14 May 2019

GIRO STORY EP.1: A Tale of Two Italians - Cunego and Basso

Our journey in Giro d’Italia history starts in 2004 with a special edition that represented the birth of an upcoming Italian star, Damiano Cunego
Cunego was Saeco's young sensation who stole the show from defending champion Gilberto Simoni (riding with one of the most successful and famous FSA handlebars: the K-Wing carbon), claimed victory in his first grand tour with four stage wins and considerable time in the maglia rosa along the way.


In 2004, team Saeco-Cannondale was equipped with an FSA cockpit (the OS-115 stem and the ultralight RD-200 alloy handlebar). Interestingly enough, Cunego began and finished his career riding with an FSA cockpit.
It is the dream of each Italian rider to win the Giro, and two years later in 2006 gave another Italian champion a chance to fulfil that dream. During that racing season, team CSC had been the first team to choose to ride carbon cranksets, the FSA Superlight compact, which made the difference. 


We are referring to Ivan Basso of course, whose team dominated the Giro in 2006. The Italian rider won three individual stages, as well as the team time trial, along with his fellow Team CSC riders equipped with a Vision aero cockpit. He won the overall classification by more than 9 minutes over the next best rider. Team CSC rode with Cervelo bikes completely equipped with FSA products: K-Force Anatomic handlebar, Os-115 stem, K-Force seatpost, and of course, the best crankset in circulation at that time. The FSA triumph was completed by 3 wins from Robbie McEwen (Davitamon Lotto), the best sprinter duirng that edition.


One year later, Andy Schleck (the young talent from Luxemburg) achieved 2nd place overall during his debut at the Giro, behind Danilo Di Luca, winner of the 2007 edition with his team Liquigas-Cannondale equipped with FSA cockpit.


The 2007 edition represented the beginning of an important partnership between FSA and team Liquigas, and three years later, would return to win the Giro together thanks to Ivan Basso
After wrestling the leader's maglia rosa from Arroyo during climb over the Passo del Mortirolo, Basso and his Liquigas teammates denied Arroyo a final stab at glory during Cima Coppi, the highest point of the Giro.

Basso was welcomed into the Verona Arena, a Roman amphitheatre, by thousands of Italian cycling fans on the final stage. This edition represented the rebirth of the Italian rider, while on the third step of the podium, Italian cycling fans discovered a young guy who would find great success together with FSA in the following seasons: Vincenzo Nibali.