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Balmamion Collection

Celebrating the double Giro triumph of one of Italian cycling’s forgotten champions with a luxurious limited edition collection created to honour Franco Balmamion, the Eagle of the Canavese.

02 November 2021

Rapha Cycling Club members enjoy 48 hours’ exclusive early access to the Balmamion collection.

A NATION EXPECTS

For many years, the rivalry between Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi defined Italian cycling and split the tifosi down the middle. But as their powers waned, a vacuum was created. Foreign riders began to win the Giro with increasing regularity, and a new homegrown champion was needed.

L’AQUILOTTO DEL CANAVESE

Hailing from Canavese to the north of Torino, Franco Balmamion took a year’s unpaid leave from his job on a factory floor to start out in cycling. But soon he’d be going by a different name – one that combined his humble roots with his prodigious power as a cyclist. Enter the Eagle of the Canavese.

BIANCO E NERO

By 1962, Balmamion’s Torinese trade team had won almost every race there was to win except the one that really mattered. Many had expected former Tour winner Gastone Nencini or local legend Nino Defilippis to take the team’s first Giro title. But in that year’s Giro, victory came from an unexpected, unfancied and ultimately underestimated force: Franco Balmamion.

BALMAMION JERSEY

A fully featured, knitted jersey made with a luxurious merino wool blend, the Balmamion Jersey would not have looked out of place on the startline of the 1962 Giro. With traditional features including ribbed collar and cuffs and button-up chest pockets, the jersey is finished with chain stitched and embroidered details.

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BALMAMION CLUB JERSEY

Similar in fit and feel to our Classic Jersey, this limited edition piece incorporates traditional features befitting Balmamion’s era. A metal quarter zip allows for extra ventilation, while button-up pockets store ride essentials. Chain stitched and embroidered details celebrate Franco’s two Giro titles and his Torinese team.

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BALMAMION TRACK JACKET

Torinese team manager Vincenzo Giacotto – the mastermind behind Balmamion’s two Giro titles – insisted that his riders look good on the bike and off it, too. Made with a high-grade wool blend for comfort, the Balmamion Track Jacket takes its cues from tracksuits that Franco and friends would have worn.

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BALMAMION BIB SHORTS

Back in the 60s, riders wore cycling shorts made with wool. This special edition version of our Classic Bib Shorts makes use of contemporary fabrics but retains the signature styling of that era with black and white details that nod to the livery of Balmamion Torino-based trade team.

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BALMAMION LONG SLEEVE CLUB JERSEY

Ideally suited to riding in milder conditions, or on Balmamion’s home roads in spring, this jersey celebrates his second Giro title, with the percorso stitched to the back panel and an embossed ‘63 detail. Pink stripes at the collar and on the cuffs are a further nod to the history of Italy’s great race.

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BALMAMION MERINO T-SHIRT

Made with a luxurious merino wool blend that’s a little bit warmer than a cotton shirt, this limited edition T-shirt features the same chain stitched detail as the jerseys, honouring Balmamion’s nickname. On cooler days, pull on a piece of cycling history.

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FOR THE LOVE OF THE GIRO

 

Coming in 1962 and 1963, Franco Balmamion’s Giro titles fell in the middle of cycling’s so-called golden era – the post-war years when riders were made of steel, Grand Tours were still over 4,000 kilometres long and even the greatest champions only ever had a loose grip on glory.

Find out more about the first of Franco’s victories, meet the rivals he beat and read daily stage updates from La Gazzetta dello Sport in our full length feature covering the 1962 race.

Find out more

GET TO KNOW FRANCO

 

Coming in 1962 and 1963, Franco Balmamion’s Giro titles fell in the middle of cycling’s so-called golden era – the post-war years when riders were made of steel, Grand Tours were still over 4,000 kilometres long and even the greatest champions only ever had a loose grip on glory.

Find out more about the first of Franco’s victories, meet the rivals he beat and read daily stage updates from La Gazzetta dello Sport in our full length feature covering the 1962 race.

Buy now