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Bike Economy between Made in Italy and Giro d’Italia


One billion, 770 million euros. These are the revenues of the bicycle sector in Italy in 2024 estimated by the Research Department of Banca Ifis and presented today. The Italian bike industry shows a high capacity for value creation, with a return on capital of 9 per cent, thanks to the shift of production to high-end and high value-added products. E-bikes reached a share of 15 per cent, it was at 1 per cent in 2017. Italian production is synonymous with excellence, in fact the rating of Italian products given by international customers is, on a scale of 1 to 5, 4.6 for bikes, and 4.5 for e-bikes. But the Italian bike industry also sets the standard in racing: as many as 77 per cent of the teams participating in the Giro d’Italia chose Italian bikes or components. A figure on the Giro that goes hand in hand with the 2 billion euro value it brings to the territories, as calculated by Banca Ifis last year, testifying to the Institute’s commitment to sustainable mobility.

The first day of the Giro d’Italia 107 did not end on the finish line in Corso Moncalieri, but with the Bike Business Forum organised by RCS Sport in collaboration with ICE – Agency at the Eataly Lingotto Conference Centre, in Turin, and moderated by the vice-director of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Pier Bergonzi.

It was an opportunity to turn the spotlight on the bike economy, the Italian bicycle supply chain, and its spin-offs in the world of sport, with the Giro d’Italia leading the way.

The event was attended by the President of RCS MediaGroup, Urbano Cairo, the President of ICE; Matteo Zoppas, and the President of the UCI – International Cycling Union, David Lappartient. There was also an introduction by Andrea Cipolloni, CEO of Eataly.

The data and insights provided by the Banca Ifis Observatory research, which will be released in the coming days, were presented by Carmelo Carbotti, Head of Marketing and Strategy and Research Office. A moment of confrontation that saw the participation of Nicola Rosin, CEO of Colnago; Steve Smith, Head of Cycling of Manifattura Valcismon; Cristiano De Rosa, Vice President of Confindustria ANCMA; Matteo Cassina, CEO of Passoni and Ashmei and publisher of Rouleur.

The Bike Business Forum was followed by an exclusive dinner in Eataly’s Sala dei Duecento, with a food and wine menu dedicated to the event: a tasteful journey through the biodiversity of the Italian regions, from North to South, with a special tribute to Piedmont and the excellence of the territory. Each gastronomic proposal was enhanced by the logo created by the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forests, to support the candidature of Italian cuisine as a World Heritage Site.

Matteo Zoppas, President of ICE Agency: “The Giro d’Italia is an important and useful tool that tells the story of being Italian and what we do. The Bike Economy Forum was desired precisely because in addition to contributing to the organisation of the Giro we want to create a business opportunity between the excellence of the Made in Italy sector and the buyers of our products. We believe that the Giro d’Italia can be a megaphone for telling the story of Italian excellence and can at the same time contribute to the growth of exports. In President Urbano Cairo we have found an ally who has embraced this theme”.

Urbano Cairo, President of RCS MediaGroup: “The Giro d’Italia started today in the best possible way, in such an extraordinary venue as the Venaria Reale. For the last eight years, since I have been in this role, the Corsa Rosa has been decided in the very last days. I thank our Partners here today for their sensitivity in understanding the potential of the Giro d’Italia, a true ambassador of Made in Italy. Having a race like this for our country is of great importance because it has the power to increase its notoriety. Likewise, foreign countries recognise and appreciate the strength of the Giro as a showcase for promotion in the world. Today the first stage of the Giro d’Italia took on a special value because it took place on the day that commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Superga tragedy”.

David Lappartient, President of UCI: “The Giro d’Italia is a unique event and all the riders want to win this race. Great cycling champions must also pass through the Maglia Rosa because of what it represents and the value it has for our industry. a great asset and a very important sporting event. It is no coincidence that Pogacar chose it to participate. The cultural aspect is another incredible asset. A passion that has been passed on for more than a hundred years, a unique atmosphere with wonderful landscapes, a perfect showcase in the world. In fact, there is no better opportunity than the cycling races to promote the area. Today’s stage reminded me of a great classic but with so many gaps, but there is plenty of time to see a beautiful finale”.

Andrea Cipolloni, CEO of Eataly Group: “It is an honour to open the Eataly Lingotto conference centre at the Bike Forum in the year in which Eataly joins the Giro d’Italia family for the first time as Top Sponsor of the Maglia Bianca. We find in the Giro a total affinity: we both show our country to the world through our cultural heritage contributing to making Italy’s name great in the world. This is why we are happy to be on the same jersey where the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Sovereignty and Forestry have placed the logo – I love Italian cuisine candidate for UNESCO World Heritage – to support the candidature of Italian cuisine as a World Heritage Site”.

Steve Smith, Head of Cycling at Manifattura Valcismon: “Castelli is proud to represent the Italian Bike Economy in over 70 countries around the world. Creativity, innovation and style, icons of Made in Italy, make our brand a source of inspiration for millions of cyclists. Eighty-five per cent of our revenue comes from global markets and we are seeing signs of a strong recovery in the bike economy after the slight downturn that followed the post-Covid boom”.

Nicola Rosin, CEO of Colnago: “This is a good moment for Italian companies, especially in cycling. To stay at these levels, performance and technology must always be up to the mark, but if the product is Made in Italy, you can have uniqueness and position yourself very well in the market. Colnago bikes are proof of how much this intangible value makes a difference. The quest for cheapness at all costs, with production in countries with low labour costs, is a trend that is over. Among other things, it is crucial for companies to adapt to sustainability parameters. If we encourage research and innovation, it will always be possible for companies to remain competitive. After being acquired by an Emirati fund, Colnago retains its Italian heartbeat and, thanks to the strength of our shareholders, can innovate and penetrate international markets with great success”.

Cristiano De Rosa, Vice President of Confindustria ANCMA: “There could not have been a more suitable context than the Grande Partenza, for this forum. The Giro d’Italia is one of the best tools for promoting the cycling world, not only in terms of the competitive aspect, but also for the territory, for tourism, and therefore for cycle tourism. Every occasion is important to tell and show how beautiful our country is and above all to promote the use of bicycles”.

Matteo Cassina, CEO of Passoni and Ashmei and editor of Rouleur: “Living abroad since the late 1990s, I have observed Italy through different perspectives. The first 20 years of this millennium were difficult for the country. The launch of the single currency, the public debt, the pandemic and the transformation of the industrial fabric necessary for the post-war economic miracle but no longer suited to global challenges. For the first time in my working life, I have seen very strong signs of recovery, reflected by GDP growth parameters that are above the European average for the first time. I personally see in sustainable tourism and made in Italy an important potential to contribute to the growth of the country and I hope that the bicycle will become the symbolic instrument of this rebirth”.

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