Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dario Pieri Out Of Storage!

No, not a 'Pieri coming out of retirement to support Mario Cipollini's return' story that is so popular this week. My Dario Pieri BIKE came out of storage!

I like riding bikes with stories, and this one is no exception. It was ridden in the 2004 Paris-Roubaix by one of my favorite Saeco riders, Dario Pieri. You see, Dario finished second to PVP in the 2003 edition of what is certainly one of my top-two races (those paying attention to these fantastic scribblings knows that MSR is the other one!). He did that on a Silk Road bike much like this one, which is his third (second spare) machine from the year after.

Like many of us, Dario also had a tough time keeping his weight down in the winter but unlike us, his issues made it into the Italian cycling press!

In the summer of 2001, Dario came to the US for the Philadelphia race and I had the job of chauffeuring the guys to Bedford for a visit and some training. The two jokesters of the group, Dario and Salvatore Commesso (another favorite) convinced me to take them to the Cannondale motorcycle factory and then out to the test track, where Dario wowed with his skills and Toto was ridiculed for not being able to reach the ground with his size-48 legs!

It was that Philly edition where Dario retired early and was infamously snapped taking photos of the passing peloton... early in the race!

So I got Pieri out of storage, added some yellow to it and a new set of huge Dugast gravel road pounders in order to celebrate the coming two months of racing. There is NOTHING like being on the side of a cobbled 'road' with a set of spare wheels in hand, praying you won't have to use them, then racing to the next spot. It will be the first classic season that I'll miss in quite a few years, but I'll be watching, Duvel/Chimay/Leffe in hand OR ready to head out on this beauty to string together a series of gravel roads. Today's test ride netted a bloody knee. I guess there really isn't enough clearance to go mudding on this bike!


  1. Cool bike! We'll be at Paris-Roubaix this year (no wheels to hand out though) for the first time. We've already notched MSR and Lombardia off the 5 monuments list so P-R's next, the Ronde for 2013 and we hope L-B-L for 2014.

  2. Thats good stuff Rory. Proud of ya. Your cousin Roberto....