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A sneak peek into 2009 — Our visit to Pinarello

We took an all-too-brief trip to Italy in late July to visit the Pinarello factory, get a sneak peek at the ’09 Pinarello line, and to do the Granfondo Pinarello. We were thrilled by what we saw: At the tip-top of the Pinarello line you’ll see very little change except for new paint. In the last 5 years Pinarello has emerged as the undisputed king of the Italian bicycle industry. In terms of innovation, beauty, and ride quality they’ve asserted themselves like no other Italian family.

Pinarello’s top dog frame, the Prince Carbon, in various states of paint. There were a mess of them on-hand, proof of the global popularity of the bike made most famous by Caisse d’Epargne’s Alejandro Valverde during the ’08 race season.

Naked Prince Carbon frames -- nary a component, a fork, or even a seat collar. It’s the best way to feel the full pop of the beautiful new paint schemes for 2009. Note the ‘Torayca’ decal on the seat tube, and the twisty downtube decals. These are new details for ’09, and we love them. And that lime green – it’s fruit-juicy delightful!

These fully-dressed Prince Carbon bikes were our first view of new-for-2009 component lines on-the-bike, including Campagnolo Super Record and Dura Ace 7900. Other less-evident details were the new-for-2009 Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheelset (see them on the White/Teal bike) and the gorgeous Lightweight-for-Prince wheels (on the White/Red bike).

The Spanish Champion paint scheme is, amazingly, even more blistering in person than on the screen. And to amplify the effect here, note how the front arm of the Campagnolo Super Record front brake is painted yellow to match. Also, Big Mig himself, Miguel Indurain, was in attendance. Here he chats with Giorgio Andretta, owner of Gita Sporting Goods -- one of the most successful, powerful, and kindhearted people in the North American bike industry.

It’s not a visit to Dario Pegoretti’s workshop unless you take a photo of the famous translucent stained glass birds that watch over him. The birds must be treating him kindly, as evidenced by this spirited photo of Dario with Jen -- she’s Competitive Cyclist’s IT Maven.

A mess of west coast bike industry folk sent Dario this hilarious-yet-moving Get Well banner during his illness. At every turn, you find people who love the man. And take a look at the paint on this frame. A dozen different details could spawn conversation, but our favorite bit is how the word ‘Caldonazzo’ (the town where Dario works) is graffitied over with the thin red word ‘Taipei’.