It seems current hour record holder and six-time Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins is a big Colnago fan!
In a recent article on the website of British publication Cycling Weekly, Sir Bradley discussed his private bike collection and explained his love for the Colnago C40, used by Franco Ballerini in the mid-1990s.
“The C40 was probably my favourite bike,” he told Cycling Weekly. “I’ve never actually ridden one, but just to look at it… It was my favourite. I have a frame but haven’t built it up yet. I picked it up off of eBay.”
Wiggins posted a photo of the frame in question on his Instagram account (pictured below), complete with “Ballerini” written on the top tube. For a man who’s considered a connoisseur of all things stylish in cycling, the combination of old and new makes for a timeless appeal to the C40, which was ridden to so much success two decades ago but still has star attraction.
“I have one of the first Colnago C40s, like Franco Ballerini used to win Paris-Roubaix in 1995. They were still traditional looking frames, but obviously so advanced,” said Wiggins. “Even our Pinarello F8 now – all the technology that’s going into that – they still look like bikes, but they are all space-age now. They are slowly drifting away from that traditional bike because of speed and aerodynamics.”
Whilst the C40 was an early foray into the world of carbon fibre for Ernesto Colnago, arguably his ‘flagshap’ frame of modern times for many observers is the Olympic Master. Classic lines, steel construction and a racing pedigree that included Johan Musseuw’s win in the 1995 Tour of Flanders all point to the artisanal creations of yesteryear while keeping in line with modern performance and demands.
“I bought a bike last year, it’s just been delivered at the moment. I hadn’t bought a bike since I was a kid! I asked Ernesto Colnago to make me a Mapei Colnago Olympic Master, the old steel model. He made me one and gave me a big museum book. He signed it and thanked me,” Wiggins explained.
“They sprayed it with my name it and I put the original 1995 Shimano Dura-Ace groupset on it. I had one in a box, all-mint. It’s a replica of the bike that Johan Museeuw won Flanders on in 1995. When I was 15, I remember watching that and I was in awe of it. When I retire, I’ll go to the cafe on it.”