There are so many things modern cyclists take for granted. Things such as, Lycra, aerodynamic wheels and bike frames that weigh less than a bidon full of isotonic stuff. Water? Pah. What changed? Good question.
Take a look at our sport now. Where do you think it’ll be in a few years time in terms of technology? How many sprockets will Shimano have crammed onto a cassette? And as for helmet brands, they will have made helmets so aerodynamic in the future that a rider will be at the finish line before they’ve had chance to clip in.
We’re not at that zenith yet, but there was one about 40 years ago that was responsible for all of these things: the Lycra shorts, the wheels, the carbon. What changed? A better question to pose would be who changed it. The answer to that is Assos founder, Toni Maier.
Maier, being Swiss, is a skier. He’d seen the kit that that national ski team was racing in and got on the phone to DuPont in the US to talk to them about cycling kit. At the time everyone was wearing woolen shorts. The US had put a man on the moon in 1969 and here are these European guys wearing woolly shorts to race push bikes. By the mid 70’s, he had changed that.
The inventions don’t end there. Then came the wheels on which the Renault team won the Tour. Followed by the cycling world’s first dally with carbon fibre. Toni Maier has shaped the cycling world, literally and figuratively, and Assos has dedicated this, the ForToni jersey, to his achievements and nod to the brand’s 40th anniversary.
Cycling salutes you, Toni. Salute.