The Italian ice cream producer’s logo adorned jerseys from ’78 through to ’91. Mick and Andy from Prendas Ciclismo guide us through their personal favourite designs.
Gis Gelati (Ita) 1978
Starting out with Marino Basso as their star turn, the team gained two victories thanks to Basso aboard their Pinarellos. The jersey design was a bold affair with the embroidered GiS Gelati logo taking centre stage. Red and blue side panels were employed to give the jersey its distinctive look, but also made it more practical for production in an era of an 80% wool, 20% acrylic mix. Incredibly, there is not a single manufacturer logo on the outside of the jersey – the only Santini logo on the garment is stitched on the underside of the front jersey hem, which was popular at the time of manufacturer as teams tended to buy their own jerseys.
Gis Gelati (Ita) 1979
With Basso leaving the pro peloton (he would later direct the team) its new leader would be Roger De Vlaeminck. With the Gypsy so inextricably linked to the Brooklyn Chewing Gum team with its iconic jersey, it’s difficult to see RdV in anything else, but various rider postcards around the office prove it to be the case. De Vlaeminck certainly earned his wages in ’79, winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Milan-Sanremo, three stages at the Giro d’Italia, as well as various crits in Belgium and cyclo-cross races at the end of the year.
The jersey is pretty short on ‘features’ compared to a modern-day jersey with a short front zip and three rear button pockets along with no manufacturer’s labels inside other than “Made in Italy, 100% acrylic”. Thanks to the addition of flocking (felt glued to the fabric) the jersey had the company’s logo added for added branding.
De Vlaeminck would later return to the team for a single season in 1984.
Gis Gelati – Olmo (Ita) 1982
With Santini as the jersey supplier, there was yet another change of bike manufacturer with Olmo taking over for the ’82 season. With the Campagnolo logo still in place, bold embroidered black Olmo logos were added to the front, back and sleeves of the jersey. The finer details for this jersey include a custom metal zip puller featuring the Santini logo, which was a nice touch at the time and one of my favourite elements of jerseys of that era – that woven cloth Santini SMS badge stitched to the jersey.
Gis Gelati – Oece (Ita) 1986
We didn’t have this jersey until recently when our good friend Robert Reis (an American living and working in Italy and an uber fan of Basque cycling) sent us a fabulous collection from the 1980s. The Gis Gelati-Oece was made by Parentini, who are based in Pisa. Curiously the manufacturer’s marque is a woven cloth badge that is stitched onto the jersey which easily could have been sublimated. After the stability of Moser bikes for three seasons, it was Rossin that stepped in for a single season, the same year that saw the arrival of bunch sprinter and future six-day star Adriano Baffi early in his career.
Gis Gelati – Jollyscarpe (Ita) 1987
Adriano was turning into one of the best sprinters of his generation ending with 70 career wins to his name, including six stages of the Giro d’Italia. Johan Van der Velde also arrived in ’87, winning the Maglia Ciclamino at the Giro after two back-to-back stage wins in the mountains.
By the looks of the jersey, the design team really went to town, adding the Zanussi logos (and yet another colour) for the team to wear at the Giro. Unusually, Denti provided both the bikes and cycle clothing to the team, although that only lasted a single season.
Gis Gelati – Ecoflam – Jollyscarpe (Ita) 1988
We’ve a poster up on the wall of the office that’s been here longer than I have. It’s a publicity shot for Jolly Shoes of Montebelluna, featuring Johan van der Velde in the Ciclamino jersey (which he won), team shorts, no gloves, arm warmers or any type of thermal clothing, riding up the Passo Gavia in the snow. It’s got “kin ard” hand-written at the top, which is pretty much all you need to know about the herculean efforts of Van der Velde, Hampsten, Delgado, Chioccioli et al that day.
The jersey itself continued the theme of adding extra colours and countless design elements, like the gnome next to the Ecoflam logo, although this is a personal favourite of Prendas’ Mick Tarrant. He raced on a steel Daccordi at the time and was determined to get himself a matching jersey. The garment itself was made by Marilena from the Veneto region and also featured the logos of component manufacturers Suntour and Modolo.
The Art of the Jersey by Andy Storey is available from Prendas Ciclismo