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.