Archive | January, 2011

Exclusive interview with Mr Ernesto Colnago

30 Jan
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A few days ago, I was offered an exclusive live interview via Skype with Mr Ernesto Colnago at Cambiago. Its amazing how modern technology can allow you to do such things. I have only recently started using Skype, but the though of being able to hold a conversation with someone and also have a Chrystal clear image at the same time is quite something.   I must say, I felt extremely honoured that one of the greatest men within the cycling world could spare the time for a chat. Also, I understand, Mr Colnago doesn’t offer many interviews. However, after graciously accepting the invitation, I did feel slightly nervous, especially when you are about to interview one of your all time heroes. I then set about putting a selection of questions together which covered a whole range of topics regarding Colnago.

Well, the morning arrived and I was about to go live with Mr Colnago. However, I am then informed that Mr Colnago’s grandson, Alessandro Colnago would also be joining us , together with Diego Colosio who his the world sales manager for Colnago. Wow, this most certainly was going to be quite a trio! Let the conversation begin! Please see the below questions,
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 Q, 2010 was a great year for Colnago and their teams. Also, with the release of the M10 and C59, what plans do you have for 2011 & 2012?

A, Our research and development department are constantly looking at frame technology and design. To be honest, its a little early to say what’s going to happen for 2012. We should know around June or July time.  

Q, Team Type 1 are now riding the new M10 – do you have any plans to roll out the M10 to any other professional teams?

A, Ok, Team Europcar will be riding the C59 and M10. Team CSF Inox will ride the C59. Team Type 1 will be on the M10. Team Landbouwkrediet  will ride the M10 and the Japanese team will ride the C59.

Q, The C59 has been an incredible success around the world for Colnago. Are you working night and day at Cambiago to keep up with demand?

A, At the moment, we have not only increased our working hours, we are also working a six day per week at Cambiago to keep up with demand. We are working extremely hard to get the frames out to our world-wide customers. Also, the team bike are made on the same production line as our customers bikes.      

Q, speaking of the C59 Italia, are the new team colours of Europcar going to be available to the customers?

A, Yes, the paint scheme will be available. Also, regarding the other limited edition colours, the Thomas Voeckler will be available until June/July 2011 and the King of the Mountain paint scheme has now finished. Of course, if we get a polka dot jersey this year then it could change!

Q, The M10 has really taken Colnago into the premiership league of monocoque frame design, how did the M10 come about?

A, The M10 was designed approximately two years ago. In fact, it was the same designer who also created the C59 Italia. With the M10 we wanted to create a frame which would be at home in a professional race and at the same time offer comfort and style. The M10 is a fast and comfortable frame which will appeal to many of our customers. Also, the M10 is painted within our factory at Cambiago.

Q, I noticed the new Colnago clothing collection at the London bike show. Its certainly in keeping with the Colnago ethos of quality and style. Was it designed in house at Cambiago?

A, Yes, also Alessandro had a great hand in designing the collection. We want to offer our customers a quality and stylish product. We are just in the process of looking at the range for 2012 which we may add a few other styles and colours.

Q, The Gran Fondo has been a great success in Italy and the USA, could you see a similar event take place within the UK?

A, Yes, why not. The Gran Fondo is a great way for us to keep in contact with our customers and for owners to get together for this unique event. They are always a special occasion!

Q, Mr Colnago, its quite amazing. You still travel world-wide and recently opened the teams presentation at Cambiago, do you ever relax?

A, I love my work. The only time I really relax is sitting on an aircraft reading a good book. I love reading autobiography’s of people who have come from humble beginnings and have achieved within their  life. My emphasis has always been about hard work. I would also like to say that we enjoy reading Colnago Con Brio, thank you.

Colnago Con Brio would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Mr Ernesto Colnago, Mr Alessandro Colnago and Mr Diego Colosio for their time. Grazie tante! 
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Colnago CSF Inox + Tour de Llangkawi 2011

28 Jan
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Team Type 1 – Proud to ride Colnago !

27 Jan

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Colnago bicycles hosted an exclusive, invitation only presentation at its Italian headquarters recently to announce its 2011 bicycle sponsorships, and Team Type 1 was honoured to be there!
Luminaries from Italy’s cycling world gathered just outside Milano to attend the unveiling of Colnago’s five sponsored cycling squads for 2011, with recent double-world champions Paolo Bettini and Gianni Bugno rubbing shoulders with past champions Giuseppe Saronni, three-time Giro d’Italia winner Fiorenzo Magni and former Italian national coach Alfredo Martini. Current Italian Cycling Federation president Renato Di Rocco sat next to 78-year old founder Ernesto Colnago at the head of the VIP table.

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Team Type 1 riders Rubens Bertogliati, the current Swiss national time trial champion,  and Daniele Callegarin, who transferred from Italian squad Centri della Calzatura where he won the GP Industria & Artigianato, sat next to Director Sportif Massimo Podenzana, himself a two-time Italian national champion, and Athletic Director Vassili Davidenko, who began his professional career in Italy, and speaks the language fluently.
“Italy is the center of the cycling universe, and Colnago is like the heart that beats to keep it spinning,” Davidenko said. 
Team Type 1 will ride the carbon fibre Colnago M10 and C59 road bikes in 2011, and use Flight Time Trial frames against the clock. The squad has stepped up to the Professional Continental level in 2011, expanding its roster of riders to include experienced European peloton veterans while focusing equally on its six professional cyclists with type 1 diabetes. 

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“The C59 is about 1 kilo stripped down, and it was in development for four years. It’s the top of the line in Italian craftsmanship, and represents the best set of tools we have to give to our riders to get them up the road and on to the podium,” said team manager Phil Southerland.
Team Type 1’s development squad, all U23 riders with type 1 diabetes, will ride the Colnago CX1, and the women’s squad will race on the Colnago CLX.
“Cycling is our people, our country. When in 1946 the cities were still bombed out and the road to Trieste was filled with rubble, the tifosi came out and picked the rocks out of the street so the riders could finish the stage. That’s how deep it is inside of us,” said Martini, who won the Giro dell’Appennino in 1947 and a stage in the Giro d’Italia in 1950, in remarks at the beginning of the presentation.

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Podenzana highlighted the mission of Team Type 1 in his short speech to the crowd.
“It’s a team, but unlike any other in the peloton . We have the opportunity to reach out to the community of people who suffer from diabetes, to show them it is possible to live a normal life by controlling and managing this condition. We want to race and bring this message of hope to people, so that they can be inspired and go on to achieve their own dreams,” Podenzana said.

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Below is a selection of photographs taken by Team Type 1.

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The legendary paintwork of Colnago.

26 Jan

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Speak to any owner or enthusiast about the Colnago paint finish and I’m sure they could wax lyrical for quite a period of time. The Colnago paint finish is legendary! From the beautiful art deco colours of the C40 & C50 to the striking Italian flag colours of the EPS and metallic flair of the C59 Italia. Not to mention the wonderful eye catching colours of the M10 which looked great at the London Bike Show. Colnago operate their own in house paint-shop at Cambiago, which insures 100 % hands on quality control. Each frame is inspected every step of the way during production to the final finishing coat of paint! You only have to look at the Colnago Paint shop video to understand the true detail to perfection! Except the head clubs crest , non of the coloured or log areas on the frame are decals or stickers, just pure paint.

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The paint process starts with masking tape and thread protectos to keep paint out of the parts of the frame where none is needed.Then, the sprayer applies a layer of special primer that helps the outer layers bond to the carbon fibre.When the primer has been dried in an oven at 50 Celsius, the painter applies laser-cut masking decals and then adds the first layer of paint. Several more masking steps and layers of paint go to build up the eventual colour scheme. Only when complete, the masking decals are all removed to reveal the final finished job. Then, the finishing touches of a clear layer of lacquer is applied to stop ultra-violet rays in sunlight from fading the paint and helps protect from damage.  

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First Victory for Team Europcar!

26 Jan
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Quick update – Yohann Gene notched up Team Europcar’s first victory today whilst riding his Colnago in the Tour of Gabon. Yohann was the quickest in the sprint to the finish line during stage two of this African tour. Well done Yohann, keep up the good work!

Anthony Charteau – So Close

25 Jan

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Just a quick update – Anthony Charteau took second place in the first stage of the Tropical Amissa Bongo. Charteau very nearly got the first victory for Team Europcar at the finish line today. However, it certainly goes to show Anthony is on fine form! Anthony was the winner of last years general Gabon.

The originality of Tropical Amissa Bongo, is to mix with pleasure some African amateur selections and professional European heavyweights. Like the Belgian squad Quicksteep for the 2011 edition. Besides Sylvain Chavanel’s squad, will participate in this sixth edition, with their best, teams the following teams: Europcar, Garmin-Cervelo Continental team (USA), le francaise des jeux, Centre Continental UCI and MTN Cylcing Team (South Africa) .

The first three teams mentioned participate each year in the Tour de France, a must of the sport. Africa will be represented by strong teams like Burkina Faso, Morocco, Kenya, Cameroon, Rwanda, Eritrea (emerging team) and Gabon. Just like what the French Grand Circle has done since the last twenty years, the Tropicale will for the first time, make an incursion into a neighboring country, Cameroon. Crossing River Ntem is worth the detour and may allow riders to excel in Cameroon in front of their fans. For Tropical 2011, going into the land of the Indomitable Lions, is certainly a way of sharing with others the pleasure of a high level competition and to internationalize the brand Amissa Bongo.

For European and American professional teams, the Gabonese race will allow to both rub shoulders with a cycling still kept out of major worldwide events and to prepare for major battles of spring and summer away from the rigors and cold that prevails on the Old Continent in the heart of January. Regarding the African teams, it’s obviously the perfect opportunity to compete for a few days against over-equipped and well-seasoned professionals. Of course, this limits if not prohibits any hope of success in the sport, but the great experience acquired is well worth the effort. During the first five editions, only the professional South African Ian McLeod (MTN Energade) managed to earn a place on the podium (2nd in 2010). We must remember that sports authorities of Gabon are considering, in the medium term, to transform this great international cycling race in a real Tour of Gabon.

This is a little taste from 2010

Team Europcar – Le Tour de Langkawi 2011

24 Jan

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Yukiya Arashiro of Team Europcar from Japan crashed heavily in the sprint to the line taking a fair bit of punishment to his face. We wish him a speedy recovery!
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Few other photographs from Team Europcar’s maiden voyage! 
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