Rock Racing returns. No Ball, just Italian skulls.

Rock Racing Italian website.

It’s Italian skull time, deja vu all over again only without the cocaine and hot Asian models. Uhh, so maybe this news isn’t that thrilling after all.

Businessman Roberto Tronconi and an Italian fashion consortium have purchased the brand, the designs and the name rights to jeans from the previous owner Michael Ball. The Rock & Republic jeans boss went bankrupt and his team folded back in 2010. It was messy, funny, crazy — sort of like the whole operation.

“Michael Ball is not dead and has not run away to Mexico,” Tronconi told Cyclingnews. That might not be a good thing but in any case, the Rock is back and the peloton does have a skull shortage.

Tronconi is either a fool or a genius but clearly he sees a huge upside from buying the damaged goods and bad reputation.

One of the new kits.

“I know he angered a lot of people during his time in the sport but I also think he was a visionary who was perhaps ahead of his time,” said Tronconi.

“Unfortunately his team faltered but we’re very excited about the brand living on as a joint-venture between my fashion company and Michael Ball.

According the the cyclingnews scoop, this isn’t just a half-ass publicity stuff to sell off the last remaining jeans from the warehouse and whatever cycling junk was still laying around.

They plan to sell Rock Racing bikes and clothing in the US and Europe and claims to have plans to sponsor regional teams in the US and Italy. You know a company is serious when they’re even ready to sell booties.

Next thing you know Oscar Seville will sign a contract again and Tyler Hamilton will join as a director sportif.

Rock rig.

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  • Brian Stephens

    There always has to be a bad boy to make the good guys look better. I think Rock Racing brought balance to the force, if you will. And who didn't root for Darth Vadar and Darth Maul at some point? I like Rock because they bring something different to the table, even down to their kit. They say, "Yeah we doped, so what. We're back. Deal with it." No one really wants them to win, but they are there and forcing the good guys to work harder to beat them. Gotta love it.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      I like the brash style and graphics and having a bad boy image isn't a bad thing. You just have to make sure you know where that bad boy image comes from — brashness or doping. FIrst good, second, bad. Matt

  • IdeaStormer Jorge

    Don't know about "Gotta Love it", but its fine their back, hopefully Ball has been humbled by the whole experience and comes back minus the chip on his shoulder. If they race and win a lot then he can start to carry the chip but till then he needs to stay clear of any shenanigans.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      I think Ball is completely out of the picture. He sold off everything and he's in no position to jump back into the sport — and nobody wants him to. Matt