Pinarello Prince – Alejandro Valverde

My curvy 2007 Pinarello Prince FPX of Alejandro Valverde fame just oozes Italian carbon fibre sex appeal. The red, white and black colour scheme perfectly matched the Caisse d’Epargne team jerseys, and the bike was fitted with a full Campagnolo Record Groupset and Bora Wheels.

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Time RXR TT – Servais Knaven

Servais Knaven is a friend of the Flandrien Hotel, so we were absolutely delighted to have added his TIME RXR Time Trial bike to our collection. Used in the 2005 Tour de France, the bike is fitted with Campagnolo Record Titanium 10s Groupset

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Ridley Damocles – Robbie McEwen

When you think of Australian cycling legends, there’s one diminutive dynamo who left a massive impact on the world of professional cycling: Robbie McEwen, the Pocket Rocket. Standing at a whopping 5’7″ McEwen was a true underdog in a sport dominated by giants.

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Landbouwkrediet-Colnago Team – Rolf Sorenson

The legendary “Danish Dynamo” Rolf Sørensen ended his career with the Belgian Landbouwkrediet-Colnago cycling team. So when the chance came up to add his beautiful Colnago Dream team bike to our Flandrien Hotel collection, we jumped at the chance.

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Team Telekom Pinarello Montello – Cadel Evans

Pinarello Montello - Teak Telekom - Cadel Evans


Team Telekom was founded in 1991 by Belgian team manager Walter Godefroot but took a few years to really gain momentum. The German sprinter Erik Zabel won the first UCI Road World Cup victory in the history of the team, the Paris-Tours. 

The next two years saw the international breakthrough of the boys in pink. Godefroot brought in rider Bjarne Riis, who finished third in the 1995 Tour de France and went on to win in 1996.

A young Jan Ullrich was then a support rider and finished in second place. In the 1997 Tour de France Ullrich won the race with support from Riis, who had earlier won the Amstel Gold.

 The German powerhouse’s popularity hit an all-time high after ‘Der Kaiser’ won the Tour de France in 1997, prompting a huge rise in Germany’s interest in pro-cycling.

Sporting the signature pink colours of their Telecom company sponsor, they were backed up by iconic brands like Pinarello, Campagnolo and even Adidas. Dozens of victories followed in the subsequent years – with some dubious doctors working behind the scenes.

The team’s multitude of victories came aboard Pinarello bikes from Italy – first steel models and then the aluminium framed Pinarello Prince and carbon Montello TT bike.

The beautiful Pinarello Montello in our Flandrien Hotel collection was ridden by the Australian Cadel Evans in the 2003 season. He used at several multi-day races throughout the season, including the Stage 1 Individual Time Trial at the Vuelta Espana in Gijón.

The Montello was Pinarello’s first full carbon TT bike, and the Team model was fully equipped with Campagnolo Record titanium components. It has a Campagnolo Ghibli rear disc wheel and Campagnolo Bora Carbon front wheel to slice through the wind. Everything on the bicycle is completely original – including the Continental tubular tyres.  

Evans started his professional road cycling career in 2001 after success in mountain biking, and quickly established himself as a versatile and skilled cyclist who was capable of performing well in a range of disciplines, including road racing, time trials, and mountain biking.

Over the course of his career, he achieved numerous victories in prestigious races, including the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de Suisse, and the Critérium du Dauphiné. He also won the UCI Road World Championships in 2009.

Specialized E5 – Acqua e Sapone


Acqua e Sapone was a professional cycling team that looked like it had been beamed right out of a Marvel Comic.

The team was built around the superstar Italian sprinter Mario “Lion King”  Cipollini and raced on bikes from an up-and coming US brand named Specialized.

“Acqua e Sapone” translates to “Liquid Soap” and in addition to having one of the weirdest team names ever, the squad also had the funkiest team outfit in living memory – forever immortalised by Cipollini’s Milan San-Remo win.

Cipollini’s other nicknames were “Super Mario” and “Il Bello” (The Beautiful One) but his hundreds of victories certainly proved he wasn’t just a pretty face. In addition to Milan–San Remo he also won Gent-Wevelgem, the World Road race Championships, and 42 stages in the Giro d’Italia.

Besides wearing eye assaulting Zebra stripe outfits, Acqua e Sapone didn’t function like most other pro road race squads either.  When it came to rider line-up and race tactics, in the early 2000s a typical team was composed of one or two Grand Tour riders or Classics specialists, some climbers, one or two strong sprinters, and a supporting crew of domestiques.

But with the Acqua e Sapone gang, if your name wasn’t Cipollini then the only game in town was to serve Il Bello – on mostly flat or slightly bumpy courses as Mario didn’t like to climb mountains. And the strategy paid dividends with Cipollini taking both Milan-San Remo and the World Championships in 2002.

The team raced aboard Specialized S-Works E5 framesets constructed from aluminium “Aerotec” tubing produced by Columbus in Italy. But what few people know is that the frames were welded and finished by Merida in Taiwan, following on from the company’s investment in Specialized in 2001.

And to this day, all of Specialized’s high-end race bikes are still produced in Asia as part of the partnership between the two firms.

So Cipollini’s big wins on his Specialized E5 also represented the increasingly global nature of the cycling industry.

Here was “Super Mario” racing on an American bicycle brand whose frames were made from Italian tubing, but with production outsourced to Taiwan – and kitted out with Japanese Shimano components and Mavic French made wheels.

With their black and white stripe paint jobs Acqua e Sapone team bikes were the coolest in the pro peloton – complete with Cipollini’s signature on the top tube just to remind everyone who was boss.

That’s why we just had to get one for our Flandrien Hotel collection. 

Now all we need is a Zebra-stripe skinsuit to match.


Specialized Tarmac SL2 – Team Quickstep

Specialized Tarmac SL2 - Allan Davis


Every now and then I find a bicycle that not only has a special story, but which also has an emotional meaning for me. That’s certainly true of this Quickstep Specialized Tarmac SL2 that is part of our Flandrien Hotel collection. It was ridden by my good friend and Australian cycling legend Allan Davis. 

Allan Davis is a champion in every sense of the word. Known for his strong work ethic and sprinting ability, he started competitive cycling at the age of 10, and turned professional in 2002. 

Over the following twelve years he amassed more than 30 professional wins riding for teams such as Mapei, ONCE, Discovery, Quickstep, Astana and GreenEdge. To put his results into context, more than 85% of cyclists in the professional peloton never stand on the podium in a major UCI World Tour event.

Allan had podiums in the World Championships Road Race and Milan San Remo. And in 2008 while racing for the Quickstep squad he won the Tour Downunder on this beautiful Specialized bicycle.

It’s had a few minor components changes, but is pretty much as he raced it around the roads of Adelaide in South Australia. A cool detail is the special Team-Issue Campagnolo Record components, with red logos on the 10 speed Ultra-Shift levers (normally white).

A champion is someone who has, in their own right, achieved great things and Allan Davis has certainly done so. But I believe that a true champion is more than someone who wins in their own right.

True champions are capable of developing other champions. And that requires some special abilities – something that Allan Davis has demonstrated again and again.

A champion who becomes a coach and mentor is inspired to share their own deep experience and knowledge. They are curious, open, humble empathetic and generous.

I have been coached by Allan, and over the years I have been incredibly impressed by his willingness to give to those athletes whom he has guided and supported.

To have this bike in my collection means a lot to me. It reminds me every day of what being a champion really means.


Mathew Hayman – Colnago Extreme Power


Mathew Hayman is a true “Flandrien” in every sense of the word – and we’ve got one of his bikes! Hayman raced for Rabobank & Sky before joining Australian WorldTour team Orica in 2014. Hayman spent most of his 17-year career working for others and only collected 3 wins: the Commonwealth Games road race, Paris-Bourges and Paris-Roubaix.

I remember watching “The Hell of the North” with my kids on that day in 2016, sitting on the edge of my seat as Hayman got away in the early breakaway. It was a smart move, driven by his experience of 14 previous attempts at the race. Once in the escape, he conserved energy and avoided all the carnage happening behind.

First the group numbered 16 but only Hayman had the staying power when the favorites bridged. He formed a group of 5 with Tom Boonen, Ian Stannard, Sep Vanmarcke & Edvald Boasson Hagen. On what is often the most crucial cobbled section, the Carrefour de L’Abre, Hayman was shouldered by Stannard as the British rider tried to make up ground. The Aussie braked to stay upright and was quickly distanced.

I freaked out and my son Charlie said “It’s just a bike race Dad – don’t give yourself a heart attack!” The television cameras lost Hayman and I thought that his shot at victory was over. I slumped into the sofa with my head between my hands. But then, by the end of the sector, Hayman appeared on the back of the group of 4 and I almost did have a heart attack as I leapt up from the sofa screaming ”You f****ng ripper! Go Matty! Charlie left the room.

As the small group entered the velodrome all bets were on the legendary Boonen, a former World Champion and Tour de France green jersey winner who was going for a record 5th Paris-Roubaix win.  But I knew that sprinting after 260 kilometres is a very different thing to a conventional bunch sprint. It was a finish for the hard men.

As with many Aussies, Hayman had raced on the velodrome since he was a kid and knew his track craft well. He opened the final sprint early, came past Boonen with speed from the banking and had just enough in his legs to stay in front.

The win was Hayman’s third professional win – the man he beat into second, Tom Boonen had over 100 career wins. And I still have to curb my enthusiasm about Hayman’s victory a little bit when Flemish guests come to visit as Tom’s 2nd place remains something akin to a national tragedy

Oh, and what about the bike? It’s a Colnago C-50 Extreme Power that Hayman raced during his time at Rabobank when he was a fresh faced kid dreaming of a win in the classics.

We know Mathew personally, and for all of us at the Flandrien Hotel the bike embodies his Flandrien spirit of grit, determination, perseverance & humility.