Fixed Gear Crit

Team Cinelli-Chrome: “we decided to go all Italian”

Last week, we posted on the likely team formation of team Cinelli-Chrome 2017. However, in order to get this formation confirmed we spoke to Cinelli to find out. We had a talk with Carlo Zumerle, responsible for communications within the Cinelli company, about the team, its history, and the 2017 formation and goals.

Text: Brian Megens

The combination of the brand Cinelli, an Italian bicycle company that honours their huge history in track cycling with 28 gold medals in Olympics and World Championships, together with world-class fixed gear crit riders, who together are responsible for multiple RHC crit and championship wins, turned out to give the team something special ever since Team Cinelli-Chrome entered the peloton in 2014. Cinelli was one of the early traditional cycling brands to step in and support the scene by sponsoring multiple events and several riders individually. Ever since, Cinelli is a name on its own in the community. However, for 2017 the team co-managed by Enrico Biganzoli, who is also a rider for the team, is changing its formation drastically as all non-Italian riders are cut from the team and replaced by Italian riders. For a team that since day one had riders from all over the world this seemed to be quite a drastic transformation.

Photo by Silvia Galliani

Carlo describes the team as “a family in which everyone that was ever part of the team is a Cinelli family member forever. So yes, we let go of quite a few riders over the years but we still like each of them. When working with team riders you get to know the human being behind the rider, and they’re all wonderful people. We select our riders not purely on the capability of wining, although that is important of course, but they need to embody the Cinelli values as well.”

The success of Mash SF in the streets of San Fransisco was the start for Cinelli to step in the sport. “When Mash SF picked up the track bike and took it in the street of San Francisco, it came naturally that we would have been involved at some point. So, the Cinelli Mash collaboration begun and made history in the alternative urban cycling scene.” This year Cinelli renewed the geometry of the Vigorelli to make it street and crit racing specific.

Photo by Silvia Galliani

As Cinelli was present when the fixed gear crit sport started to develop, they witnessed the rapid change in the scene first hand. “Fixed gear racing is literally blowing up as the years pass by. It’s getting more and more professional race by race. The challenge for the next future will be not to forget the authentic disruptive spirit of the origins.” Regarding the next steps Carlo is clear, “races are getting harder, pro riders are approaching, there is a lack of institutional safeguard from the Cycling Federations. But I think it’s going to change very soon.”

With this ongoing professionalization, Cinelli also took up their responsibility for their team riders, “Since competition is getting more aggressive and dangerous, we managed to get our riders a dedicated insurance, that covers every racing and training situation all over the world, even during races unacknowledged by any Federation (National or UCI), as most of fixed gear criteriums are, including Red Hook Series. It is a World Tour level insurance for a World Tour level Team.”

Photo by Silvia Galliani

However, for the 2017 team Cinelli-Chrome is letting go of its international character as it decided to go all Italian for 2017. “It’s true, we decided to go all Italian because we wanted to create a super team with strong riders with a precise consistency with the brand values.” Although Carlo expresses that every rider will be able to shine, the attention automatically goes to former RHC winner Ivan Ravaoili and former UCI World-Tour rider Davide Vigano. With the win in the Misano Crit, Ivan showed that he his ready for the races. Davide on the other side, is the dark horse of the team as with his track record and experience in cycling everything can happen. However, history has shown that being a good road racer does not automatically make you a world-class fixed gear rider. The other new comer to the team is flamboyant rider Ignazio Mozer, who could be regarded as one of the most well connected riders to the traditional cycling scene in the fixed gear community. Being the only female rider of the team, Paola Panzeri will have to fight for victory on her own. The squad is complemented with Cinelli-Chrome veterans Paolo Bravini, Alessadro Bruzza, and Enrico Biganzoli. The team will be supported by Cinelli, Chrome Industries, Santini SMS, Smith Optics, FSA, Astute, Kryptonite, DMT, HED, Michelin, Depor Village, MVS, Columbus, Wingedstore.

Ivan Ravaoili winning the Missano Crit Photo by Emanuele Barbaro

Carlo on the main long-term goal of the team: “our goal is to be competitive at every race, with a particular focus on the Red Hook Series, but we also want to have fun doing what we like and to spread our positive values all over the world.”