Giovanni Pinarello, or “Nani” as his friends call him, was born in Catena di Villorba on the 10th July, 1922 during a difficult post-war period in Italy. He was the eighth of twelve children. It is with him, that the cycling story of Pinarello history begins.
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 on white roads, difficult, very difficult terrain. But the young Nani immediately attracted attention, winning over 60 races and the tender age of 20 won “la Popolarissima” in Treviso, an important race in the Dilettanti circuit ( a level of racing which opens doors to being a Professional).
From 1946 Giovanni makes his mark in the world of cycling. 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 means a moment of celebration, including a lap of honor with the winners in Vigorelli velodrome. Giovanni did just that on the 10th June, 1951 carrying this triumph to Milan between Magni and Bobet.
That jersey went on to tag Giovanni forever “the one with the Maglia Nera”. Gino Bartali, a very good friend of Giovanni’s, noted a dedication, which is still visible today in the store in Treviso “The Black Jersey of Cycling … but the Pink Jersey of Life.”
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, who had just been fired from the Fausto Coppi’s Team Bianchi.
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 this 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.
Thus begins Giovanni’s dream, building 100% handmade bikes in a workshop close to home. Giovanni worked hard, harder than he had ever before, but he had so many good ideas. Slowly in 1961 Pinarello sponsors its first ride and its first victory at the Tour de l’Avenir thanks to Guido de Rosso.
The Pinarello brand begins to carve out its own space ahead of the bigger names of its time…small sponsorships, small goals, slowly the plant grows.
In 1975, Pinarello enjoys its first Giro d’Italia victory, opening a decade of great satisfaction. Cicli Pinarello begins to enjoy widespread popularity and the 80’s become a period of great satisfaction for the small factory in Treviso.
In 1988, his young son Fausto enters the business and alongside came the first Tour de France victory with Pedro Delgado. Pinarello begins to change, it is no longer a small workshop, and things start to get serious. The 90’s open the door to a decade which will mark the fate of this Treviso born brand. Giovanni slowly leaves his position open to Fausto who shall continue his dream.
Fausto Pinarello (also known as ‘FP’), son of Giovanni begins working in his father’s factory at the tender age of 17. As they say here in Treviso, he began to immediately breathe “Pane e Copertoni” (Bread and Tires). Fausto is initially placed in the most difficult step of the production chain, the painting division. It is most likely here he developed the passion for ‘beauty’ in each and every one of his bikes.
In the early years, Fausto lives in the shadow of his father learning the secrets of the trade by watching and learning and at the same time developing entrepreneurial skills, insights into decision making processes and managing the business as a whole.
At 20, Fausto reaches maturity: Giovanni sees his growth and begins to delegate some of his responsibilities in running the business. We are now in the mid 80’s and the Pinarello brand enjoys great popularity in Italy. The story of the Pinarello History is starting to come together. But Pinarello is one of several Italian bike brands and thousands globally; the challenge for Fausto has just begun. Fausto has a strong and decisive character, one of which can be seen expressed in his business decisions which are aimed for the future. Fausto begins to develop alliances with Teams who seem to be only of ‘second grade’ but over time, become extremely successful, producing champions who take the Pinarello brand to great heights.
In 1990 Pinarello enters years of total domination in the cycling world. After Banesto, arrives yet another new intuition, Fausto decides to invest in a German team who are failing to find a sponsor. In less than a year, this small team becomes an unbeatable giant that will dominate the cycling scene in the 90’s: Team Telekom.
Yet another intuition at the end of the 90’s, Fassa Bortolo enters the world of cycling with Fausto taking the opportunity to join forces. The result is more victories, in all disciplines, with FASSA team dominating the scene for the next 5 years. This period coincides with one of the largest technical innovations Fausto has ever introduced : MAGNEIUSM… And with Magnesium is born the DOGMA, the TOP END BIKE for Pinarello whose name from here on becomes the reference point for absolute HIGH END ROAD BIKE’s in the market.
In the years to follow, the Pinarello factory in Treviso begins to churn out successful models every two years, this marking a decisive growth in the Treviso bike manufacturer’s status in the sector.
2000: A turning point in Pinarello’s growth as Pinarello launches the PRINCE Carbon, a model which immediately acclaims the ‘Best Bike in the World’ title. Then after 2 years, yet another turning point: the world’s first every asymmetrical bike, the DOGMA 60.1, with the global market going crazy over this latest stroke of genius.
In 2009, now on his umpteenth intuition, Fausto joins forces with the small newborn Team Sky, who wil soon dominate the cycling world.
2010: Pinarello and Team SKY, a success story.
In 2012 Sir Bradley Wiggins wins the Tour de France, followed by Chris Froome in 2013, the victory number 10 for Pinarello. The season ends the best way in October with the Men’s road cycling World Champion title.
At the end of 2014, Pinarello presents the Dogma F8, a road bike that will set new standards on the road bike market. Developed with the support of Team Sky for the performance and handling and with Jaguar for the aerodynamics, the New Dogma F8 remains as a key model in Pinarello’s history and growth worldwide.
In 2015: Hour World Record Bradley Wiggins in London and Chris Froome’s eleventh Tour de France confirms that the Dogma F8 is designed for win.
2016: The story goes on with another Tour de France for Chris Froome and Team Sky. During the Olympic Games in Rio, Elia Viviani wins the gold medal at the Omnium Track Cycling race. The Dogma F8, winner of the London Design Award and Best Bike of the World, is the absolute benchmark in the high end road bike market.
2017: 13th Tour de France and a new generation of Dogma – The New Dogma F10 is an absolute success and starts winning since the very beginning of the season: Milano San Remo, Strade Bianche, Paris Nice. And on July 23rd Chris Froome gets in yellow on the Champs Elysées, offering to Fausto Pinarello its thirteenth Tour de France, making history again. Still in July, Pinarello presents a full new range of cutting edge products: Dogma F10 X-Light, Dogma F10 Disk, Dogma K10 and Dogma K10S Disk, the first road bike with a smart suspension system.
Fausto Pinarello never slows down, and works every day with the same goal, creating the most performant bicycles in the world. As the saying goes, life is like a bike race: Who’s there is there, who’s not, goes on chasing.