So, I have this built-for-Mario Cipollini CANNONDALE frame. I've had this boxing match going on in my head for some time: wall-hanger vs. rider. I hadn't built it up fearing that that it would eventually get banged up. Nevertheless, I've had it way in the back of my mind to build it up some day in the future so I've collected some parts here and there for a Campagnolo Record/lightweight build.
Cannondale was the first U.S. bike manufacturer to sponsor a European pro team. As best as I can determine the SAECO sponsorship by Cannondale began in late 1996 and this frame has a date of December 6, 1996. Here is a portion of a press release:
GAGGIO MONTANO, Italy -- Saeco, international maker of pump-driven espresso and cappuccino machines, has engaged bicycle manufacturer Cannondale to sponsor its Italian-based Team Saeco professional cycling team. Cannondale will provide the team with bicycles and clothing throughout the 1997 season. The Saeco team is a top-level European team, with the world's fastest sprinter," stated Scott Montgomery, Cannondale's vice president of marketing. Cannondale is the first U.S. bicycle maker to supply frames under its own name to a European professional team......".
Cannondale has confirmed to me that this is a genuine made for Cipollini frame based on photographs I sent. The BB engraving is very unique and matches their records. The "o1" is very interesting, this could possibly be the first bike made for Cipollini.
In 1997 the Saeco team won the Giro d'Italia (Ivan Gotti) on CAAD3 (Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design) road bikes; Cipollini wore the pink jersey for stages 1 and 2. Later that summer Cipollini team held the yellow leader's jersey at the Tour de France for four consecutive days.
The frame is painted a beautiful white with gold highlights. It obviously has not been raced so I'm assuming it served some marketing purposes for Cipollini and Cannondale. The frame is built beefier than typical weighing in at 3 lbs 7 ounces.
I have slowly collected Campagnolo 10 speed components but am still looking for good deals on very lightweight clinchers, and a Campagnolo all-Ti 10 speed cassette.
I'll post photos of the build as it progresses.
Photos: Cipollini frame photos, Cipollni and I (with a few extra pounds at the time) at the Milan bike show in 2006.