Some Italian brands have become synonymous with quality and excellence of Made in Italy: this is the case of the brand Bottecchia. Let’s find out all there is to know about it!
It’s been a long time since a boy who spoke only in dialect has created one of the most famous bike brands in the world.
The bici branded Bottecchia have become synonymous with quality and high standards in the world of cycling.
The story of Ottavio Bottecchia
Ottavio Bottecchia was born on August 1, 1894 in San Martino, a hamlet of Colle Umberto in the province of Treviso.
The story of Ottavio began like that of many other provincial children catapulted into the horror and hunger of the First World War. But he proved to have an extra gear.
After experiencing the fatigue of hard and underpaid work, in fact, he was enlisted in the group of « assault explorers » (military equipped with bikes), distinguishing himself to such an extent as to earn a medal of military value.
Later, following the advice of a friend, he decided to participate in some amateur races, winning many.
The first successes reached them when Teodoro Carnielli (owner of a bike workshop and president of the local Sports Association) gave him a racing bike and presented it to the top of the Sports Union of Pordenone.
Despite being only his third year as a professional, he participated in the eleventh edition of the Giro d’Italia, finishing only fifth in the standings and first in the ranking of the blocks and juniors. Costante Girardengo took the podium, but the press called Bottecchia the « best man in the competition ».
Bottecchia’s performances were noticed by the French patron Aldo Borella, who offered him to enter the Automoto and compete at the Tour de France against the Pélissier brothers.
Bottecchia showed his talent, coming second in Le Havre at the end of the second stage and overcoming hundreds of cyclists. His second stage was even more exciting: Bottecchia came first and won the yellow jersey. His first Tour de France finished with a second place.
In the 1924 Tour de France, nothing played against Bottecchia: physical fitness, breath, fatigue and morale. The Italian athlete came first in the first stage and wore the yellow jersey from start to finish.
Ottavio Bottecchia was the first Italian to get on the podium of the Tour de France and the first participant in the history of the competition to have worn the yellow jersey from the first to the last stage.
The victory of the 1924 Tour de France was not the only one: Bottecchia won the next edition and wore the yellow jersey from the ninth to the eighteenth stage.
Unfortunately, the cyclist’s journey died before expected in an accident still shrouded in mystery: he died between the familiar roads between Cornino and Trasaghis.
Bottecchia, the story of an Italian brand
The history of the Bottecchia brand began with the idea of Teodoro Carnielli to exploit the talent, experience and moment of fame of the runner to produce a bike signed Bottecchia.
On the one hand the Carnielli workshop turned into an industry while on the other hand Ottavio Bottecchia earned royalties on sales.
Over a decade the Bottecchia bici have moved to large-scale production and diversification. In addition, they have become the protagonists of the sponsored work of Teodoro Carnielli.
Then the Carnielli industry under the guidance of the son of Teodoro Carnielli focused on the first bike on the spot (exercise bike) and on the first folding bike to be transported by car (Graziella), setting aside the Bottecchia bike (return to the center of attention only when the company has finally passed into the hands of the children).
It was only around 1999 that the brand (now separated from the Carnielli brand) was taken over by some entrepreneurs: the Bottecchia brand approached the world market relying on diversification of proposals, design and technology of the latest generation.
The Bottecchia offer covers various sectors: Racing Department (professional racing bikes and mountain bikes), BeGreen (Bottecchia e-bike), Leisure (Bottecchia mtb, city bike, urban trekking, junior and so on) and Graziella (classic and foldable).
Today the brand has become a benchmark worldwide thanks to the varied offer and the excellent quality of the products.