the italian national team riding stolen bicycles


By Hob | Heroes on Bike | 25 Nov 2021

A timeless problem, perhaps it has finally found a solution?

Bicycle thefts have always existed, they are even recounted in Vittorio de Sica's film "Ladri di Biciclette". I myself, as a boy, had my road bike stolen before the start of a race.
3f43216377441f6ab6a25411311faefe28ab557d8e5ebf58541b2e2f86594cbb.jpg theft scene in the movie (1948)

The premise and the pretext for this article is the theft recently suffered by the Italian national track cycling team in Roubaix on October 22, 2021, during the World Championships.
That night, 22 bicycles were stolen from the Italian national team, including the four Pinarello "Bolide" bikes used to win the Tokyo Olympics (unique pieces). Damage was estimated at $675,000.

The bicycles were found the following week in Romania during an anti-drug operation. All's well that ends well you might say... that would be too good. In fact, in order to return the bicycles to Italy, they will have to be released by the Romanian authorities and the only way to do this is to prove that the bicycles are actually Italian samples. The paradoxical situation was then resolved by an Italian delegation in Romania and the bicycles were brought back to Italy on November 16, '21 almost a month after they were found, even though initially there was talk of a much longer time frame. Probably because some of the bicycles were actually unique pieces and because the visit of the Italian delegation probably had a political connotation (it is easy to think so), the bicycles were cleared through customs earlier than expected.
But what if those bicycles had not belonged to the national team? What if those bicycles had been "stock" (sold in stores)? How could the situation have been resolved?
In my opinion, in that case, the bicycles would still be blocked in Romania, don't you think?

Nowadays, even if some bikes are sold for huge amounts of money, there is nothing to prove the ownership, there is only the frame number, but no one checks that the frame number of the bike they are buying is linked to a theft report, for example (also because, reasoning in reverse: who is the one who reports the frame number of his stolen bike, assuming that he reports it? In fact, how many people even know it is there?), and then it is possible to falsify them in such a way that even the verification systems of the producers consider them good.
But perhaps there is a solution and it was proposed a few weeks earlier by Ernesto Colnago.
It is to exploit the blockchain technology in favor of the fight against theft and counterfeiting called: NFT authentication procedure.
NFT is a non-fungible token, something unique and unequivocal recognizable in a simple and instantaneous way through the blockchain technology.
Colnago's project aims to make forgery both impossible, and at the same time the user has a much more convenient system to immediately verify the complete history of the bike they are buying - where it was built, when, who owned it before and so on - maybe even what maintenance work was done and when.

You understand too that, in the situation described above, Olympic champions would have been able to prove ownership of their bikes much more easily if they were authenticated through an NFT!
For the record, this technology was unveiled at the 2021 Flanders Road World Championships with Pogacar's V3Rs Ice&fire.
I am fascinated by how this technology is little by little becoming more and more concrete helping us in our everyday life.

d5d28801f437346bef9f9800404b9c2aa1c6e1b55f69ab34b398f428bba703a1.jpgPogacar's bike (




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historical cycling passion, research in the past to learn something to exploit in the future!

Heroes on Bike
Heroes on Bike

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