Ugo De Rosa was born in 1934 in Milan, Italy and a successful amateur racer as a young man.
In 1953 he opened his first shop and dedicated himself to the manufacture of racing bicycles. Soon his reputation began to spread among the amateur racers in Milan
By 1958 word of De Rosa's frames had reached the professional peloton and was approached by Raphael Geminiani who asked him to build a bike for the upcoming Giro d'Italia. De Rosa knew making this champion's bikes would certify his craftsmanship and launch him into the world of professional cycling.
The sixties saw De Rosa bikes become a fixture in the professional peloton. The powerful Faema squad were the first team to ride De Rosas. With champions like Soler, Suarez and Rik van Loy they won a majority of the races they entered. Other De Rosa teams of the decade included Tbac (1964) and Max Majer (1967).
In 1969 De Rosa accepted Gianni Motta’s offer to become the frame builder and mechanic to Motta's powerful Sanson team. It was also during this period that rising star Eddy Merckx asked De Rosa built some frames for him. But it was not until 1973 that their now famous relationship was formalized when Eddy asked Ugo to become the official frame builder and mechanic for the Molteni team which he captained. The results were unprecedented as Merckx and his teammates won nearly all the major races including the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, Milano-San Remo and the World Championship. This partnership remained in effect until Merckx's retirement in 1978.
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During this time Ugo also built frames for Francesco Moser and his Filotex team. The team was taken over by Sanson in 1976, who added Roger DeVlaeminck to its roster while Moser went on to win the World Championship.
The 1980s continued De Rosa’s success with Ugo’s sons Danilo, Doriano and Christiano entering the business. Ugo became technical consultant for Eddy Merckx’s bicycle manufacturing facility. De Rosa bikes were now being exported around the world and they moved manufacture to a larger facility in Cusano Milanino. They also sponsored Sammontana and Arostia pro teams.
In the 1990s De Rosa were one of the first race frame builders to make titanium frames, resulting in the now infamous Gewiss team’s remarkable successes.
Today the De Rosa family continues to build top level bicycles.
CREDIT: Classic Rendezvous