Gita Sporting Goods was the name of the company that Giorgio started and over the decades he has been a key player in the Italianization of the American cycling scene. The 65 year old Italian played a crucial role being the early conduit for names like Grandis (1971), Colnago (1981), Sidi (1972), DeRosa (1976), Duegi, Diadora, Pegoretti (1989) and of course, the brand that’s been a Gita mainstay for 43 years, Pinarello.
Giorgio: I would of course say the passion for the sport we have, but just look back in history and Italy has always played a vital role in the sport. The French too have been important, but not as much. The legacy of the Italian artisan is deep within the sport and even today, whether its shoes in Asolo, saddles in Bassano and frames in the Venoto region (Verona to Treviso) you can still find the historical pockets of the country that have made themselves famous for producing certain products.
Giorgio: Last year we opened our very own factory and before doing so I visited other factories in Eastern Europe, Asia, and yes, I could get things made cheaper, but that’s not what’s important for us. It Italy especially, you have people who take such pride in what they are doing and cycling clothing is very specific that if you are manufacturing just to be inexpensive, fashionable or to produce as much as possible, the important details get lost. The goal is to always build something better than before, and even though two jerseys may look the same, they don’t necessarily perform the same.
RBA: I’ve always found Fausto Pinarello to be a pretty unique guy. What is it about him that makes him Fausto?
Giorgio: He really is an amazing guy, but as good as he is about creating some of the best designs, they would never come to market if it wasn’t for (Pinarello sales manager) Luciano Fuzarpoli, he’s the one who makes it all happen. There was a time when we used to wonder about who would lead the company when his dad (and company founder Giovanni) was no longer in charge. Fausto got his start working at the company in the paint department and he wasn’t always so passionate about cycling. But eventually that changed and his vision has since played a large role in what we do.
Giorgio: I would say there have been three major moments; the move from wool to synthetic, when we were to start sublimating fabric and now with the advances in the materials themselves. Like the material we get from Event xxx with the water proofing membranes, we can get clothing made for a specific type of riding, whether it’s wet weather, cold, or lightweight climbing in the heat. There are fabric technology being used now that we never would’ve dreamed of when we got started.