1960 - 1970
It is an Italian brand that from 1962 made small 49-cc two-stroke bikes. Production was completed between 1966 and 1970.
Born of Passion & Craftsmanship
Wilier Triestina began its rise to prominence as one of Italy’s preeminent brands in 1906 as Ciclomeccanica Dal Molin. Its main offices and factory have been located near the base of famed Giro climb Monte Grappa, sixty miles from Venice, ever since.
Pietro Dal Molin had shared the same passion that Lino Gastaldello and his father did when they acquired the brand in 1969. Together with his sons, Lino worked tirelessly to revive the brand in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Origin & Pronunciation of the Name
Both Wilier and Triestina were inspired by Italian patriotism following the World Wars. Wilier is an acronym. W is an abbreviation for the word Viva, which means “Long live”, beginning the phrase: W l’Italia liberata e redenta – Long live Italy, liberated and redeemed. It is pronounced /Vee’-lee-air/.
Triestina is pronounced /Tree-es-tee’-na/ and is the Italian equivalent of our English word triestine, which implies related to the Italian city of Trieste on the Adriatic Sea. Following World War II, Trieste and its surrounding coastal area remained part of an occupied free territory while triestine cycling great and 3-time Giro winner, Giordano Cottur, was battling against fellow cycling greats Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.
Inspired by Cottur and Trieste’s plight, Dal Molin put together a team with Cottur as leader, calling it Wilier Triestina. The brand’s inimitable halberd logo (similar to a fleur-de-lis) was inspired by Trieste’s coat of arms. In Autumn 1945, the company assumed the symbolic name. Wilier Triestina was born, distinguished by its unique copper colored models. The rest is history.
Following World War I, one of Dal Molin's sons – Mario – took the helm and grew the brand’s renown through the implementation of chrome and nickel-plating. Under Mario’s leadership, production increased considerably until World War II, which the company weathered relatively unscathed until it could resume regular production following the Armistice.
Team Wilier Triestina took to the first Giro following World War II, playing off the duel between great champions, Coppi and Bartali, while taking multiple stage wins. After those successes, Wilier became part of the great Italian landscape of professional and enthusiast cycling. The industrial boom of the times combined with the growing demand for Wilier bicycles precipitated expansion of Wilier’s staff as well as its facilities; production reached 200 bicycles a day supported by the efforts of 300 employees.
Brand of Champions
In 1947, Wilier brought on a promising young cyclist, Fiorenzo Magni. Instead of being lost in the shadow of the campionissimi, Magni became the third great protagonist in Italian cycling, winning the Giro in 1948. That same year, Wilier began distribution as far as South America, where a small team of local professional cyclists also won dozens of races.
The following season, the team collected several Italian domestic races as well as extending its renown to the Tour of Flanders and the Tour de France in 1949 and 1950.
Unfortunately, after the first phase of Italian reconstruction in the early '50s that brought about the “economic miracle,” people gave up bicycles in favor of scooters and motorbikes. Bicycle companies suffered the consequences of motorized progress, and in 1952 Wilier Triestina had to shut down operations.
Until 1969, when Lino Gastaldello and sons brought about Wilier’s own modern-day miracle – the brand, its bicycles and its champions you know today.
A history of success
The renown of Wilier Triestina has always been linked to the heroics of the great champions of cycling. The first pro team of the Gastaldello era was the Mecap Hoonved squad of Mario Beccia in 1979, who won a stage in the Giro d'Italia that year. In 1981 came the Selle San Marco team of Alfio Vandi, winner of the Coppa Placci. Few results came from Selle San Marco (1982), Mareno (1983) and Supermercati Brianzoli (1984), but more success was just around the corner. In 1985, still with the Supermercati Brianzoli squad, Wilier triumphed with the Italian Road Championship with Claudio Corti. He also won the Giro dell'Umbria and Giro di Romagna.
Wilier Triestina exited professional cycling for the remainder of the 80s through the early 90s but returned in '95 with Brescialat, which prevailed with Podenzana in the Giro di Toscana and with Piccoli in the 15th stage of the Giro d'Italia. Meanwhile the company had moved its headquarters to Via Fratel Venzo. 1997 was a historic year: Wilier was the official bike of Mercatone Uno, and therefore also of Marco Pantani. The Pirate was at the peak of his career, but crashed out of the Giro d'Italia. He returned at the Tour de France winning the Alpe d'Huez and Morzine stages. A true friendship between Lino and Pantani was born: the champion spontaneously gifted him his jersey and his dedication.
Now with Liquigas, the victories continued. Gonchar won the 1999 World Time Trial Championship, while Rebellin ushered in the Tirreno-Adriatico with a flurry of victories in 2001. In 2002, Wilier and Mercatone Uno were back together again, but Pantani, after the storm he had weathered, was not the same as before.
2003 saw a dual sponsorship: Lampre and Gerolsteiner. Casagrande on one side and Rebellin on the other. Together they awarded numerous successes to Wilier, and the following year brought the rainbow jersey-wearing Astarloa to Lampre. In 2004 Rebellin scored the historic triple of Amstel, Fleche Wallonne and Liege. In the next two years, with the French team Cofidis, Wilier won a stage in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana with Moncoutie with Bertagnolli. Recent years have seen consolidation of the Lampre-Wilier relationship. The main spokespersons for the Rossano company were Cunego and Ballan. Memorable victories included the 2007 Tour of Flanders for Ballan and 2008 Amstel for Cunego as well as the 2007 and 2008 Giro di Lombardia. The ultimate glory was in September 2008, when Ballan won the World Road Championship in Varese on Wilier, just ahead of his illustrious teammate Cunego.
The last years
Even in the last Grand Tours, Wilier Triestina has been a protagonist with two athletes of the highest order. At the 2010 Tour de France, Alessandro Petacchi won the green jersey for leader in the points classification. Only a year later, in summer 2011, Michele Scarponi won his first Giro d'Italia (awarded victory later after the disqualification of Alberto Contador).
The era of the Wilier Triestina Best Seller continues with exciting new models
Cento1: light, stiff, fast and responsive. A model that scored a real triumph in sales. Granturismo: for those who enjoy cycling in maximum comfort without sacrificing the performance of a more responsive racing bike. TwinBlade: a time trial bike with a totally new and innovative aerodynamic design. Zero.7: the lightest frame ever before built. Less than 800 grams. Cento1 SR: the sum of all the features of previous models. Aerodynamics, light weight, torsional rigidity and comfort.
A range of models that is continually evolving, guaranteed by the results and experience of the athletes of Team Lampre-ISD.
In the last decade, and especially since 2008 - due to the success of international cycling and of the new models, Wilier Triestina continues to increase and consolidate its presence in the international market, with double digit growth in terms of revenue and bicycles produced.
About Wilier Triestina USA
Wilier Triestina USA was founded in 2007 as a partnership between Wilier Triestina of Rossano Veneto (near Bassano del Grappa), Italy, and their United States importer, Velo Imports.
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