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25Sep/180

SANTINI’S 2018 EROICA COLLECTION

Santini’s 2018 Eroica collection is an authentic line of vintage cycling clothing for men and women who, in the spirit of cycling’s pioneers, inspire to ride their own heroic adventure.

In search of heroic rides

We’ve all seen the iconic photography of the greats of cycling’s early days. Black and white images of whip-thin riders on bikes that weighed three times what a modern bicycle does. Riders in baggy wool clothing and goggles who carried tires like bandoliers across their chest and drank water from corked aluminum bottles. Riders who had to shift gears users levers on the down tube or, if you go back far enough, had only one, fixed gear.

They fought over primitive mountain passes, in all kinds of weather, in heroic performances that still motivate cyclists today. Such riders were the inspiration behind L’Eroica, the epic, vintage-cycling-inspired event held each year in Gaiole, Chianti Italy.

Riding in the wheels of the greats

The Italian world Eroica means Heroic. L’Eroica means The Heroic, and refers to an annual cycling event in Gaiole, Italy where cyclists pay respect to the heroic performance of cycling’s early sporting pioneers by riding long distances on rural Tuscan roads using only vintage (pre 1987 by strict rule) equipment and clothing.

Since its inception in 1997, Eroica has grown more and more popular among cyclists who want to and connect to the authentic roots of the sport. As well as the original event in Gaiole, Italy, there are now Eroica events in Spain, Japan, the United States, South Africa, and other places where people want to come together to celebrate cycling’s values and traditions.

L’Eroica Gaiole takes place On October 7th this year. Drawing on our half-century history making clothes for cyclists in pursuit of their own heroic performances, we collaborate with Eroica to bring you a collection of vintage and vintage-inspired clothing.

'Polvere e fatica' (Dust and exertion)

Our Eroica collection incorporates the textiles and manufacturing processes of cycling’s early eras. You’ll find wool, metal zippers, embroidery, patches, and silk foulards in the collection, as well as options for both for summer and winter riding. The color palette reflects the unique pink Tuscan sunsets, the earthy bordeaux and rich greens of the landscape, and the white Strada Bianchi roads that dominate Tuscan wine country.

For men, there are several short-sleeve wool jerseys, a couple of modern kits in vintage looks, and long-sleeve jerseys and jackets in classic materials for winter riding.

For women, our POLVERE line offers one jersey in wool with a pink houndstooth print and three jerseys in modern textiles. Ultra-feminine in both color and cut, the COURE woollen jersey is aquamarine and cream with needlecord stripes. The Eroica collection for women includes coordinating accessories.

To complete the heroic look for both men and women, we offer retro embroidered woollen Eroica bibs and shorts with a modern, antibacterial padding designed to mimic the look of the original leather chamois.

The entire Eroica collection is ‘authorized’ for use in Eroica events and available now at our website, at Eroica events, and at select retailers.

Original article posted at www.santinius.com

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24Sep/180

Who decided blog posts have to be 500 words?

I have been freelance copywriting professionally for a couple of years now. When I write for the web for clients, I am often asked to keep my word count to 500. It’s so common a requirement I always assumed it was a hard-and-fast rule, born of incredible wisdom, marketers law that should never, never be violated. Sticking to this word-count limit is one of the greatest struggles I have with copywriting though.

When I sit down for a writing session, focus on putting an idea down into a Google or Scrivener doc, a thousand words come out before I can take a breath to see how whatever I’m writing is turning out. A good writing session on one topic may yield 1,500, 2,200 words or more. I start out my copywriting assignments this way - throwing down any and all thoughts, ideas, client quotes, and gathered research on the assigned subject. Cutting that natural flow back to 500 words takes time, three or four passes at least. The trimming is what stretches copywriting assignments from two-hour missions to six-hour slogs.

500 words is soooo brief? It’s a shackle of a word count. To get there, I have to suck back what I want to say. I have to buzz-cut paragraphs to make my point under the limit. I have to sacrifice one or more of my precious children so my whole family will fit neatly inside someone else’s idea that a family car should have only three-seat and headroom for little people.

The 500-word blog post recommendation is a fabrication

So why? Why am I being held to this punitive word count in a world where so many amazing words exist?

Google this question and the 500-words recommendation pops up over all kinds of web pages designed to tell YOU how you *should* optimize your web content. So search engines prefer it over longer pages. Because your audience won’t stick around for longer articles than that. So your point gets across with brevity.

I found this on an affiliate marketing website - “Many bloggers prefer to stick to short articles, generally between 500 and 750 words… According to Forbes.com, 200 words is the ideal length for a blog post because it keeps the reader’s attention, doesn’t leave room for fluff, and creates a quick and effective call to action (CTA).” This is a common theme among websites heavily focused on product listings and sales. Content whose purpose is to move a product.

The writer then goes on to immediately contradict themselves, citing the benefits of posting longer pieces. “...longer posts allow you more space and freedom to work keywords into your content alongside your overall message and a CTA. Forbes has the data to support the case for longer content too. Citing results from a serpIQ study, the top 10 results on Google all have a minimum of at least 2,000 words.” The same article then cites research on the site Medium.com that suggests 1,300 words (about seven minutes of reading time). This was common best practices on websites focused on quality and depth of content. Content intended to inform, educate, and inspire.

My 500-word assignments are coming from product-focused websites. Brands with a product mission. So it makes sense that they’re taking the advice that the online marketing world has to offer. And it makes sense that when I want to write something where I take a bit of time and complete a full thought, it lengthens naturally into something that lines up with what readers prefer.

So...

I’m just going to do what I want (unless someone is paying me)

The 500-word recommendation having a purely commercial origin makes sense. Websites designed to sell product need focused, shorter articles because the research span of someone looking for a product online is short. Understanding that it’s not just an arbitrary number helps me when I’m taking on these copywriting assignments. It gives me focus, a specific word target to hit, It challenges me to get lean with the words, to get right at the point when I’m writing the setup (where I usually like to take time to build up the product story that’s about to follow).

When I’m writing specialty content, the audience expects me to take more time, go further in depth, and let the writing tell whatever the story is your trying to convey. Which is a license to write in my more natural rhythm.

Okay, frustration is gone, I’ve worked out my resentment to the arbitrary 500-word blog-article recommendation. I can embrace it now. Can you?

PS: This article is almost 800 words.

18Sep/180

Lizzie X Santini – For the Superwomen of Cycling

Santini ambassador and cycling superwoman Lizzie Deignan launches her new Lizzie X Santini signature collection with a selection of women’s winter apparel.

Lizzie X Santini - For the Superwomen of Cycling

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Deignan (née Armitstead) is one of the most accomplished athletes in cycling. She a former UCI Road World Champion, Commonwealth Champion, five-time British National Champion, Olympic Road Race Silver Medalist, and twice winner of the UCI Women's Road World Cup. Prior to her switch to road racing, the 29-year old English cyclist also won five medals at the UCI Track World Championships. Lizzie is also an accomplished business woman, spokesperson, and expecting first-time mother!

Both her success on and off the bike make us proud to say that Lizzie has accepted a role as a global athlete ambassador for Santini. As part of the new partnership, Lizzie and Santini worked together on a “Lizzie X Santini” collection, performance cycling clothing designed for women, by women. “I have had firsthand experience testing the quality of Santini clothing racing with the Boels-Dolmans team,” Lizzie said about the decision to collaborate with Santini. “I particularly loved the fit and design crafted specifically for the female body. Attention to detail is what makes the difference to me and with Santini I know I am guaranteed high-performance kit that also looks stylish.”

Lizzie X Santini winter options for women

The Lizzie X Santini collection, new for the 2019 season, officially launched yesterday with the release of select winter items:

PASSO winter jacket - Built with Windstopper fabric (300 GR/M2), Lizzie’s PASSO jacket for women is designed for temperatures as low as 5 degrees Celsius, as well as offers protection from wind and rain. The PASSO is performance fit and features inserts in reflective pixel fabric on the neck and cuffs and offers two zippered rear pockets. Lizzie recommends the PASSO for cold winter rides with only a thermal base layer underneath.

CORAL long-sleeve jerseys - Made of soft and warm thermofleece Lite Pro, the CORAL jersey is easy to wear, comfortable, and warm. Available in three colors, CORAL features sleeve cuffs in double thermofleece, five large pockets, and reflective trim to ensure maximum visibility on the road. The design features a stylized peacock pattern, the signature graphic element in Lizzie’s collection. Lizzie says use this thermal jersey with a base layer with temperatures between 15° and 20°, or with her CORAL jacket on top to face colder weather and rainy conditions.

CORAL bib tights - Train all winter with Lizzie’s CORAL bib-tights! Made of warm and soft thermofleece, the upper brace is designed with an innovative mesh bib to ensure perfect fit and maximum breathability. Our women’s–specific GIL2 chamois with anti-shock gel core maximizes comfort in the saddle.

The collection also includes a packable winter jacket (SCUDO) and a mid-winter jacket (CORAL), and is designed to mix and match with all of Santini’s core winter accessories.

Lizzie Deignan is signed to the Trek Factory Team in 2019. She is married to professional cyclist Philip Deignan. The Lizzie X Santini collection winter items are available now.

Original article posted on www.santinius.com

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13Sep/180

RIDE TO HOLL: A KIT FIT FOR A RIDE TO HELL

9/13/2018 - If you’re going to cycle the road to Hell, you might as well look amazing in our new Ride to Höll kit, inspired by the Innsbruck-Tirol UCI World Championships racecourse.

A challenging Innsbruck-Tirol world's course

The saying that “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” must have been intended for the organizers of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck-Tirol, Austria. Good intentions helped them create a stunning and tough racecourse befitting the prize that will be earned by the winner. Starting with a 90-kilometer run from the countryside into Innsbruck, the race then loops the city in a series of 24km circuits. On those city circuits is where the road to hell in found. In the case of this racecourse, hell is not a portal to the underworld, but a nasty climb that the Elite riders will have to master multiple times to claim the rainbow jersey. Just over three kilometers long, Höttinger Höll has an average gradient of 13-percent, with a devilish pitch at 28-percent. Hell indeed!

Your own ride to Hell

If you want a taste of this version of Hades for yourself, organizers are holding a unique hill-climb on Höttinger Höll the day before the Elite Men’s Worlds. The KRONE Ride to Höll (Ride to Hell), held September 29th, offers amateur entrants a short but sharp course starting in the heart of Innsbruck and climbing the infamous Höttinger Höll climb. Featuring 291 metres of ascent and a maximum gradient of 28%, the 3.2km KRONE Ride to Höll begins in front of the Hofburg imperial palace (the official finish of the 2018 UCI Road World Championships) and ends above Innsbruck at Gramartboden. The fastest male and female rider will be crowned King and Queen of Höll, with prizes awarded to the top three in the men and women’s categories.

A kit fit for a ride to Hell

To celebrate the KRONE Ride to Höll, and Höttinger Höll itself, we collaborated with the organizers to create a commemorative kit. “It’s incredible that they would use the Höttinger Höll climb for an amateur event,” says lead Santini designer, Fergus Niland. Inspired by the event, “We wanted produce a complete kit for all the fans who will take part.”

Drawing on the hellish theme, Niland designed a pitchfork print to use across the kit. “The jersey is pretty simple,” he says about the red and black palette. “On the front of the jersey, we use the pitchfork design that’s then separated into five shades of red to mirror the world championships bands.” Santini designers then added details, like a red zipper and devil horns in place of the umlaut on the O in Holl. “We also added a road-sign design with a pitch fork that incorporates the rainbow bands to the back of the jersey.”

Besides the jersey, the full kit includes matching bibs, a traditional cycling cap (also with the pitchfork motif), and socks that feature an enlarged pitchfork on the back.

Built from our SLEEK99 bibs and jersey, the Ride to Höll kit is available now.

Original article posted on www.santinius.com

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8Sep/180

VEGA XTREME

9/8/18 - Our VEGA Extreme jacket is the armor you need to do battle with Old Man Winter. Built for freezing cold and wet winter rides, VEGA Xtreme is available at a special price for a limited time.

Ultimate cold-weather protection

Successful Spring cycling depends on a solid base of winter training. When your motivation to ride under dark, wet and cold skies is low, you need special gear to go out on your bike. To help, we worked with harsh-climate fabric manufacturer Polartec to develop a new winter jacket called VEGA Xtreme.

Polartec’s motto is Impossible Made Possible. Guided by it, they make modern, technical fabrics that gives you the protection Mother Nature did not. Using their groundbreaking membrane and insulation technology, our VEGA Xtreme jacket protects you through the wet, cold and wind. Just like it protected team Trek-Segafredo when they faced freezing, torrential rain at the start of the 2018 Milan Sanremo. VEGA clothing allowed them not only to race, but to perform at their best. It is intended to do the same for you.

Partnership with Polartec

To create our perfect winter jacket, we used Polartec Windbloc® for the outer layer. “Windbloc® is a three-layer a membrane fabric,” says Monica Santini, daughter of founder Pietro Santini and Managing Director of Santini Cycling Wear. “It was the right solution (for an extreme-weather racing jacket) in terms of breathability, is a fabric that can keep a rider warm, and has a good DWR so rain doesn’t get through.”

We used Polartec Alpha® inside the collar. “Alpha was developed by Polartec with the US Military. It’s been used in extreme conditions, so we know it keeps you very warm and dry. And we felt that the collar was one area where you want to have special protection when it’s really, really cold.”

A new approach to waterproof seals

Together with one of their suppliers, Santini also developed a new fabric that fuses polyurethane with thermofleece. “We placed this special fabric where you need extreme water protection,” says Monica Santini. “At the bottom of the jacket and on the back pocket, for example, where all the dirt normally comes from the back wheel. And to create an anatomical seal at the sleeve cuffs.”

We also used this new fabric under the zipper. “Instead of working with a standard waterproof zipper, which is a good solution, but can be hard for a rider to work during a ride, we were able to use a normal reverse zipper then layer our new waterproof fabric internally to block the rain.”

A number of reflective details on the shoulders and the back of the jacket make you more visible on the road. A zippered, waterproof back pocket keeps your valuables safe and dry.

A limited-time offer

The VEGA Xtreme jacket is available now. Through September and October 2018, it is on offer for an introductory promotional price of 179 euro (rather than 230 euro standard retail price). US customers will pay only $225 instead (compared to the standard retail of $290).

Original article posted on www.santinius.com

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