Paola Pezzo told Mountain Bike Action that she would not be racing the World Cup circuit this year. She showed up at the Napa World Cup but only to sign autographs and show off the 24-karat gold coated bike that Fisher had made for her for this year. Paola, who’s won two Olympic mountain biking gold medals in the women’s division so far, told MBA she was ?tired of running,? and later told us that she was not planning on racing the World Cup series this year. She didn?t mention the World Championships or the NORBA race series, so we?re waiting to see if she shows up at Big Bear for the NORBA series kickoff on the weekend of June 1-3.
If you get a chance to check out her bike, please do. Pezzo’s bike frame for this year was covered with gold leaf, a thinner-than-tissue-paper sheet of gold, that was more or less glued in place over a regular frame, one small section at a time. The gold leaf was then covered with a clear coat finish to protect it from the elements. Even though gold is one of the heaviest metals on earth, gold leaf is so extremely thin that the coating weighs less than a coat of paint, according to the folks at Fisher, but adds nearly $5000 to the value of the bike, bringing it close to $10,000 if someone wanted to buy one like it. It’s yet to be seen if Paola’s going to be racing it this year.
We asked the folks at Fisher who came up with the idea for the gold bike. They told us that Paola told them that she wanted her color and clothing scheme for 2001 to be gold. (In the past, she has come up with silver and pink themes for her bike and wardrobe.) The people at Fisher were the ones who decided to see if they could get the bike covered in real gold, and they contracted a jeweler to do the work for them.
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