Meet Luciano, a sparky septuagenarian from Bergamo who has lived and breathed cycling his entire life. Luciano Belloli worked for many many years as Director Sportif of Team Palazzago, a U23 category cycling team established in 1955. A team known for shaping the careers of cyclists such as Diego Rosa and Fabio Aru.
Close friend to Ernesto Colnago, who was very often present at the many amateur cycling events held during those years, they became even closer when Luciano decided to open the first Colnago re-sale point in the province. The Palazzago Team however remained his extended family, where his efforts were concentrated, where he was able to cultivate future champions.
It is impossible for Luciano to count all the races, cups and national championships he attended as the DS for Team Palazzago. There are memorable races however, such as the 3 Junior World Championships where his riders won two golds and one bronze medal. The bronze win in particular is an unfading memory. His rider, Eddy Mazzoleni, headed for the UK to participate in the Junior Worlds. During the first day of training his bicycle broke. Luciano was still in Italy, so he rushed over to the Colnago headquarters hoping to find a bicycle suitable for the unfortunate Eddy. Ernesto gave him a Colnago Master, which Eddy used the following week to win a Bronze medal.
To celebrate their victory, the whole team headed to a local race in Bergamo. Eddy took off with the peloton but after only a few kilometres ended up going off the road and destroying his bicycle (again!). To this day, Luciano still has the frame.
Today Luciano enjoys a quiet country life with his lovely wife by his side. He keeps busy lacing wheels for local cyclists (which he does skilfully and in record time), and now makes his own wine, which he is very proud of and very happy to share with friends and family. He still attends races as a spectator, cycling still flows through his veins, and he is more than happy to reminisce about the past.