An Evening with Francesco Moser

This story originally appeared on ComoLagoBike 19-June-2018

We live and work in a remarkable setting on Lake Como, rich in natural beauty and of course in cycling! Our community is special in that it brings together a confluence of passions, which often include our favorites - cycling, food, and wine - and last night was a special event.


Next to the grand Villa Melzi in Bellagio sits the tiny hamlet of Loppia, once a bustling fishing village and now a tranquil and idyllic setting for a restaurant serving fine local and seasonal cuisine under the shade of their outdoor patio. This is where our team found itself at Ristorante Alle Darsene di Loppia, who was hosting legendary Italian cyclist, Francesco Moser, who dominated cycling in the 1970s and 80s, winning the Giro d’Italia, road and track World Championships, the Giro di Lombardia, Paris Roubaix among innumerable others. Francesco and his son, Carlo, were at Alle Darsene to present a tasting of their wines from their vineyard, Moser Trento, in the mountains of the Trentino region in northeastern Italy.


In the early 1900s the Trentino area began producing sparkling wines in the fashion of the great French Champagne region. The Trentino vineyards that produce these unique sparkling wines are collectively known as Trentdoc, proudly named for their 1993 D.O.C. wine certification. Francesco and Carlo’s special sparkling wine is 51.151, named after Francesco’s 1984 winning Hour Record distance at the velodrome in Mexico City.

The evening was a fabulous event of camaraderie and learning more about the Moser family wines, including a toast to the champion with the 51.151.  We are always encouraging our guests to practice "slow tourism" by e-bike to savor the sights and sounds of our area, and we practice it ourselves! The restaurant and quaint Loppia hamlet are perfect for riding to by e-bike, so our group spent the evening sampling the Moser sparkling wines and traveling the paths of Bellagio with ease on our Bottecchia e-bikes. Carlo Moser found himself quite interested in our transportation, too.


If you are not able to attend a wine tasting with “lo sceriffo”, the sheriff, himself, you can see his Hour Record bike at the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel or Ghisallo Cycling Museum (the exhibits occasionally rotate between the two). Moser’s distinctive Hour Record bike is hard to miss – with its radically arced silver Columbus steel frame, pioneering carbon fiber disc wheels with a smaller 650C front wheel to improve aerodynamics, and pursuit style bullhorn handlebars. It was nearly unthinkable at the time, but Moser and his engineers designed a bike that leveraged his powerful body to beat Eddie Merckx’s 1972 Hour Record of 49.431km.


So make sure that when you visit Lake Como and Bellagio, you practice "slow tourism" by e-bike to see the sights and enjoy a meal at one of our local restaurants. Enjoy the freedom that only comes by bicycle and make sure to visit the Madonna del Ghisallo chapel and Cycling Museum and appreciate Francesco Moser's magnificent accomplishments.