Team Colombia switching to Wilier-Triestina bikes in 2013
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Friday, November 09, 2012

Team Colombia switching to Wilier-Triestina bikes in 2013

by Ben Atkins at 1:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tech News
 
“Historic” Italian company bounces back from loss of Lampre to pick up South American ProConti team

team colombiaTeam Colombia will ride Wilier-Triestina bikes in 2013, the team has announced. The South American Professional Continental outfit - currently known as Colombia-Coldeportes - rode Bianchi in its first year, in 2012, but will switch to the Veneto, Italy, company for its second. The news is good for Wilier-Triestina, which recently saw its long-standing relationship with WorldTour team Lampre-ISD come to an end, as it switches to new Co-sponsor Merida’s bikes for next year.

“The Colombia project is another significant step in our path, and an exciting new challenge,” explained Wilier Triestina CEO Andrea Gastaldello. “And we will face it together with [the team’s general manager] Claudio Corti, a well-established manager and a person we feel very close to, notably for the strong results Corti himself achieved as a rider at Supermercati Brianzoli, a professional team we partnered with in 1984-1985.

“We firmly believe in the potential of Colombian cycling, and we are confident in this young and exciting team’s chances to establish itself on the international stage,” he added. “That is very important also from a commercial point of view. South America represents a significant market for Wilier Triestina – especially Brazil – with a great potential for growth, and we believe a country with a major cycling heritage like Colombia will represent a huge opportunity.”

Based in Rossano Veneto, in the Vicenza province Wilier was founded in 1906; becoming Wilier-Triestina in 1945. In the year’s after World War II the company made its name through riders like the recently deceased Fiorenzo Magni, before being acquired by the Gastaldello family in 1969.

More recently the company has been associated with a number of champions, including the late Marco Pantani in 1997, when he set the (now controversial) record time on the climb of Alpe d’Huez.

“Wilier is an historical Italian cycling brand, and they perfectly understood the value of this project,” said Corti. “Colombia proved one of the most exciting novelties of the past season, taking a number of young and talented riders on the international scene. We are confident that our second season will be even more successful, and we truly hope to take part to, at least, one Grand Tour.”

2012 saw Colombia-Coldeportes take a number of big results, including a stage of the Giro del Trentino through Darwin Atapuma, a stage of the Vuelta a Burgos through Johan Esteban Chaves, and the Coppa Sabatini through Fabio Duarte. The team also managed to secure invitations to some of the sport’s biggest races, including Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and il Lombardia.

The ambitious South American team is eying its first ever Grand Tour appearance in 2013, with Corti having expressed his liking for the routes of both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.

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