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Arena 1981

Discover the limited-edition custom steel frameset celebrating Giovanni Battaglin’s victory in the Verona Arena.

Arena 1981

Limited-edition frameset celebrating Giovanni Battaglin’s victory in the Verona Arena

** This limited edition is SOLD OUT! **


In ancient Rome, people would gather in large amphitheaters to see blood sports.  

Inside huge open-air stone venues, well-trained combatants would fight to the death surrounded by a loud crowd.

They would fight not only for freedom but also for the fame and glory. Some of them would become popular heroes.

The Verona Arena, in the North-East of Italy, was one of those amphitheaters that would host gladiator fights.

After the falling of the Roman Empire and throughout history, it was used for a variety of purposes - as a hiding place, as a confinement site, and for operas and ballets in more recent years.

But on June 7 1981, another battle was fought inside the ancient amphitheater of Verona.

This time not with swords or spears.

This time it was a battle between the best cyclists of the world, that would challenge each other in a race against the clock.  

It was the final stage of the 1981 Giro d’Italia, a 42-km time trial with the finish line inside the Arena.

Giovanni Battaglin was wearing the Pink Jersey. He had taken it the stage before, climbing the brutal ascent of the 3 Cime di Lavaredo.

With the two main contenders Prim and Saronni less than a minute behind him in the General Classification, the race was nowhere near decided.


The final stage was uncertain until Giovanni Battaglin rolled into the Arena.

As soon as he entered through the stone arches and crossed the finish line, with more than 15.000 people chanting “Gio-van-ni! Gio-van-ni!”, he realized he had just become the 1981 Giro champion.

That’s how Giovanni Battaglin became the first cyclist to win the Pink Race inside the Verona Arena.

On June 2 2019, 38 years later, another racer will repeat Giovanni Battaglin’s feat.

The final stage of the Giro d’Italia 2019 will be a time trial with the finish line inside the amphitheater.

At Officina Battaglin, we’ll be celebrating this anniversary with a special frameset: Arena 1981.


Only 38 pieces worldwide


Arena 1981 is a lugged steel frameset handmade in the Battaglin workshop, that will be produced in a very limited run of 38 pieces.

As the Collezione Speciale frameset launched 2 years ago, the Arena 1981 is part of Giovanni Battaglin’s steel framesets personal collection celebrating the milestones of his career.

It’s a special jewel for a special anniversary, designed with the discerning collector in mind.

Each frame will be custom made to the owner’s measurements, after an individual sizing consultation with “the first hero of the Arena”.

The frame will come with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Giovanni Battaglin.



Top features



Columbus SL tubing

The Arena 1981 is built from the Columbus SL tubing.

For a frame that celebrates Giovanni Battaglin’s legendary career, choosing the best Italian tubing manufacturer was a must.  

The skinny look of the SL tubeset brings to mind the best steel racing bikes from the 80s, while the high-quality Italian steel provides the comfort that makes for an inimitable ride feel.

Chrome-plated lugs

Like the most beautiful classic Italian framesets, the Arena 1981 is embellished by shiny chrome lugs.

The chrome-plated steel magnifies the beauty of lugged construction and creates the distinct Italian look that all cycling connoisseurs recognize.

Iconic pink cromovelato finish

For a special occasion, you need a special dress.

And that’s why the Arena 1981 frame is “dressed” with the most mesmerizing finish an Italian steel frame can get, the cromovelato.

The cromovelato process consists of polishing the raw frame to a mirror finish, chrome-plating it, and then painting it with colored lacquer.  

The pink cromovelato gives the Arena 1981 the signature Italian sparkle, that will put the wow into your casual rides.

Engraved steel plaque

Each frame will have a steel plaque brazed to the top tube, hand-engraved with the “Arena 1981” inscription and the progressive number.

It’s the final touch of a complex building process, that will make it a unique piece of fine craftsmanship increasing its value over the years.



Special BONUS: celebrate like a Giro winner!



Astoria wine magnum bottle

As a special bonus, each owner will receive a magnum bottle of Astoria prosecco, the same bottle that will be awarded to each stage winner during the Giro 2019.

Want to know more about Arena 1981?

Fill out the form with your details to receive detailed information on how you can have an Arena 1981 custom-made for you.


See more limited-edition framesets > ROCHE > 1987