel Evans who also excited everybody in the mountains at the Giro.
Spanish team Ibanesto.com will yet again be very competitive after signing the talented Russian Evgeni Petrov.
The Italian Fassa Bortolo team has still to reveal its complete 2003 line-up (it will do so in the next few days) but they are expected to present one of the new stars of the sport, who will take on Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France.
As well as these three top class teams, Pinarello will also sponsor EDS-Fakta. The successful Danish team will use OPERA bikes, choosing either the Giorgione, Leonardo and Palladio models depending on the type of races. Pinarello will also sponsor two division 2 teams: Itera of Russia and Prime Alliance in the USA.
All the teams sponsored by Pinarello will be supplied with the 2003 Prince SL model with the S-shaped front and rear Onda forks. Some riders will also be given the Dogma frame made from magnesium, which was presented for the first time at the Milan bike show in September.
"We¹re the only builder to have four professional teams, three with Pinarello bikes and one with Opera," Fausto Pinarello the heart and soul of the Italian company founded in 1952 by his father Giovanni ŒNani¹ Pinarello, said.
"It¹s a major responsibility, not only economically but also in terms of the continued maintenance and checks which will be carried out on the team bikes during the season. We happy to accept the extra work because it is the only way we can test new products before putting them on the market. Pinarello has been sponsoring riders since 1957 and we believe it is the best way to promote the qualities of our bikes to the public."
The history and success of Cicli Pinarello have always been linked to the results of the teams they sponsor in professional cycling on an international scale.
Like every year, 2002 saw Pinarello¹s riders and teams win numerous races. The most important were: Two world cup wins (The Amstel Gold race and the Tour of Lombardy) with Michele Bartoli (Fassa Bortolo); 12 days in the race leader¹s pink jersey at the Giro d¹Italia with Jens Heppner (Telekom); a stage at the Tour de France with Erik Zabel (Telekom) and the white jersey for best young rider with Ivan Basso (Fassa Bortolo); five stages at the Vuelta Espana (four byibanesto.com and one with Fassa Bortolo); the German national road race title with Danilo Hondo (Telekom) Four medals at the road world championships in Zolder: two golds with Chicchi (Italy) in the Under 23 RR and with Ignatiev (Russia) in the men¹s Junior TT, and two silvers with Tatiana Guderzo in the Junior women¹s TT and Nicole Brandli (Switzerland) in the women¹s TT.
Other results include the Tour of the Mediterranean (Michele Bartoli Fassa Bortolo), Paris-Nice (Alexander Vinokourov Team Telekom), the Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi e Bartali (Francesco Casagrande Fassa Bortolo), the Settimana Catalana (Juan Miguel Mercado Ibanesto), the Giro dell’Emilia (Michele Bartoli Fassa Bortolo), the Giro del Trentino (Francesco Casagrande Fassa Bortolo.