Bar Augusto, located in Alme (Bergamo), Italy, was renowned for its support of cycling teams and its world-class bicycle racing collection that focused on trophies and race-worn jerseys. A family-owned business, the bar, and its attached inn flourished in the 1970s and 1980s. Augusto Gotti, the enterprise’s face, welcomed amateur national teams to stay at Bar Augusto while the riders trained and raced in the region. Many Western and Eastern Bloc national teams embraced the Gotti family’s welcoming spirit and were among the most ardent supporters.
Augusto was a devoted cycling fan and astute collector of jerseys. Active and retired professional and amateur riders gave the bar hundreds of jerseys, and all hung with pride on the walls of the storied bar. The jersey collection read like a venerable who’s who of the cycling world from the 1950s through the 1980s. Coppi, Gimondi, Motta, Merckx, Anquetil, Van Looy, Altig, and hundreds more professional jerseys hung alongside the best of the best Eastern Bloc riders. Given its incredible diversity, depth, and breadth, it would be challenging, if not impossible, to build the same collection today.
With time, Augusto decided to retire, close the bar, and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life in his autumn years. A year or so before Augusto passed away, and with the help of former Polish and US National Team Coach Eddie Borysewicz, we were honored to acquire the Gotti Collection. Augusto’s and our collection combined beautifully, and between the two, there were only two overlapping items: an Eddy Merckx maillot jaune and a Bernard Hinault Renault team jersey. To this day, our collection is what is thanks in no small measure to a quaint bar and inn tucked into a picturesque valley in Northern Italy.
By Brett Horton, Jan 2021
Each jersey is one of a kind, please look carefully at the photos to determine the condition.