Battaglin 1987

Photos: Michael Blann

“I was stunned when I came round the final corner and saw Delgado up ahead. I didn’t expect that at all. First of all I could just see the back of some cars, then I was able to see Delgado just in front of them.”

“Even then I didn’t know how far up he was – that didn’t really interest me. All I knew was the faster I went, the closer I would get to him and the better my chance would be of winning the Tour.”

“I think if Delgado had known I was coming back at him he would have gone a little bit harder as well if he’d had anything left in the tank.”

“As I crossed the line I didn’t realise the significance of what I’d done. All I knew was that winning the Tour was still a possibility for me, but I had no idea what I’d achieved.”

“What made it dramatic was the fact that because the journalists behind the finish line were getting the time checks from 4km or 5km to go, they assumed that the Tour was over.”

“Everybody had their own ‘Delgado wins the Tour’ stories already written in their minds, so when I came round the corner they were all surprised, including Phil Liggett, as everyone will remember from his famous commentary as Delgado finished. I’ve had it played back to me a few times since.”

Born to Ride by Stephen Roche is published by Yellow Jersey Press

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10 Responses to “Battaglin 1987”

  1. cyclostyle Says:

    It’s certainly a beautiful bike. I heard Roche talking at the Hay on Wye Book Festival where he was promoting his autobiography – I wrote about it on Cyclostyle

    He described how he’d got one of his old team bikes out of the loft when he “rediscovered” cycling and rode it to a mates on flat tyres to get them pumped up – it could’ve been one of the ’87 Battaglins.

  2. Jeff Says:

    I have been riding this same frame (dura ace components) for about a month now, it is a great bike, and always gets the looks from the carbon fiber crowd

  3. Gordon T Says:

    Hello, catching up here but was this bike running 7 speed friction shift or were they using the Synco at this time?

  4. Arthur THOMSON Says:

    Hello, I have the very same beautiful model for sale… VGC… For information etc please contact.

    Due to knee problems cannot ride anymore.



  5. Chris Vickers Says:

    Hello – great job on this. I have a 1987 edition of this (without world champion decals, the year he won it all), fantastic structurally but the paint is quite messy – was wondering who did the respray on this if it all? Don’t want to entrust it to just anyone….

    I’m in London – any leads helpful!


  6. Art Vanick Says:

    Hi. I have the 1987 with the world champion decals on it, and have been riding it since 1990 when I bought the bare frame and fork and built a racer around it. Mine has all Campy – head set, brakes, shifters, derailleurs, bottom bracket, seat post – and mostly C Record, because I got an incredible deal. Even though I have a Scott with an aluminum frame and fiber fork, I love my old Battaglin.

    • Arthur THOMSON Says:

      Hello, I have have the same model complete with all the decals etc… What value do you think it has as they are becoming rather rare??

      • Gordon T Says:

        My frame was very reasonable off EBAY (less that $400USD), value is based on how bad someone else wants it though. Personally I think the vintage steel market is skewed more to the more popular Italian brands (Colnago/De Rosa/Pinna) than the rarer frame builders. Now if you have it built with full campy and delta brakes…that might be a different story. Me Im gonna buck the trend and go 9 speed Dura Ace/Ultegra, down tube shifters, White Industry Hubs and H Plus Son box rims to round out the bling! I know blasphemy!

  7. Mark haylett Says:

    Chris V, the restoration of Roche’s 1987 Battaglin was carried out by me. Stephen wanted to keep the bike as original and authentic as possible, which makes complete sense on a bike with history like this one has! Several hours of specialist paint treatment was required to bring the original paint and chrome back to life, and the end result was simply stunning. Check out my twitter page for more details @markhbiker and also watch out for a full article on the restoration in the next issue of The Ride Journal @TheRideJournal photos courtesy of @michaelBlann

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