Cino Cinelli was one of ten children of a small farmer from near Florence. For cycling it came after he and his brothers Giotto and Arrigo had delivered cycling race on the way to school and to work. From 1937 to 1944 Cinelli was a cyclist. His greatest achievement was the victory at Milan-San Remo in 1943. 1938 he also won the Giro di Lombardia and the Apennine Tour and the 1940 Giro del Piemonte. 1938 and 1939, however, he was able to win several stages of the Giro d' Italia itself, the 1939 Giro not finish. His biggest rival and best friend at the same time was Gino Bartali.
After ending his career as a racing driver Cinelli founded his eponymous company, which was known in particular for the production of innovative bicycle components. Also advised Cinelli his business friend Gentullio Campagnolo in the development of new products.
Cino Cinelli was also the founder of the Italian association for professional racers, the " Associazione Corridori Ciclisti Professionisti Italiani " ( ACCPI ), and its president remained for 24 years. In the early 1970s he wrote for the National Olympic Committee of Italy ( CONI ) a handbook on the theory and practice of cycling: Cycling (Rome, 1972), which is considered a " cycling Bible " in Italy.