Cold conditions and heavy snowed forced organizers to shorten the 15th stage of the Giro d’Italia, with the race ending four kilometers short of the planned finish at the Col du Galibier. Movistar’s Giovanni Visconti won the brutal stage, and Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali easily defended his overall lead. But our minds were on a third Italian, the late Marco Pantani, whose climbing exploits (especially his searing Galibier attack in the 1998 Tour de France) are immortalized in a monument at the revised finish.
The controversial Italian climber was notorious for his flamboyance, earning the nickname Il Pirata (the pirate) for his shaven head and penchant for rocking a bandana and earrings. He’s in the record books as the last racer to win both the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in a single season (in 1998), though fans also remember him for his rocking sense of style, especially the faux-denim kit he sported when his team was sponsored by the couture jeans company Carrera.
Now Nalini, who produced the team kit for Carrera back in the ‘90s, has brought back the look. Though the bibs and jersey are constructed of fully modern stretch materials, they are sublimated with the denim pattern for full Italian fashion effect.
We heard rumors of these brash bibs last year, though we didn't really believe they'd go to production. But sure enough, the kit showed up in the mail and our friends and colleagues had a good laugh when we modeled them. Truth be told, they're kinda growing on us. I mean, Pantani looked pretty dapper in them. And they're loads better than some of the tawdry team kits today (like those chocolate brown bibs over at AG2R-La Mondiale—gag).
Best of all, the rear seat pockets on the bibs, complete with faux rivets, are functional—the perfect spot for stowing race notes, some food, or a pack of cigarettes. Eat your heart out Cutters.
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