“To Make Riders Faster” by Anna Dopico – the story of Cervélo

Chief Correspondent

The perfect book for triathletes / cyclists / engineers and entrepreneurs?

Few, if any cycling brands can chart their success via such a close connection the sport of triathlon as Cervélo.

The Canadian-born brand first started appearing on the circuit around 20 years ago, and it was shortly after this that my own link with their bikes began. Way back in early 2000, I purchased my first Cervélo – the red, aluminium ‘P2K’ TT/Tri bike. I imported it from the USA, as I’m not sure that they were even distributed in the UK at the time. Later that year I used the bike in my first (and, was to be my fastest) IRONMAN race in Zurich, Switzerland.


The brand grew steadily in the years following, regularly being seen ridden ‘de-badged’ by teams in Grand Tour races as well as triathlon as understanding of how it was pushing forward developments in aerodynamics spread.

Around 2005, the ‘P3C’ was launched and, perhaps, that was the real moment of “wow” from riders around the world. The black, red and white, full carbon, curved seat tube model is one of the all-time iconic bikes in our sport… and when I saw it in person, I really wanted one! It was truly stunning and looked like nothing else around in the market at the time. Ironically, I did eventually get one – it might have been the best part of a decade later – a great bike it was too. Alas, I had to come to the conclusion in time that as awesome as it was, I really didn’t fit it very well! The ‘long and low’ geometry wasn’t a great match for this ‘old(er) and not very flexible’ rider.

Cervelo - To Make Riders Faster

Anna Dopico has written the story of how Phil White and Gerard Vroomen disrupted the cycling industry creating the world’s fastest bikes, a new “aero road” category and a global cycling brand.


The Inside Story Of Cervélo

“To Make Riders Faster” is an entrepreneurial tale of how two young engineering students defied convention and established themselves as pioneers of the cycling industry.

The young engineers’ desire to embrace the science of aerodynamics and break away from tradition led them to create one of the most respected brands in the industry. Their bicycles were ridden to victory in the world’s most prestigious races from The Tour de France, the Olympics and the IRONMAN World Championships.

To this day, Cervélo is ridden by the world’s top riders including the GB Cycling team and consistently dominates the “Kona count” as the preferred brand of the world’s top triathletes at the IRONMAN World Championships.

Dopico tells the story of how, in less than a decade, she watched two university students who lived like paupers working out of her basement and garage, build a great bicycle and go on to become worldwide industry leaders, only to face the fight of their lives to keep their company alive.

A fascinating business-biography / coffee-table book which will appeal equally to cyclists, triathletes, designers, engineers and entrepreneurs, “To Make Riders Faster” chronicles the challenges White and Vroomen overcame and the risks that were involved to achieve their vision “to make riders faster”.

The book’s narrative is interjected with some interesting milestones of Cervélo history from the R5CA, P2, P3C and the Test Team story. From a business perspective it is an intriguing account that many readers who have fought the hard yards to make a business grow and become successful will resonate with and those starting out will be inspired by and encouraged to push on even when it seems beyond tough!

To Make Riders Faster - The Story Of Cervélo

From a fan point of view the book is a great insight into what goes into making the steed you ride and a behind the scenes look at the world of cycling, testing and racing. Find out what it takes to become one of the great names in bike design in recent years. If you thought riding the Tour was a challenge, it seems making the bikes the riders ride is equally tough.

Whether you are a Cervélo fan or not it’s a very entertaining read and documents the history of an iconic brand. If you are looking for a gift for the triathlete in your life, they will not be disappointed.

Visit their website for more www.ToMakeRidersFaster.com

Cervelo - To Make Riders Faster

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