Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bottecchia, the brand


Yesterday's article was about Ottavio Bottecchia, and today we move onto the history of the Bottecchia brand.

"1909: Teodoro Carnielli of Vittorio Veneto is a craftsman who builds and repairs bicycles. He becomes a supporter of the local "Associazione Ciclistica" and later its President. He immediately recognizes the young Ottavio Bottecchia an exceptional talent.

After the dedication of Bottecchia to the French company Automoto, in which the incredible and magnificent talent of Bottecchia won two Tour de France (1924 and 1925), Carnielli, with great flair for business, now seeks to produce a Bottecchia bike for which the rider will earn royalties.

Over the years, the small workshop Carnielli becomes an industry. Between 1930 and 1940 about one hundred employees build Bottecchia bicycles, Triumph motorcycles, and later Vittoria motorcycles. Bottecchia bicycles are produced in large numbers and in different versions, however, the one that gives the most satisfaction is the racing model. Carnielli, a fanatic of bike racing, decides to begin sponsoring cycling teams who use Bottecchia bicycles.

In 1951, Guido Carnielli has a great idea: a stationary exercise bike. The first stationary bike in the world, the "CYCLETTE", is born.

In the early 1960s, another revolutionary insight comes to Guido. Italy is in a period of economic boom and the number of Italians that can afford buy a car are increasing. So, why not create a folding bike with small wheels adapted to be transported by car? To create and produce such a bike the Carnielli company undertakes a great economic effort. The "GRAZIELLA", designed in 1963 by Rinaldo Donzelli, becomes the first production folding bike and also becomes a worldwide success.

In the late 1960s, Teodoro passes the baton to young Guido and Mario, who return the Bottecchia brand to bike racing with which are achieved many victories.

In the course of several decades, cyclists using Bottecchia achieve many successes in national and international competitions. Among the most prestigious victories:
Giro d’Italia (1957, 1966, 1979)
Milano-Sanremo (1951)
Tirreno-Adriatico (1978);
Campionato Italiano (1964, 1965, 1966)
Campionato Italiano a Squadre (1954, 1967, 1978)
Campionato del Mondo (1966)
Tour de France (1989, Greg Le Mond)
Giro d’Italia (2006, U23)

Among the most famous Bottecchia riders: L. Robert, G. Nencini, G. De Rosso, M. Cancelli, R. Altig, G. Motta, G.Saronni, G.B. Baranchelli, G. Le Mond.

In the mid-90s the Bottecchia brand is separated from Carnielli, and its corporate team moves Bottecchia from Vittorio Veneto to Cavarzere in the province of Venice. Thus began the rebirth of a brand that points to the world market."

Source: from Bottecchia website, in Italian, which I have translated with some additional details.

Bottecchia website. The Acqua & Sapone team are riding Bottecchia SP9 bikes for this season, see here.


Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal about rides, granfondo, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, etc. are very welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com. There are more than 1,200 stories in this blog. The search feature to the right works best for finding subjects in the blog and there is also a translate button at the bottom so you can translate each page. Cinelli fan? Visit CINELLI ONLY.

1 comment:

  1. My elderly neighbor Silvano has a red Bottecchia steel bike- many thousands of kilometers. He still takes short rides 'round the block on it. It's like an old friend.

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