Simon at La Gazzetta della Bici recently resparked some interest in the Lampre-Caffita Battaglia Italiana event and bikes that we did back at the 2005 Giro rest day. From the actual press release...
Coppi-Bartali, Hinault-LeMond, Roche-Visentini… Simoni-Cunego! Once again, the cycling world has a rivalry between two champions on the same team that captures the fascination of the tifosi and press. Emotions run high as these battles play out on the roads of Europe. And it will be on the road where ultimate glory will be decided.
2004 saw Damiano Cunego catapult to the top of the cycling world as he sprinted and climbed to overall victory in the Giro d’Italia, leaving his designated captain for the race, Gilberto Simoni, biding his time for another chance at Giro victory.
This year, Cannondale suggests a slightly American way to settle the dispute… take it to the boxing ring! Much like Muhammad Ali’s greatest fights “The Thrilla in Manilla” and “The Rumble in the Jungle”, we see this clash as being 20 rounds (plus prologue!) of pure boxing excitement… the “Battaglia Italiana”.
So published for the first time... here is the actual invitation to the event.
The kit was great. Unfortunately, it was just after the UCI began to enforce rules about team kits not changing during a stage race, so we had to rely on rest-day shenanigans.
As far as the rivalry, it's been well known that these two had issues. This event was possibly the best public breaking of the ice between the two of them.
Check out the fake Everlast-styled Cannondale logo on the gloves... detail!
As far as the bikes, they sold out like THAT (snaps fingers).