Bianchi (cycling team)
The Bianchi team of 1952
|Team name history|
Bianchi was an Italian professional cycling team that was sponsored by and cycled on Bianchi Bicycles. A Bianchi cycling team existed in 1899 which implies that Bianchi was sponsoring professional cycling at a very early stage in the sport. It appears that the team existed from 1899 to 1900, then from 1905 to 1966, then from 1973 until 1984. It existed again in 1993 and for the last time in 2003, as Team Bianchi. In addition Bianchi has been a co-sponsor of many cycling teams.
In 1899 Giovanni Tommaselli won the first international cycling victory for Bianchi at the world championship of track racing: the Grand Prix of Paris. During the existence of the Bianchi team in Italy in 1919-1920, Bianchi was also a co-sponsor of a French team that was called Peugeot-Bianchi-Pirelli which according to a historical cycling website, the team rode on Peugeot bikes. It is possible that this team rode on Bianchi bikes in Italy.
The team had many famous cyclists on the team over the course of its existence. In 1945, Fausto Coppi joined the team and would stay with the team until 1956 and 1958. It has been said that the team of the mid 1940s was built around Coppi. During this time the Tour de France was disputed by national teams and Coppi won the Tour in 1949 and 1952. Coppi won the Giro d'Italia for the team in 1947, 1949, 1952 and 1953. Coppi became the first cyclist in history to achieve the Giro-Tour double. For which it was suggested at the time that he was the greatest cyclist ever seen. During this time, the directeur sportifs were Giovanni Tragella and Franco Aguggini.
In the seventies, Bianchi returned as main sponsor to the peloton in the Bianchi-Campagnolo team that contained the 1972 and 1973 world champions Marino Basso and Felice Gimondi. This team was the continuation of the Salvarani team that Gimondi had started his career with and which, in 1972, was directed by 1965 Giro d'Italia champion and 1968 World Champion Vittorio Adorni who had retired from professional racing just two years previously. Adorni directed the Bianchi-Campagnolo team with Giancarlo Ferretti in 1973. Ferretti took over as the main directeur sportif of the team the following year. This team also included the four time winner of the Vuelta a Colombia Martin Emilio Rodriguez who won stages in the Giro d'Italia.
After the cycling season of 2003 ended, Bianchi became co-sponsor of the Alessio-Bianchi team and again they were a co-sponsor of the Liquigas-Bianchi team for the 2005 season. In 2005 Bianchi also became the co-sponsor of the Norwegian cycling team Team Maxbo Bianchi, a continental cycling team, with whom they co-sponsored until the end of the 2010 season. In October 2011, it was announced that Bianchi would be the bike sponsor of the Vancansoleil-DCM team on a two-year contract from 2012 
Bianchi became involved in sponsorship in Mountain biking in the early nineties. Bruno Zanchi won the first World Championship for Bianchi in 1991 in the downhill speciality. Two years later, Dario Acquaroli became World Champion in cross country for Bianchi. From 2000 to 2006, the Bianchi MTB (Bianchi-Motorex and Bianchi-Agos) team dominated the sport with José Antonio Hermida and multiple World Champion Julien Absalon. In 2007 the team was renamed Gewiss-Bianchi.
Major road wins
- Giro d'Italia General classification 1911, 1920, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1976, 1998
- Tour de France General classification 1949, 1952, 1998, Points Classification 1975
- Vuelta a España General classification 1956 Mountains Classification 1956
- World Road Race Championships 1953, 1973
- Italian National Road Race Championships 1908, 1909, 1911, 1922, 1936, 1941, 1947, 1949, 1955, 1958, 1959
- Belgian National Road Race Championships 1921
- French National Road Race Championships 1953
- Giro di Lombardia 1906, 1914, 1918, 1922, 1930, 1937, 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1973
- Milan–San Remo 1914, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1930, 1932, 1935, 1938, 1942, 1943, 1946, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1974
- Grand Prix des Nations 1946, 1947
- Paris–Roubaix 1949, 1950
- Paris–Tours 1953
- Liège–Bastogne–Liège 1982, 1985, 1886, 1987
- Omloop Het Volk 1983
- This team is dealt with in more detail in separate article, Team Bianchi.
- "Bianchi 1891-1899". Bianchi USA. Archived from the original on 2007-05-14. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- "Peugeot-Bianchi-Pirelli 1919". de wielersite. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- "News Aug 3 1998, Interview with Felice Gimondi". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
- "Coppi le plus grand routier de tous les temps?". L'équipe. July 26, 1949. page 1.
- "Legend". Bianchi.it. Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- "Legend". Bianchi.it. Archived from the original on 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
- "Official Team Gewiss-Bianchi". Bianchi.it. Archived from the original on 26 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-05.
Media related to Bianchi (cycling team) at Wikimedia Commons