Giovanni Pinarello, founder of the Italian bicycle manufacturer whose frames have been ridden to Tour de France glory by the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Miguel Indurain and Jan Ullrich, has died at the age of 92.
Known as ‘Nani,’ Pinarello’s business was founded in 1953 as a bike workshop towards the end a cycling career in which perhaps his most notable distinction was finishing last in the 1951 Giro d’Italia to clinch the maglia nera [black jersey], which at the time carried a lot of prestige.
He also won races including Rome-Naples-Rome and the Giro delle Dolomiti.
Pinarello passed away yesterday evening at 6.45pm, shortly after being taken to hospital in Treviso, his grandson Nicola told the Corriere del Veneto.
“Now granddad has found Andrea,” he told the newspaper, referring to his grandfather’s youngest son, who died of a heart attack after taking part in a stage of the amateur Giro dei Friuli in 2011.
He continued: “He began to feel unwell at around 6pm and we took him to accident and emergency. Sadly there was nothing to be done and shortly afterwards he died, fortunately without suffering, but leaving a hole that cannot be filled.”
The mayor of Treviso, Giovanni Manildo, said: “He will remain for everyone in Treviso a lovely image of our city, a man who left his mark not only on Treviso, taking the name of this area all around the world.
“Each of us has a memory of him, I remember him with a broom in his hand, cleaning the area in front of his shop. He was, and will always be, one of the great people of Treviso and an affectionate thought goes to him and his family.”
The company he founded has added a gallery of images from his racing career and afterwards to its Facebook page, where it also says that his funeral will be held tomorrow, Saturday 6 September, at Treviso’s cathedral at 3.30pm, with all welcome to attend.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.