Pinarello Prince – Team Telekom

Pinarello Prince - 2001


Team Telekom was one of the most influential cycling teams ever. Founded in 1991 by Belgian team manager Walter Godefroot, the team took a few years (and some creative doctors) to really gain momentum.

The young German sprinter Erik Zabel won the first big race in the history of the team, the Paris-Tours in 1994. 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. And the team’s multitude of wins came aboard Pinarello bikes from Italy – first steel models and then the aluminium framed Pinarello Prince which is the bicycle that we have in our Flandrien Hotel collection. 

This model of the Prince from the 2001 season is made of Dedacciai Aluminium tubing and the frame sports carbon rear seat stays and carbon forks. It is the very last top-end model before Pinarello introduced its curving “Onda” forks and seat stays with the Prince SL. The bike was used by German-Swiss athlete Steffen Wesemann, a punchy rider who was a specialist in the one-day Spring Classics and winner of the 2004 Tour of Flanders when the team morphed into T-Mobile.

Of course, it all started to unravel after the 2006 Tour de France doping scandal when most of the team were kicked off the race. Godefroot and his doctors were fired, as were several top riders. Shortly after Deutsche Telekom announced that it would be pulling its sponsorship. The remnants of the team were revived as Team Highroad by the American businessman Bob Stapleton, but the Teutonic fans took it all rather hard.  Pink jerseys rapidly disappeared from the roads of Deutschland.

The German media was even less kind, pulling many of the big races from broadcast TV.  The popularity of cycle sport in the country took a nosedive, a crisis from which it has only recently started to recover.

But there is a new crop of young female and male athletes from Germany who are starting to make their mark. I’m sure it won’t be long before we see a new Kaiser or Kaiserin on the roads of the Tour de France. 


Greg Lemond Z-Team TVT92

Greg Lemond Z-Team TVT92 - 1990


This beautiful 1990 Team Z bicycle represents one of the finest lugged carbon bicycles of the early 1990s.

I was contacted by my friend and fellow collector Jeannico Roelandt who told me he had come into possession of this amazingly rare bicycle built to commemorate Greg Lemond’s win in the 1990 Tour de France. Jeannico knows that I’m a huge fan of LeMond, and how much it would mean to me to have this bike as part of our Flandrien Hotel collection.

LeMond competed in the Tour de France in 1990 wearing the rainbow jersey of the now iconic French Z-Team. He won his third and final TdF ahead of the Italian Claudio Chiappucci, and his actual race winning bike now sits in the US Bicycling Hall of Fame.

There was a special connection between his 1990 win and Flanders, as Greg, his wife Kathy and their young family had their second home in Marke, a municipal district of Kortrijk at the time.  Before the Tour Greg could be seen riding his brightly coloured Z-Team bike along the winding country lanes of the area.

In fact, Lemond and Kathy had been spending most of the race season in Belgium since 1982.  The couple were treated like Royalty in West Flanders, awarded various honours and accolades over the years by the Kortrijk Town Hall and Municipal Council.

Greg and Kathy made many lifelong friends in the region. Even Flemish cycling legend and former World Champion “Iron” Briek Schotte would drop in for a coffee whenever Lemond had a big win.

Although sporting ‘Greg Lemond’ decals, the Z-Team frame was actually produced by French company TVT. TVT means Tubes Verre Tisse  (tubes in knitted glass) and the carbon-kevlar tubes were bonded together in the alloy lugs using special epoxy bonding agents. There are seven layers of knitted carbon in the tubes plus one layer of aramide – a type of kevlar fibre that resists shocks and breakages.

The tubes used by TVT for their frames were produced by themselves in their factory at St Genix-sur-Guiers in France by their sister company TCT – Techniques Carbone Tisse – which means literally the ‘techniques of knitting carbon.’  

TVT built the first generation of frames in the early 80s. more or less to illustrate that bike frames could be built from carbon tubes and went on to produce complete frames and tubes for brands such as ALAN, Bottechia, LOOK, Concorde and of course LeMond Bicycles.

The number ’92’ in the top tube transfer TVT92 does not mean that the frame was built in that year; the manufacturer decided for no special reason when it launched this model of frame in 1987, to call it the TVT92.

As per Lemond’s team bike, this example is built with Campagnolo C Record components, Selle San Marco Regale saddle and Campagnolo rims. I am still looking for a set of period era TIME pedals, a 26mm C-Record seatpost and funky Scott “drop-in” handlebars.

The bicycle perfectly matches our Greg Lemond Pop-Artwork hanging in the Flandrien Hotel Clubhouse


Cannondale Saeco CAAD TT Bike

Cannondale Saeco Team CAAD TT Bike


Every now and then we find an exceptionally rare classic bicycle for our collection. And this custom “Made in the USA” Saeco Team Cannondale CAAD Time Trial bike really fits the bill! And not only is it rare – it looks absolutely awesome!

Cannondale was founded in 1971 by Joe Montgomery and Murdock MacGregor who made everything from prefab concrete houses to engines, bicycle trailers and pannier bags.  Joe was a big fan of bicycle touring and frustrated by the bicycle offerings on the market he decided to make his own. 


The ST500 was the first model launched by Cannondale in 1983, and although it was aimed at bike packers it revolutionized the biking industry by using a special aluminium welding process. In 1992 Cannondale used computer aided design to make a new aluminium frame weighing only 1.2 kgs and created the CAAD moniker (Cannondale Advanced Aluminum Design).


In 1997 the CAAD3 road frame was debuted. Cannondale was already big in MTBs, but with the launch of the CAAD3 the company undertook a major shift in the attention it paid to its road bikes. During a meeting at a Tuscan villa, then CEO Scott Montgomery (the son of founder Joe Montgomery) sat down with Italian businessman Sergio Zappella and made a deal to sponsor his Saeco road team.


The deal cost Cannondale $500,000, and many thought Joe was crazy as it was one the biggest bike sponsorship deals every signed. But it turned out to be a smart investment with the superstar Mario “Lion King” Cipollini on the team.  


But there was a problem – Cannondale didn’t make Time Trial bikes. So the company’s designers had to get to work creating CAAD TT frames for each of the team’s riders – and fast! The bikes that they created were radically different to any other Cannondale available and were only custom made and team issue. 


All of the Saeco team’s custom TT bikes were made from laser cut 6000 series Alcoa “Alcalyte” aluminium tubing with TIG welding. The frames were heat treated for retention of strength, hand sanded and finally electrostatically painted.


The original team-issue model that we have in our Flandrien Hotel collection was used during the 2000 season, built with the newly released Campagnolo Record 10s groupset and an uber cool integrated Cinelli Angel stem and handlebar. It still looks amazing almost a quarter of a century after it was created.


Cannondale made loads of money selling bicycles well into the mid 2000s – until they decided to make motorbikes and rapidly went bankrupt.  


The brand still exists today and still makes awesome bikes. But it is no longer in the hands of the founders and alas, the “Made in the USA” sticker has disappeared.


TIME VXRS – Tom Boonen

The name ‘TIME’ conjures up images of French handmade works of art and the elegance of carbon, lugged frames.

And the most legendary TIME bicycle of all just has to be the VXRS Ulteam as ridden to World Championship victory by Tom Boonen in 2005.

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Colnago C40 Mapei – Ferrari Collaboration

Mapei was one of the iconic teams of the late 1990s, dominating one-day races with the great Belgian and Italian classic specialists such as Museeuw, Bartoli, Tafi & Ballerini. And they took many of their victories aboard the Colnago C40

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