So, after an ultimately unsuccessful but useful day searching around shops in London for the frame to base my build upon, I returned home and searched the internet for “Gios Torino” – why had I instantly like it so much?
Search results in and all was immediately clear – Roger de Vlaeminck / Brooklyn Chewing Gum and those epic Paris-Roubaix races from my youth. The only cyclist to win Paris-Roubaix 4 times until Tom Boonen equalled that record in 2012, taking on and beating Eddy Merckx in (to me anyway) the toughest classic race – and he won those races on a Gios Torino Super Record!
The miserable weather they often had to endure in the Hell of the North, struck a chord with a young lad in the also often cold, wet & miserable North of Scotland as I cycled over the dodgy cobbled roads and obviously left a lasting impression right to the present day, more than 40 years later.
De Vlaeminck I’ve never forgotten as was my favourite cyclist of the time (mainly because of the above, but probably also helped by the fact my elder brother was a Merckx fan and even had a bright orange Merckx bike 😀) – in fact I can remember mentioning him in a discussion about cyclo-cross in a bike shop in High Wycombe a few years back (he had been World Cyclo-Cross Champion as well – he obviously revelled in racing in mud!) – however, although I could remember the man, his bike had slipped my mind but was there in my subconscious, brought back to the fore by the frame I’d seen in Seabass Cycles.
Awash in nostalgia I thought I’d search YouTube for some clips of old Paris-Roubaix races only to find this classic film in it’s entirety “A Sunday In Hell” a documentary about the 1976 Paris-Roubaix featuring some of the greats of cycling Merckx, de Vlaeminck, Francesco Moser, Freddy Maertens, Bernard Thévenet, a 40 year old Raymond Poulidor and some nice shots of the Gios!
Interlude over, it’s time to return to my bike search, my ideas about the search being much clearer and the Gios Torino Super Record high in my thoughts.