Though medal winning bikes and their pedigree makes little difference to your
sunday slog round the peaks, we know some of the more retentive Olympic
twitchers will have been troubled by the inconsistent gear ridden by the girl
in gold. Though it’s not unusual for Pro road teams to ride a bike built by a
small scale manufacturer (such as Litespeed) to have it painted in the
colours of amass market brand, it isn’t common on the “factory team”
dominated mountain bike circuit.
Though she’s been riding for team Gary Fisher / Saab for years, double gold
winner Paolo Pezzo wasn’t riding her usual baby pink Gary Fisher Sugar when
she took Olympic gold. Instead she was riding a custom built STP carbon
softail that’s normally produced under the banner of parent company Trek.
Pezzo’s bike was modified to use Fishers “genesis” geometry rather than the
slightly more relaxed Trek Pro handling and then disguised in Fisher pink for
The plot thickens when it’s remembered that the STP softail was originally
designed specifically to ease Ms Pezzo’s back problems and was first raced by
her in Fisher colours in 1999.
However with Fisher already launching the ‘Sugar’ lightweight XC bike for
2000, the decision was made to produce the STP softail as a Trek. Pezzo has
been campaigning on a candy pink Gary Fisher Sugar throughout the season, as
have her other team mates (in normal Saab colours) but we’ve no news on why
she switched to the softail for what she has always said was the crucial race
of the year.
For those who really want to know the standard STP and the new Trek Fuel
suspension bike were both hustled round the Olympic course by other Trekkies
including our very own Caroline Alexander and her WCPP pals.