Wilier-Triestina owner killed while riding in Italy

By Cyclingnews | Monday, January 25, 2010 9.30am

Lino Gastaldello, owner and chairman of Italian cycle company Wilier-Triestina, was killed on Saturday morning after he was hit by a car while on his regular ride in Treviso.

Italian website ilgiornaledivicenza.it reported that the 71-year-old was struck at about 10.30am by a vehicle driven by a Macedonian citizen who lived nearby.

After receiving emergency treatment at the scene, near San Zenone degli Ezzelini, Gastaldello was taken to hospital in Castelfranco Veneto, where he died two hours later.

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Gastaldello had been a key figure in rebuilding the Wilier brand after it suffered a decline in fortunes during the 1950s and 1960s. One of Italy's most recognisable marques, his leadership saw it associated with some of the country's highest profile cyclists, including Marco Pantani, Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Ballan.

In a press release, Wilier said: "We will remember him as an indefatigable and passionate figure in the bicycle industry and a staunch supporter of amateur and professional cycling. He is survived by his wife, his children Enrico, Michele, Andrea and Valeria, as well as five grandchildren."

Wilier's highest profile partners, Lampre-Farnese-Vini, issued a statement expressing their sadness at the news of Gastaldello's passing. "The news of the death of Lino Gastaldello, owner of the Wilier company, has shocked the team Lampre-Farnese Vini," it said.

"In this sad moment, all the cyclists, managers, staff and our patron, Galbusera, would like to say farewell and thanks to Lino, a good friend of the fucsia-blue squad who lived with the team through fantastic moments. A hug to the Gastaldello family and to Wilier company workers."

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