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The history of Nalini and the passion of Vincenzo and Claudio Mantovani

After the conclusion of Vincenzo’s cycling career, which included a silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics for the Team Pursuit, he went on to create cycling garments for himself and his friends in the late 60s. His younger brother Claudio joined him a year later when due to a knee injury, he was forced to retire as the goalkeeper for AC Milan. The future and legacy of a great employer for Castel d’Ario in Mantova had been set by the most gifted of brothers. Mantova shouldn’t just be remembered for its significant role in the history of opera and architectural treasures, it should also be applauded for its contribution to cycling history.

Nalini

It didn’t take too long before a small craft workshop had turned into a state-of-the-art factory, but the values of an artisan craft were important to the two brothers and they ensured that the same attention to detail was paid to everything they produced as the business grew. Even after the sad and untimely death of Vincenzo, his brother Claudio was able to take the reins and ensure that the vision of his older brother became reality.

Forefront of cycling

Nalini put itself at the forefront of cycling garment production by innovating products such as revolutionary pads, using the first ever man-made fibres instead of deerskin, utilising new technologies for fabric sublimation printing and assembly, allied to exclusive and cutting-edge fabric treatments. Even today, Nalini is one of the few cycling manufacturers who designs and produces its own proprietary pads on site.
Nalini’s DNA was formed in pro-cycling, and it was these building blocks that became the foundation for Nalini’s future. The teams that Nalini have developed clothing for is an enviable list of who’s who in cycling. Working with teams such as Banesto, Carrera, Cofidis and Astana, and top riders like Fignon, Bugno, Chiappucci, Indurain, Roche, Pantani, Ulrich, Zabel, Cipollini, Freire, Valverde and Quintana helping to test Nalini products, there is arguably no other cycling clothing brand with such a history in the pro-peloton. Today, this journey continues with Nalini supplying Team DSM and Intermarché Wanty Gobert in the UCI World Tour and new advances in fabric and clothing technology will shape the future for the next retail collections.

Created by MOA Sport, Nalini’s parent company, the brand delivers a unique blend of producing their own garments under the Nalini brand marque, plus the manufacture of clothing for other world-famous brands. Their authenticity and originality in the design, testing and production of cycling garments is almost unparalleled, where the products are judged and tested by the most demanding of riders from the pro-peloton. Nalini is, for example, the exclusive manufacturer and technical clothing license holder for the famous Campagnolo brand, and Occhio is privileged to be exclusively representing such cycling royalty in the UK.

MOA Lab, Moa Sports’ technological laboratory, underpins all production and sets the agenda from design and yarn making, to fabric creation and sourcing through to the finished garments. With robust research and design processes and the translation of pro riders' input, MOA Lab ensures the quality of Nalini’s products remain as high as they ever were, on an industrial scale.

MOA Sport and the Nalini brand also offer a premium custom clothing service to teams and clubs all over the world. If you wish to look into your team or club having your kit designed and produced by Nalini, just like some of the world’s best pro teams have done, then please contact us at info@occhio.cc

Occhio is extremely proud to be able to offer you products of such pedigree. We look forward to helping you discover new and original products for your own riding that bear the Nalini or Campagnolo brand marques, and join us in spreading the word about these wonderful pieces of clothing.

Mark R and Mark S.

Details and images supplied by courtesy of Mr Mantovani and MOA Sport.
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