Cervelo Cycles started in 1995 when 2 engineers, Phil White and Gerard Vroomen, decided to take the work they had been doing on developing faster time trial bikes to market. Already involved in bicycle and Human Powered Vehicle design since 1986, the turning point came when a top-ranked Italian pro cyclist approached Gerard to design the fastest possible time trial bike for him. He had come to the realization that his bike sponsor was capable of building traditional bikes using off the shelf tubesets from Columbus or Easton, but did not have the interest or expertise to develop leading edge designs with the focus on time trialing and aerodynamics.
Within two years we had won triathlons, time trial nationals in Germany and Canada, participated in the Triathlon & Cycling World's, and raced the Olympic Time Trial in Atlanta.
Two important factors that made their success possible: customers and athletes. They were lucky enough that many consumers understand and appreciate what their designs are about. Cervelo knows how many bikes there are to choose from and are honored every time someone recognizes the merits of one of their bikes.