N. 2/2024 Wilier Triestina

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The company from Rossano Veneto –  Italy, customized one of its top-of-the-line, superlight, aerodynamic bicycles specifically for the British champion. Wilier and Cavendish: a combo that allowed him to break a record that had stood since 1975. Today, the owners of Wilier are celebrating: “It’s like we’ve won the Tour de France!”

Rossano Veneto (VI), 4th July 2024

“Cavendish breaks Tour de France stage record,” says the BBC. “Cavendish détrône Merckx,” explains L’Equipe. “Mark Cavendish claims record-breaking 35th stage win at the Tour de France,” underscores CNN. “Cavendish wins his 35th stage in a sprint and surpasses Merckx as the cyclist with the most stage victories in the history of the Tour de France,” elaborates El Pais. And La Gazzetta: “He wanted to quit, then he dethroned Merckx.” The entire international press—not just the sports media—celebrates the incredible feat of Mark Cavendish, 39, profession: champion. Yesterday, Wednesday, July 3, the British cyclist achieved another of his masterpieces: by triumphing in the sprint at the fifth stage of the Tour de France, he added another victory to the 34 he had already secured at the Tour de France. Thus, he broke the record previously shared with a legend, Eddy Merckx, who had set it between 1969 and 1975, half a century ago.

Photos at the finish line capture Cavendish with his arms raised, standing on the bicycle that propelled him into history.

It’s not an ordinary bicycle. It’s a bicycle specially customized for him. It’s a bicycle that combines great technology with artisanal attention to detail. It’s a champion’s bicycle. It’s an entirely Italian bicycle. It’s the Filante SLR Cvndsh, produced for Cavendish by Wilier Triestina in Rossano Veneto (Vicenza).

Wilier’s story is one of Italian ingenuity, a point of pride for our country, an excellence to be proud of: founded in 1906 by Pietro Dal Molin, Wilier was revived by the Gastaldello family. Grandfather Giovanni acquired the brand at auction in 1969 after the company had gone bankrupt two years earlier. Giovanni already ran a simple bicycle shop in Rossano. Today, the company is managed by his grandchildren, Andrea, Enrico, and Michele Gastaldello, as CEOs (Andrea is also the president of the board and administrative director, Enrico heads sales, and Michele is in charge of production). They run the only company in the segment that remains firmly in Italian hands. “We don’t know how to make ugly bikes,” the three often say. And now they add: “What to say about Mark’s record? For us, it’s like we’ve won the Tour de France!”

Because there’s a lot of Cavendish, of course, in this extraordinary success. But there’s also a lot of Wilier, which over the years has increasingly specialized in producing high and very high-end bicycles, whether road, gravel, mountain bike, or pedal-assist, with 28,000 products per year. Small numbers compared to those of the major players in the sector, but it’s quality that beats quantity: Wilier Triestina bicycles are characterized by attention to detail, riding feel, aesthetics, harmony of geometry, and overall pleasantness. They are also examples of continuous technological innovation, “we guarantee a ‘lifestyle bike’ that, technically, also makes a significant contribution to the cyclist’s physical performance.” A winning combination.

As demonstrated yesterday by one of the new releases (it’s not the only one) presented by Wilier at the Tour de France: the Filante SLR Cvndsh. It is, as mentioned, a special edition of the already well-established Filante SLR—a very light aero bike by Wilier, which significantly improves the stiffness-to-weight ratio and features a high-end, aerodynamic frame. The Filante SLR Cvndsh variant was specially designed in agreement with Mark Cavendish, it’s customized for him; it’s essentially a celebratory bike of the character, featuring a new special frame and a unique livery, «Filante SLR is the perfect bike for me, but I wanted something more  – Mark Cavendish recounted. Everyone has their own taste and that’s why I love to add my own touch to the bikes I use, as they have been an inseparable part of my professional life for 20 years now. On my last visit to Wilier in March, walking around the company I saw a picture that struck me. I asked if it was possible to apply it to the front of Filante SLR, leaving the rear triangle black. After a couple of months I found myself handling this Filante SLR which is spectacular to say the least – perfectly in line with my expectations. They’ve done a great job, which has given me the strength to win this stage of the Tour de France.» 

In short: the ideal travel companion that allowed the champion to break all limits.

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Wilier Triestina boasts consolidated revenue of 70 million euros, becoming 80 million if considering the two satellite companies under its control, namely Miche in San Vendemiano (Treviso), which produces components and wheels, and the Taiwanese Youn Live Bike, which assembles Wilier bicycles for extra-European markets. Numbers that reflect an evolution concentrated mainly from 2019 onwards; four years ago, revenue was just over half, at 45 million euros, “then we grew steadily, now we are consolidating the results achieved,” they explain from the Rossano headquarters. The company’s profitability is high, with an EBITDA index settling at 10% for the parent company, but rising to 13% including Miche and Youn Live Bike.
These were two strategic acquisitions. Miche was absorbed in 2022, it was already a supplier of wheels for Wilier bicycles, thus perfectly integrating into the group, leveraging its own technological and manufacturing know-how, and a turnover of around 10 million euros, half of which was generated by orders from the parent company. Equally crucial was Wilier’s entry into Taiwan through the acquisition of Youn Live Bike in 2021, a company that Wilier had already been a client of for years: it will become the bridgehead in Asia, “we want it to become a kind of hub for us in a market that currently represents less than 10% of our revenue but has enormous potential. We want to grow a lot there; it’s a big challenge.”
Today, foreign markets represent 80% of the group’s revenue, present in all countries where there are competitive cycling sports. The main foreign markets are Germany and France, then Benelux, Spain, Switzerland, Austria… Eastern Europe is growing, as is Scandinavia. As mentioned, Wilier already has a significant presence in China. The reasons for this international success? “We are undoubtedly the Italian company that offers the best solutions across the entire range, not only regarding racing bikes but also mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and pedal-assist bikes. In short, we guarantee advanced technology products with unparalleled aesthetic care in all segments, while other companies in our range focus on one or the other.”
Wilier Triestina’s bicycles are top-tier professional bikes, with an important average cost, typically between 5,000 and 6,000 euros, and growing. They are made with the best materials available, high-quality carbon and aluminum; the frame, forks, and handlebars boast technical solutions studied and realized directly in Rossano Veneto, where the entire development area and prototype creation are also concentrated, while other components, such as Shimano gears, are guaranteed by leading global suppliers. This obsessive attention to technical characteristics is matched by the artisanal and tailor-made aesthetic finish, with Wilier setting market trends with innovative ideas, working with a design studio, and benefiting from a long Venetian tradition in hand painting.
Bicycles, therefore, for great cyclists. It’s no coincidence that Wilier supports two teams in the international cycling circuit, which will be among the protagonists of the Tour de France, currently taking place, which ends on July 21. These are the Kazakh Astana Qazaqstan Team (which includes Mark Cavendish among its athletes) and the French Groupama-FDJ, ranked 7th in the UCI ranking; the Rossano company is one of only three worldwide to support two teams, the others being the Californian Specialized Bicycle Components and the German Canyon.
The group has 120 employees, 65 of whom are concentrated at the parent company.
To support the Gastaldello family in their business development plans, since 2020 Wilier has been partnered with the Swiss-Canadian investment fund Pamoja Capital, “which believed in us and our industrial plans”; the choice to associate with an international partner was aimed at strengthening the economic structure and investing in the group’s future; the fund entered the social shares with a minority package and an increase in capital. The control, as mentioned, remains firmly in Italian hands.

For more info:
Press Office
Paola Pontarollo
Mobile +39 335 5413485

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PAOLA PONTAROLLO – BRIDGECOM SRLS · Via Giovanni Cadolini 34 · Milano, MI 20137 · Italy