It was sad news last month to learn that Wilier Triestina bikes would be missing out on the WorldTour next year as ties with Lampre-ISD were sethered following a fall out regarding 2013 contracts. But things for Wilier are looking up, in fact the split from Lampre could be a blessing in disguise and an announcement that Colombia-Coldeportes will ride Wilier's next year means that the historic Italian bike manufacturer will almost certainly see some Grand Tour action next year...
If ever there was a good time to move away from sponsorship of Lampre, it would be now. With star rider Michele Scarponi suspended thanks to his involvement with Dr Ferrari and the team deeply involved in the Mantova doping investigation, which will get it's first hearing in December, bad publicity isn't ideal for a relatively small bicycle frame maker. It does mean that Wilier miss out on a permanent WorldTour slot for 2013 though, so this evens the score at one a piece.
|A frame with this colour scheme|
is sure to be a winner.
Ive spoken in an earlier post about the chances of Colombia-Coldeportes riding one or more Grand Tours next year, and the chances are good which of course means that Wilier will get some publicity at the highest level of the sport once again - and with the 'go it alone' attacking mentality of the Colombians when the road heads upwards means their will be plenty of television air-time focusing on their frames.
Racing in Colombia at a national level is huge, in fact cycling in general is huge in Colombia and there's a growing cycle culture expanding across South America in places like Brazil and Peru - growth in bike sales in this part of the world is on the rise, rapidly, and only looks set to continue, so sponsoring one of the areas largest and most successful cycling teams is a very wise move for a smaller manufacturer like Wilier. Wilier have recognised as much in their press release:
“The Colombia project is another significant step in our path, and an exciting new challenge and we will face it together with 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. 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.”
I was already excited by the prospect of watching the Colombians make their mark in the Grand Tours with attacking flare - but to watch them do it on Wilier bikes will be a nice touch. This could just turn out to be a marriage made in heaven for Wilier. Only problem is I've now got to find the cash to stump up for a nice new Coldeportes team issue bike...