Whilst researching another jersey, Herbie Sykes
kindly sent us a selection of small thumbnail pictures of teams that rode the 1970 Giro d'Italia.
Amongst them was a rather striking jersey "La Casera/Bahamontes" which took our fancy. With the aid of Fergus (in-house designer at Santini)
, we ended up with what we reckon to be a pretty accurate replica.
Details regarding the team are a bit sketchy, so we asked a leading authority on Federico Bahamontes - Alasdair Fotheringham - who's book The Eagle of Toledo: The Life and Times of Federico Bahamontes is a great read
if you want to do "the knowledge" on Bahamontes. "La Casera-Bahamontes ran from 1970 to 1974, with the fiery, eccentric 1959 Tour de France winner Federico Martín Bahamontes - aka the Eagle of Toledo and recently voted by L'Equipe newspaper as the Tour's greatest ever climber - as one of its two co-directors.
La Casera, a Spanish soft drinks company, were the main sponsor throughout and apart from one Tour of Portugal in 1973, which had a local co-backer and corresponding re-design for the duration of the race, the team jersey barely changed. The by-then retired Bahamontes, apart from his using the team to advertise the sports shop bearing his name in Toledo, also oversaw the day-to-day running of the team. He even converted part of the sizable building which housed (and still houses) his fan club (Peña Bahamontes in Spanish) and personal office into the team's 'Service Course'.
A middle-ranking Spanish team made up almost entirely of Spanish riders throughout its existence, La Casera focussed - like Bahamontes himself - on the Grand Tours and stage races. The team never won a major Classic, but highlights of La Casera-Bahamontes five-year spell in the peloton included a stage win at the 1970 Giro d'Italia with Miguel Mari Lasa and an impressive mountains stage win and the King of the Mountains jersey in the 1973 Tour de France for Pedro Torres.
Torres lone victory on stage 14 of the 1973 Tour from Luchon - Pau, in fact, following a mere 7 hours and ten minutes in the saddle was probably the high point of the team's entire existence. Other key moments including taking back to back King of the Mountains titles in the Vuelta in 1973 and 1974 for Jose Luis Abilleira before the team folded, allegedly after Bahamontes fell out with most of the riders over - of all things - transport costs, at the end of that season."
1970 was a golden age of cycling and many of our favourite jerseys from the past are from this era. In the 1970 Giro peloton were Faema-Faemino, SCIC, Molteni-Arcore
and Salvarani. Coincidentally, stage 1 of the Giro commenced on 18/05/70 from San Pellegrino Terme although the team with that name were absent from the pro peloton by this time.
Whilst keeping the jersey as accurate as possible (ie no full zip cutting through the team name) we've added a few modern touches that add value, like the additional zipped rear pocket and reflective SMS logo as well as keeping the essential three rear pockets.