Yesterday we tried to set the record straight on the confusion of what bike
Paolo Pezzo was riding when she took Olympic Gold in the women’s mountain bike
race. Here are two replies on the subject from the horsiest of mouths: first up
Gary Fisher’s own tale of domestic design bliss……
The bike was conceived of [sic] the night after the 1998 Napa world cup over dinner
at my house by Paola, Paola’s trainer Paolo Rossolia and myself. Soon
thereafter Trek Engineer Doug Cousak worked with me to produce this bike
named “Goldenfly”. I went to Italy and hand delivered the Bike to Paola later
that year. She raced the bike in 1999 and we built 4 more of them for her one
by one improving each in the next year.
At the end of 99 at our annual product meeting with Trek and Fisher we
decided to put the Sugar on the Fisher plate and the Goldenfly which Trek
renamed the STP on the Trek plate, after all we eat at the same table We are
I always let my riders race the bikes of their choice. That’s how I learn. We
are thinking of making a “Goldenfly” Paola Model for production.
Note: the STP doesn’t have Genesis Geometry, the Goldenfly does.
Then we’ve got the official shop staff straightener from the Trek Marketeers…
There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding the bike Paola Pezzo rode to
Olympic victory. Below is an explanation to give your customers who have
1. Pezzo was on a Fisher-modified STP.
2. The STP was a bike originally designed for Paola Pezzo. She has had back
problems in the past, and came to Gary Fisher and Trek engineers looking for
a bike with just enough rear travel to minimize the toll on her body over
rough courses. We were able to create the softail with Trek OCLV. Because the
pivotless design requires the entire frame to flex with the travel of the
rear, OCLV carbon fiber was the optimum material due to its ability to flex
and return to its natural state without fatigue. And because OCLV is Trek’s
flagship material it made sense to sell it to consumers as such.
3. We offer all of our racers a choice of bicycle technology to suit each course. Pezzo felt the Fisher-modified STP was well suited for her riding
style on the Sydney course. Mary Grigson and Chrissy Redden rode Sugars,
Ruthie Matthes rode a STP and Travis Brown rode a Fuel. It is very much a
personal decision for each of the athletes.
4. The ultimate reason we sponsor athletes is to sell brand image, and, of
course, more bikes. Pezzo’s win will do both for both brands. Her victory is
a true testament to the outstanding engineering and design abilities we have
within this [Trek] corporation.
So, still no real clarification why she chose GoldenFly over the slightly
heavier Sugar (despite the Sydney course being quite technical with no really
long haul climbs), and nothing yet on the crucial “why pink?” question.
Apparently the choice of Pezzo’s entourage, not Trek or Fisher themselves.
Rumours we are about to start concerning any romantic involvement between Ms
Pezzo the equally colour co-ordinated, bare knuckle boxing champ of the road
peloton, Cannondale’s Mario Cippolini should be ignored immediately.