Wilier Triestina Italian bicycles – 102 Years of History

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Wilier Triestina was founded as Ciclomeccanica Dal Molin in 1906 by Pietro Dal Molin in Bassano del Grappa, sixty miles from Venice. The town of Bassano, at the foot of the famed Monte Grappa, is today a popular cycling destination. In fact, multiple routes lead to the top of Monte Grappa, and every cyclist you meet during your stay in the area will ask what your best time is up the mountain, and stretch the truth about theirs. So important a benchmark is this climb, in fact, that you can acquire a scanner card to run through a timing device at the bottom, and then again at the top, to officially clock your time. But, alas, we digress…

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So, how is Wilier Triestina pronounced, and what do the words mean? Both names were born out of Italian patriotism following the World Wars. Wilier is an acronym pronounced Vee’-lee-air. Italians use ‘W’ as an abbreviation for the word “Viva”, which means “Long live”. For example, Italian cycling fans will often hold up signs at the Giro that read “W l’Italia”, “W il Giro” or show their support of a specific rider with signs like “W Ballan” or “W Cunego”. The patriotic phrase, “W l’Italia liberata e redenta” (Long live Italy, liberated and redeemed) gave birth to Wilier.Triestina is pronounced Tree-es-tee’-na, and is the Italian equivalent of our English word triestine, which implies anything having to do with the Italian city of Trieste on the Adriatic Sea, including a resident. Following World War II, Trieste and its surrounding coastal area remained part of an occupied free territory. Meanwhile, triestine cycling great and three-time winner of the Giro, Giordano Cottur, was holding his own against contemporaries 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.

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In 1946, the Giro featured a stage finish in Trieste. Poetically, Cottur won the stage into his hometown, and soon afterward, the bicycles took on the name of the team. In fact, one of Wilier’s logos is a halberd (similar to a fleur-de-lis), which was inspired by Trieste’s coat of arms.

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About Wilier Triestina USA
Wilier Triestina USA is a partnership between Wilier Triestina of Rossano Veneto (near Bassano del Grappa), Italy, and their US importer, Velo Imports, which began distributing the brand in 1999. Like a true Italian business, “Wilier USA” is owned and run by father and son, Angelo and Gianmarco Cilli, themselves Italians. Over the past nine years, Angelo and Gianmarco have sought out and established relationships with elite bicycle retail stores across North America, which have become authorized Wilier dealers. Most years, the Cillis and staff accompany many of their dealers on a trip to Italy for a tour of the Wilier Triestina offices and factory in Rossano, as well as some of the best riding in the world, including many nearby climbs often featured in the Giro d’Italia. Wilier Triestina is the proud sponsor of the Lampre Pro Tour team of Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Ballan. For more information, visit www.wilier-usa.com .

About the author: RoadBikeReview

RoadBikeReview.com is an online community of cyclists who share a passion for the sport. Visitors of the site regularly purchase gear to upgrade their bikes, share inspiring photos of rides, and keep up to date with the latest industry and technology news. Which products perform best? Where to buy them? Where to ride? How to ride better? Cyclists come to RoadBikeReview.com for the answers.


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  • kleahan says:

    Hello-
    Today I purchased a single speed vintage Roma Sport. Everything seems to be original, except for the hand grips. Rides just fine. I can’t find any information on the internet about these bicycles or the manufacturer.
    Can you tell me anything about them or where I might find some information about them?
    I would appreciate any information you can give me.

  • kleahan says:

    I’m not sure if my question made it through…I bought a Roma Sport 1 gear bicycle today and I can’t find anything about the bicycle or manufacture on the internet. Can you point me in the right direction as to where I can get infomation? I would really appreciate any information you could provide.
    Thank you,
    Katie

  • Timothy Rajah says:

    I really liked the article on Wilier Triestina. It is a very good insight to the history. I ride a Wilier myself and I can really say it is a fine piece of artwork that I have.

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