Eddy Merckx - Giro di Faema

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Late last year custom bicycle designer, constructor and painter Joe Cosgrove high tailed it out of his shed and headed for Melbourne. Joe confesses he's a bit of a hermit preferring to work away the days and nights in his Brisbane based, custom bicycle building workshop. Some days to Joe the rest of the world could just about be a million miles away. Joe's Frezoni frame brand has been established since the early 80's. A quirk of fate ignited Joe's career as a frame builder back in the late 70's. Look anywhere into the history of the Australian bicycle industry since the 50's and you'll find Kevin Thompson's name imprinted with a deep staining indelible ink all over the story. Kevin was the man behind many new ventures, and Joe's destiny was tangled up in one of them.

French frame builder Robert Alami came to Australia and set up shop building Alami frames in the late 70's. Anyone who knows Kevin also knows he could sell ice to an Eskimo, and nothing was different with Robert Alami's bicycle building business. Soon Alami's Brisbane based workshop required extra help - enter stage left, Joseph Cosgrove.

Joe's own Frezoni frame building business took off in 1982 when he began building for himself under the name of Frezoni. Take a look at Joe's fastidious log, and I did - every entry every page, of who he'd built frames for - it's a who's who of Australian cycling from the era. Joe even built the Frezoni frame for the 1995 Australian outdoor hour record I'd set, hell I wish I'd kept that bike now…(another story for another day!)

Intensely brilliant at design, construction and painting, Joe's idiosyncratic nature allows him a rare freedom of creative expression. Now in 2013 we are privileged to see Joe's latest blend of old school cycling with modern technology. Imprinted in Joe's mind is the cycling world he grew up racing in from the 1960's, in this world was Eddy Merckx winning races on a famous red and white Faema bicycle built by Masi, Merckx even built a Merckx replica years later under the Merckx brand.

Back in December at Melbourne's 2012 Australian Custom Bicycle Show, Joe polished up his 2012 replica of the 1968 Merckx Faema Campagnolo Record Masi, then next to it displayed his 2012 Campagnolo Super Record EPS version.

Here's a preview of what's to come. Last week I photographed both bikes in detail at Joe's workshop, and I'm in the process of documenting anything that's not nailed or concreted down. Such is the immense knowledge contained within the walls of Frezoni - Cycle Design, it needs to fly out the door for the world to see, stay tuned at Velo Aficionado and Cycle Design.

Here I found a Merckx figurine of Merckx on a red and white Faema-Merckx bike then sent it on a tour of the Frezoni Faema. The full bike and it's 2012 EPS white and red replicated Frezoni-workshop buddy soon.

 Eddy Merckx barreling along difficult uneven roads at Giro di Faema.

Eddy Merckx barreling along difficult uneven roads at Giro di Faema.

 Level as a pancake the Unicantor mountain plains.

Level as a pancake the Unicantor mountain plains.

 Merckx watching the lumpy traffic furniture along strada Frezoni. 

Merckx watching the lumpy traffic furniture along strada Frezoni. 

 An aerial view of Merckx leading the peloton through the tricky Alfredo Binda curves.

An aerial view of Merckx leading the peloton through the tricky Alfredo Binda curves.

 The sponsors are prominently displayed along the route of Giro di Faema, here Campagnolo get a look in.

The sponsors are prominently displayed along the route of Giro di Faema, here Campagnolo get a look in.

 Narrow roads as Eddy Merckx takes to the tricky  Raggi Alpina  mountain descent

Narrow roads as Eddy Merckx takes to the tricky Raggi Alpina mountain descent

 Eddy Merckx has the finish line in sight as he crosses over the top of one of the highest mountains at Giro di Faema.

Eddy Merckx has the finish line in sight as he crosses over the top of one of the highest mountains at Giro di Faema.

 Merckx tears up the cobbled section along strada Catena

Merckx tears up the cobbled section along strada Catena

 Picturesque backdrop of the  montagna di ruota.

Picturesque backdrop of the montagna di ruota.

 Racing for the finish line on the final cobbled sector at Giro di Faema.

Racing for the finish line on the final cobbled sector at Giro di Faema.

 Eddy Merckx on the final climb in Joe's shed.

Eddy Merckx on the final climb in Joe's shed.

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