Gastone Nencini, the Lion of Mugello
24 February 2021 - News
Gastone Nencini, the Lion of Mugello

Gastone Nencini began to dedicate body and soul to cycling in 1948, after his first sporting endeavor of being goalkeeper for the Barberino football team, competing in the Tuscan Second Division championship.

As an established cyclist he met with Ernesto Colnago in 1957, when the young bike builder from Cambiago was given the difficult challenge of building a frame for the champion. Making bikes for Nencini has always been regarded as a thankless task, because when the “cyclone” (as he was nicknamed by the journalists of the time), pushed on the pedals he put the wheels and the frame under great stress due because of the immense power he was able to put through the cranks.

According to Nencini, Colnago surpassed himself. The decal of the lion was attached to the bicycle (representing Nencini’s team, whose full name was Leo-Cholorodont), but this was enough for the young Ernesto as he was still relatively inexperienced, and could not expect more. That year Nencini won the Giro beating the great Louison Bobet by just 19 seconds and Ercole Baldini further behind at 5’59″.