From the cafes of 1970s Milan to the homes of WorldTour pros, Rocket Espresso has become the must-have coffee machine of the cycling world
Words Joe Laverick Photography Augustus Farmer
Geraint Thomas is making coffee on Instagram. By his own admission the latte art needs some work, but at least the equipment appears fitting. Sitting on G’s countertop is a serious-looking contraption of mirrored steel and shiny pipes, a telltale ‘R’ on its left-hand knob.
It’s the R58 model, because as Alex Dowsett once tweeted, ‘Are you even a pro cyclist unless you own a chrome Rocket Espresso machine?’
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Of course Dowsett was being tongue in cheek, but only a bit. Check a pro’s social media feed over breakfast and you’re all but guaranteed to see a Rocket machine in the background. Cavendish, Alaphilippe, Matthews, Niewiadoma… the list goes on.
Yet apparently, unlike with their kit, these pros are coughing up their own hard-earned cash to own one. Which begs the question, how did a small company from Milan create such a cult following among the pro peloton? Ground control Professional cycling and coffee almost predates Adam and Eve. Eddy Merckx won his first four Grand Tours in the colours of Italian coffee giant Faema; Mario Cipollini spent his best years sponsored by Saeco; and Trek-Segafredo have enjoyed a happy partnership since 2016.In the 1980s, the Café de Colombia team was literally sponsored by a nation’s coffee growers, the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros de Colombia , and there […]