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giro d'italia 1949 - june 4 results(28 posts)

giro d'italia 1949 - june 4 resultsSpirito
Jun 18, 2002 11:31 PM
12° tappa - sabato 4 giugno, 1949
BOLZANO - MODENA 253 chilometri


1° Oreste CONTE (Bianchi Ursus) in 7 ore 21' 00" media: 34,421 (bonus 1')
2° Antonio BEVILAQUA (Atala), st
3° Vittorio SEGHEZZI (Edelweiss), st
4° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), st
5° Umberto DREI (Benotto), st
6° Armando BARDUCCI (Frejus), st
7° Oliviero TONINI (Cimatti), st
8° Luciano PEZZI (Atala), st
9° Andrea CARREA (Bianchi Ursus), st
10° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), a 4' e 26"


1° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), maglia Rosa
2° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), a 43"
3° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), a 10' e 27"
4° Giordano COTTUR (Wilier Triestina), a 14' e 02"
5° Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto), a 14' e 54"
6° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), a 15' e 06"
7° Mario FAZIO (Bottecchia), a 16' e 45"
8° Aldo RONCONI (Viscontea), a 16' e 46"
9° Serafino BIAGIONI (Viscontea), a 17' e 41"
10° Fritz SCHAER (Stucchi), a 18' e 15"

Maglia Bianca: Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto)
giro d'italia 1949 - june 5 resultsSpirito
Jun 18, 2002 11:32 PM
13° tappa - domenica 5 giugno, 1949
MODENA - MONTECATINI 163 chilometri


1° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), in 5 ore 04' e 00" media: 32,171
2° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), st
3° Alfredo MARTINI (Wilier Triestina), st
4° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), st
5° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), st
6° Giordano COTTUR (Wilier Triestina), st
7° Giulio BRESCI (Wilier Triestina), st
8° Renzo SOLDANI (Legnano), st
seguono con lo stesso tempo altri otto atleti.

1° Alfredo PASOTTI (Benotto), bonus 1'
2° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), bonus 30"
3° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), bonus 15"
4° Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto)
5° Vittoria MAGNI (Bottecchia)


1° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), Maglia Rosa
2° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), a 58"
3° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), a 10' e 56"
4° Giordano COTTUR (Wilier Triestina), a 15' e 02"
5° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), a 16' e 06"
6° Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto), a 16' e 20"
7° Mario FAZIO (Bottecchia), a 17' e 45"
8° Aldo RONCONI (Viscontea), a 17' e 46"
9° Alfredo MARTINI (Wilier Triestina),
10° Fritz SCHAER (Stucchi), a 21' e 46"

Maglia Bianca: Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto)

1° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), 22 points
2° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), 16 points
3° Alfredo PASOTTI (Benotto), 11 points
gino bartali razor blades (?)Spirito
Jun 18, 2002 11:39 PM
Gino is everywhere! Here's a pack of Gino Bartali razor blades, for the man who wants to shave like the great champion.

thanks to aldo
the famous duoSpirito
Jun 18, 2002 11:52 PM
Here's an image of Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi.
when did collars disappear from jersey's?Spirito
Jun 18, 2002 11:54 PM
Here's yet another nice image of Bartali and Coppi, this time in their team jerseys.
the NY times was never like thisSpirito
Jun 18, 2002 11:56 PM
Images from the newspaper.
low saddle position...colker
Jun 19, 2002 5:13 AM
interesting. i was looking at a coppi picture and wondering if his saddle position was low. i wasn't sure but on the news paper it's clear : at least 2 cm lower than a modern position. coppi had very long legs. you can't do it on narrow saddels. you can ride low only on a large saddel. you won't have numbnness. knee problems maybe.
how sweet is that rideSpirito
Jun 18, 2002 11:57 PM
This picture of a 1949 Wilier Triestina team bike comes from the Madonna del Ghisallo museum. Note the copper plated finish with red trim, the Campagnolo "cambio Corsa" shifters, the very low saddle position, and very high handlebar position. Imagine the sparkles from a team of racers all on copper and chrome-plated bicycles, riding in the bright summer sun on a June day in 1949.
giro d'italia 1949 - june 6 - dino writesSpirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:02 AM

Genoa, the night of Monday, 6th June, 1949.

Dino Buzzati writes. . .

Here are the most notable features of stage fourteen; two-hundred-twenty eight kilometers of bright sunshine, mountains, and valleys along the seaside: a succession of turns, not just on a road, but through an almost unbroken human corridor: another day on which the two giants would not commit themselves, so out of fourteen stages thus far, only the one in the Dolomites can truly be said to have been fought tooth-n-nail (certainly a distressing situation for those who naively wish the super champions to do battle every hour of the Giro, but nothing will change until some new rival emerges).

So here they are:

Two locals, brothers Vincenzo and Vittorio Rossello from Savona, racing for the Legnano team, finished first and third in Genoa, with Silvio Pedroni (gs.Frejus) between them in second, the three of them finishing two minutes ahead of the peloton.

They way that racing in their "local air" can give the riders extraordinary energy, a rule which is often confirmed. As soon as they approach their hometown and begin to hear hints of the local dialect so familiar to them, then even the "nags" - the lowest level of gregari, relegated to the bottom of the overall classification - are transformed into lions.

There is a Latin proverb which states that "No man can be a prophet in his own country," but this is not applicable to cycling. On the contrary - if you want to be loved by your neighbors, become a bike racer. Then, whatever your level of success, in your own neighborhood they will consider you another Costante Girardengo, another great champion. This affection is a source of great pride; even the most wretched will manage for a few minutes to vie with Coppi. At the very least, when a local rider cannot count on the strength of his legs, he will break away near his hometown. Posters singing his praises hang from telephone poles and balconies, his name is chalked in huge letters on the asphalt along with the names of the "great ones, " and people recognize him immediately, without having to first check his race number.

It's like an reunion, happily anticipated for many days. Waiting for him there will be his mother; his fiancee, holding a little basket of rose petals; his former schoolmaster who taught him his ABCs, today wearing a dark suit in honor of the occasion; the priest who baptized him; the young girl who gave him his first kiss; his childhood friends, with whom he made his first bicycle rides on a rickety, heavy contraption, so big that his feet never reached the bottom of the pedal stroke; his manager, president of the local sports club, who bought him his first real racing bike; the policeman who fined him for speeding; the town's beauty queen, who never tired of teasing him; friends, strangers, and old enemies, all lined up - all bad feelings forgotten, yelling his name.

What does it matter then if, ten kilometers up the road, where no one knows him, the poor racer falls apart, and is this evening having a difficult time just making it to he finish within the time limit? Isn't it all worthwhile? Isn't it wonderful to come through your hometown all alone, ahead of Leoni and Bartali, like some triumphant hero?

In the more fortunate cases, the rider hopes to win a cash prime, and in the best cases (but this takes some real expertise) he may have his heart set on actually winning the stage itself.

Down in Sicily we saw Mario Fazio drop everyone to win in his hometown of Catania. We saw Antonio Bevilacqua and Guido De Santi sprint ahead beneath the banners held aloft in their hometowns in the Veneto region. Oliviero Tonini did the same in Emilia. Renzo Soldani did the same yesterday in the hills around Pistoia. And today, it's the likable Rossello brothers, who are anything but second-raters, for their names alwa
giro d'italia 1949 - june 6 - cont.....Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:03 AM

And today, it's the likable Rossello brothers, who are anything but second-raters, for their names always seem to be mentioned when anything exciting is happening.

They shot off with Pedroni on the descent of the Recco, then stepped on the gas hard, to take two minutes out of the giants by the finish; never have we seen two such happy boys arriving at the finish.

But couldn't the giants have overtaken them? A more malicious person might suggest so. Weren't the giants being rather lenient? But even if that is so, does it matter? The Rossellos did a great race, and their compatriots, on seeing them, seemed to have gone crazy - What more can one ask?

Alfredo Pasotti, twenty-three years old, from Pavia, winner yesterday of the mountain prize on the Abetone and today on the Bracco - he is perhaps the most graceful racer in this Giro. Not movie-star handsome like Leoni, but well proportioned, slender, his face still that of an adolescent, courteous, and in the saddle he has a well-balanced style. If he wasn't so slim and delicate, he probably would already be a great champion.

Since the elimination of his teammate Luigi Casola (for being outside the time limit), Pasotti he has been leader of their Benotto team. Today, on the slopes of the Pordoi, he had been the last rider to be dropped by Coppi - all the others had already been left behind in the valley, but still Pasotti resisted.

We passed close by him at his moment of crisis, his face ashen, looking at us with the aggrieved expression of one who is being wronged, but he was resigned to it. Soon he was left behind, a classic case of the rider "blowing-up," he had perhaps expected too much of himself. Obsessed with the idea of keeping up with Coppi, he had forgotten to eat. He was second rider over the Pordoi summit, then he completely caved in.

And yesterday, too, we saw him in total crisis on the descent of the Abetone. But suddenly, and quite unexpectedly because we were flying along, a rider passed us at an insane speed. Number 86 - Pasotti. We looked behind us, but no one else was coming. Like a downhill racer concentrating entirely on his ski jump, we saw him, light and delicate, disappear in front of us. To attempt to follow him closely would have been madness.

But just after the next turn we saw him again. . . he was off his bike, and tearing away the front wheel - this was his second flat, and he looked around desperately, searching for his team car to provide him with a change of wheel. But the car wasn't there, and tears were running down his face, tracing tiny, thin, crooked grooves through the mud encrusting his cheek.

Twenty-five years old Serse Coppi, Fausto's brother and teammate, took third place in the intermediate sprint at Chiavari. It's the first time in this Giro that his name has been mentioned in the newspapers, however modestly. We certainly cannot claim ourselves to have "discovered" him, for many have spoken and written about him before. Who among us is not familiar with this unique counterpoint to the great champion, a "double" who shares the same face, blood, last name, but in a certain way pathetic, because he does not share, in athletic terms, of his brother's abilities, almost an ironic imitation?

But who does not know already of the exemplary affection between these two brothers - not at all compromised by the enormous difference in abilities? Not only does Serse feel no envy, but he rejoices in Fausto's victories even more-so than Fausto himself.

Fausto cannot do without Serse, and feels lost if he doesn't know that somewhere behind him, amongst the backmarkers, Serse is slogging away faithfully. The experts say that Serse, though not lacking in talent, is the only cyclist in the world who doesn't know how to ride a bicycle, and even laymen will agree. His style is embarrassing - some compare it to a duck, others to a giraffe, still others an accordion. They say that, i
giro d'italia 1949 - june 6 - cont.....Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:04 AM
They say that, if he didn't sway his hips at each pedal stroke, he could do a lot better, but it seems there is no remedy for it.

His face is just like his brother's, minus the clever expression, but with the addition of a pair of very kind and extremely gentle eyes. He is often mistaken for Fausto, and this increases the emotional tension created by the situation. At the end on one stage, we ourselves saw an austere gentleman of about fifty approach Serse and offer him a huge bouquet of roses, stammering confused words of congratulations.

"But, you know. . . " began Serse, very embarrassed.

"Oh but please, allow me!" the admirer begged.

And Serse, with a sad, cherub-like smile, answered "But, you know. . . Me, I'm his brother!"

Does it not seem like a sentimental play, the life shared by two such different brother, one indifferent to glory, the other heedless of mediocrity and misfortune? Serse's terrible crash in the Giro two years ago, near Terontola, was surely misfortune, as was the annulment of his victory in the last Paris-Roubaix race. In the world of Italian cycling this is perhaps the most touted topic, when the object is to arouse the public's sympathy.

But is all this true, after all? Does Serse deserve so much compassion? We have become somewhat doubtful - that is, we mean to say that the roles ought to be reversed. On the basis of many small signs, we believe we have discovered the newest truth about the Giro. . . a very surprising truth.

Here's the fascinating hypothesis - That Serse is Fausto's lucky charm, his guardian spirit, a sort of living talisman, a little like the magic lamp without which Aladdin would have remained a beggar. Who knows - perhaps the secret of his champion brother lies within Serse? If Serse were to give up cycling, perhaps the magic would disappear, and Fausto would suddenly find himself without strength, like a limp rag.

Partners, then - they are so close that neither is capable of living without the other. It is really Serse who wins, for without him, Fausto would have fallen to pieces a hundred times. Serse is the deserving one, and that's enough reward for him - it helps him to withstand the terrible efforts (knowing he'll finish among last riders), to endure the humiliating comparisons, to not get angry when he is mistaken for Fausto and is offered flowers which are not meant for him. But, of course, Serse is worthy of all this generosity, even if you think the hypothesis is just a fairy tale. Just look at him, with that nice-guy face, those two big gentle eyes, so sympathetic they seem to be hiding something.

There is one other person who figured in the stage, mentioned last only as a matter of chronology. An officer in Genoa's police department, whose actions turned one of the Giro's finest day's into one of it's most regrettable scenes. This officer, a tall fellow, about thirty, with a sharp, bird-like face and thin Mongol-style mustache, was assigned to maintain order at the finish line at Lido d'Albaro. For no apparent reason, he charged his jeep into a group of journalists, team managers , and race judges, who had just gotten out of their cars and had gathered at the finish line, as they have always done and always do without causing the slightest inconvenience. We were there, too, and stood flabbergasted as the officer, yelling and twirling his black rubber truncheon, rained down blows on the nearest heads. The race director, Giuseppe Ambrosini, was standing right below the jury rostrum, and the officer dealt him a fierce blow to the forehead, lacerating the skin. As the jeep inched forward, he went after several others, and many of our colleagues were beaten this way, among them Ciro Verratti and Guido Giardini, who lost his watch during the incident. Was this the senseless excess of individual zeal, or did the officer really suffer a mental breakdown? The local police chief, who came rushing to the scene, understood ful
giro d'italia 1949 - june 6 - cont.....Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:05 AM
The local police chief, who came rushing to the scene, understood fully the anger it aroused throughout the Giro's entourage, and shortly afterwards the mayor sent Emilio De Martino, director of the sponsoring sports newspaper "La Gazzetta dello Sport" a letter stating how very sorry Genoa's citizens were about the incident.

In Genoa, an immense and festive crowd had turned-out to welcome the Giro. It had been a day of sunshine amid stupendous countryside and magnificent crowds, but it all ended so stupidly.


thanks aldo
giro d'italia 1949 - june 6 - resultiSpirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:08 AM
14° tappa - lunedì 6 giugno

MONTECATINI – GENOVA 226 chilometri


1° Vincenzo ROSSELLO (Legnano) in 6 ore 35' e 40" media: 34,271
2° Silvio PEDRONI (Frejus) st
3° Vittorio ROSSELLO (Legnano) st
4° Luciano PEZZI (Atala), a 2' e 02"
5° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), st
6° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), st
7° Mario RICCI (Viscontea), st
8° Vittorio SEGHEZZI (Edelweiss), st
9° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), st
10° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), st


1° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), Maglia Rosa
2° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), a 58"
3° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), a 10' e 41"
4° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), a 14' e 36"
5° Giordano COTTUR (Wilier Triestina), a 15' e 02"
6° Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto), a 16' e 51"
7° Aldo RONCONI (Viscontea), a 17' e 46"
8° Mario FAZIO (Bottecchia), a 19' e 07"
9° Alfredo MARTINI (Wilier Triestina), a 20' e 26"
10° Fritz SCHAER (Stucchi), a 21' e 40"

Maglia Bianca: Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto)
: giro d'italia 1949 - june 7 - dino writesSpirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:09 AM

San Remo, the night of Tuesday, 7th June, 1949.

Dino Buzzati writes . . .

Today, the sea. . .

Flowers - a waterfall of carnations and roses rained down on the caravan from the garden-like balcony railings. . .

Railroad crossings - from Pegli, all the way to Savona, a pesky little local train regularly blocked the crossings, and since the racers could pass beneath the barrier, but the cars could not, the result was a series of frightening pursuits, thankfully protected from "on high" by the merciful God of the Giro). . .

Amaryllis, broom, and all those magnificent ornamental plants whose names we have never been able to learn. . .

Crowds of spectators, as always, but of a different kind: that is to say, these people were mostly vacationers on holiday, accustomed to living peacefully, and who had certainly not woken before ten o'clock. . .

Young women, already well tanned, half-naked in their sundresses. . .

Lifeguards in brand new uniforms. . .

Convalescents in pajamas. . .

Kids from the holiday camps wearing large white cloth hats. . .

Here and there, we spotted a few Scandinavian "poetesses" who seemed to regard us with disgust. . .

And at Cogoleto, Mr. Antonio Buelli's brass band was playing music. Each year that the Giro passes through Cogoleto, the band strikes up a little triumphal march.

The Cogoleto band is a monument to bicycle racing. Just look closely at the instruments: each one has a small copper badge bearing an inscription, such as "Giro d'Italia 1919" or "Giro di Lombardia 1921" or "Milano-San Remo 1922" etc. And if they could speak each in addition to making music, each one would speak volumes, evening after evening.

Antonio Buelli now manages a restaurant, and he doesn't complain, but once upon a time (and we must go back to the deep abyss of the past, back to the 1920s, to the fabulous days of Costante Girardengo) Buelli, then a bicycle racer, had trouble making ends meet. Passion for cycling he had, perhaps even too much, but his legs were his weakness.

There is a rider in this year's race, Luigi Malabrocca of the Stucchi team, who's only real claim to fame is his position as last in the overall classification, the so-called "black jersey." That "honor" has been stolen from Malabrocca by the rider Sante Carollo of the Wilier Triestina team, who now holds last place by a wide margin (a negative margin, of course), almost too wide a margin to be bridged. And Carollo firmly intends to hold on to last place, for ownership of the black jersey (a jersey which does not really exist) confers on the holder a bit of sympathetic popularity, and a prize of ten thousand lire per day, offered by kind-hearted sponsors.

So imagine Buelli as a Malabrocca of thirty years ago, but without the roguish glory, for in those days last place did not equate with cash; no one was interested in it, and Buelli, who almost always found himself at the back, did not attain any glory from it.

The fact is that Buelli, realizing that winning races was not exactly his forte, fell back on his second and, until them secret, ambition: music. He continued to pedal, resigned to swallowing the dust left in the wake of the aces, but he no longer had any delusions. So, the task of establish a brass band in his hometown of Cogoleto became Buelli's new purpose in life, and by pedaling, pedaling - every so often winning a few meager primes in small towns, the music lover was able to put away some cash on the side.

By his work of racing, struggling and sweating, he was able one fine day to lay the cornerstone of his great monument: he bought a drum, so when the next race came through his district, the racers (and he, too, was among them) were welcomed to Cogoleto by an enthusiastic drumroll, like those at the circus announcing that the trapeze artists were about to perform their d
giro d'italia 1949 - june 7 - cont.....Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:11 AM

By his work of racing, struggling and sweating, he was able one fine day to lay the cornerstone of his great monument: he bought a drum, so when the next race came through his district, the racers (and he, too, was among them) were welcomed to Cogoleto by an enthusiastic drumroll, like those at the circus announcing that the trapeze artists were about to perform their death-defying triple leap. A man, trained by Buelli himself, stood in front of the line of people wearing a braid-trimmed cap, and beating his donkey-skinned drum with the rhythm of a virtuoso. Thus the great band ensemble was born.

And he still raced, the brave Buelli, always intent on achieving that second objective of his. From a prime at the Giro d'Italia came the first cornet, and from a series of track meets, the first trumpet. Meanwhile, the years went by, and the legs that had never been all that great were getting heavier.

Six, then seven band members now awaited the race caravan - an impressive group, especially for the volume of their sound, compared to the original lone drum. But it was not yet the authentic, complete band that Buelli desired.

By sweating and making economics, the dream finally became a reality, and then one day Buelli himself was standing there to welcome the Giro's racers; wearing a richly braided cap, and holding a baton in his hand, he led at least sixteen musicians, lined up with all the instruments required by a band worthy to be so called. The maestro lifted his right arm very high and, with a dictatorial gesture, gave the go-ahead for the trumpets' blare.

Was he happy? Yes, the great project had been achieved. Cogoleto possessed a real band ensemble, for which the envious neighboring towns would eat their hearts out, and it was all thanks to him.

He had not lived in vain after all.

But at the same time, he considered all the years he had used-up;

he saw his already-worn face reflected in the shining brass of the trombone;

he thought about his bicycle gathering dust in a closet, its tires flat and twisted;

he heard the voices of the champions greeting him as they passed.

The champions, spurred on by their youth, moved away at top speed along the big highway, while he instead he had to remain there in Cogoleto, within these four walls, henceforth immobile, forever.

Buelli was in his usual place today, with his splendid band, faithfully keeping this sentimental rendezvous. In truth, very few of the racers today knew who he was. Hardly anyone shouted a greeting to him. Nevertheless, we had never heard music so strongly permeated, so to speak, with the spirit of cycling's epic deeds: it spoke of an entire golden era, of mad dashes on the tracks, of gasping ordeals climbing in the Alps, of Ganna's and Galetti's legendary breakaways, of velodromes thundering with applause, of memories and nostalgia, together with the promise of the most incredible victories.

It would have taken a lot more than mere music to move the hearts of the old-timers, by now skeptical and completely without illusions. However, those notes penetrated the hearts of the youngest, who pricked up their ears and were suddenly wondering if fate was calling them.

Most of all, the music must have warmed the heart of little Alfredo Pasotti, of the Benotto team. Just yesterday, during a conversation at the Bracco mountain summit, we were talking about this elegant racer, who has great plans in mind, and who has shown himself to be among the strongest on the climbs. Did the music remind him of some of the memorable breakaways that have taken place on today's course? And on the short ups and downs on the Capo Mele, Capo Cervo, and Capo Berta, did he think of emulating some of Coppi's remarkable achievements?

All alone he went on the attack, right after Alassio where the road started to rear up - but too soon! He gained some ground. . . he plummeted down toward Andorra
giro d'italia 1949 - june 7 - cont.....Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:11 AM

He gained some ground. . . he plummeted down toward Andorra like a little falcon, then flew up the wide, steep slopes of the Cervo, and was first over the Capo Berta as well. But after that there were twenty kilometers of flat roads, and his small lungs, no matter how good they are, were no match like the twenty pairs of lungs working in concert, climbing behind him and following on his heels.

When we left him, he was still riding along solo; we hurried to the San Remo finishing line where everyone was waiting for him. However, it was a small group we saw storming in to the finish. There were eight of them, and in the final sprint, Pasotti ended up fifth. They had caught him, cruelly, just as the vision of victory seemed to smile on him (and perhaps with the friendly sound of the old racer's trumpets still echoing in his mind).

Too bad - he battled hard.

He had earned it.

But men are wolves.
giro d'italia 1949 - june 7 - resultiSpirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:12 AM
15° tappa - martedì 7 giugno

GENOVA – SANREMO 136 chilometri


1° Luciano MAGGINI (Wilier Triestina) in 3 ore 50' 14" media: 35,442
2° Renzo SOLDANI st
3° Vittorio SEGHEZZI st
4° Umberto DREI (Benotto), st
5° Alfredo PASOTTI (Benotto), st
6° Antonio BEVILAQUA (Atala), st
7° Oliviero TONINI (Cimatti), st
8° Dino ROSSI (Cimatti), st
9° Luciano PEZZI (Atala), st
10° Serse COPPI (Bianchi Ursus) a 26"


1° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), Maglia Rosa
2° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), a 58"
3° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), a 10' e 41"
4° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), a 14' e 36"
5° Giordano COTTUR (Wilier Triestina), a 15' e 02"
6° Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto), a 16' e 51"
7° Aldo RONCONI (Viscontea), a 17' e 46"
8° Mario FAZIO (Bottecchia), a 19' e 07"
9° Alfredo MARTINI (Wilier Triestina), a 20' e 26"
10° Fritz SCHAER (Stucchi), a 21' e 20"

Maglia Bianca: Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto)
Maglia Nero: Sante CAROLLO (Wilier Triestina)
re: giro d'italia 1949 - june 8 - rest day - dino writesSpirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:14 AM
(transcribed by Aldo Ross)

San Remo, the night of Wednesday, 8th June, 1949

Dino Buzzati writes. . .

The bicycle has two wheels - one which guides, and one which runs; one obeys the brain when deciding whether to go left of right, the other obeys the legs, our professionals' legs. When you touch them, they shout, "But this is wood!" And for each leg there's a pedal.

The pedals! This is the cross we have to bear. Never, never will they be satisfied: when one is up, its twin is down, and each one always wants to do what the other is doing; they continue to run after one another and never, ever catch up.

Yet, who can say no to them?

When one is up, we push it down, then it's the other one's turn, otherwise an injustice would be done.

And the pedals drive the chainwheel, the chainwheel pulls the chain, the chain pulls the cog, the cog turns the wheel, and the wheel carries us forward, forward.

The legs! Therein lies the big problem. Some people's legs are hard and knotty, others' are long and tapered, like a ballerina's; one has thighs like a hog, another those of a wading bird, but they are all magnificent, strong, courageous, obedient.

But our poor legs! Miserable, enslaved, bruised, overused, and tired, they carry along, carry along this little piece of machinery cruelly called life.

There are those who study, others who cultivate fields, or make clothing or pots, those who manufacture trains or pumps; there are those who care for the sick, or bury the dead; there are those who teach children, and others who say Mass.

But we do none of this. We do not manufacture or cultivate anything. We move our legs, see, and nothing else.

Absolutely nothing else.

And for this we have been given a brightly colored jersey, and a number has been put on our back. Then they print our names in the newspaper. They give us money, too.

But for how long?

They throw flowers at us, adore us, kiss us, ask for our autograph.

But for how long?

Until the day, good people, when our legs say no. They will say: Enough going around and around, pushing pedals up and down.

And without a number or a jersey we, too, will sit on our doorstep on these days in May and June, watching other legs turning.

No longer ours, though.

Ours will rest firmly on the ground, like the legs of landowners, like those of pharmacists, teachers, hat makers, plumbers, in sum, like all those who still have all their faculties. And we will say "Thank heavens! No more backbreaking work for us. No more dust and torment. Oh, oh. . . and no more dysentery! We've had enough of that hellish life, the life of a convict!

(God, though, how wonderful it was!)


Do you remember? At 8:30 on the dot, the starter lowered his little white flag, and off we went together; it was cool; the day was magnificent. They said good-bye to us, but it wasn't a farewell. And very soon the Venetian rider Guido De Santi broke-away, and we pedaled with all our might, and the pace was crazy, in a gear ratio of 51x15; and we no longer saw mountains or villas, woods or taverns, nor the ruddy mouths laughing and shouting our poor names; all we saw was the backside of the rider in front of us, his red jersey bursting with supplies of food; and as we sped along, the loose chips on the asphalt became long, dizzying streaks. During this time, we relayed each other at the front. And then, who knows how, we found ourselves all alone, remember? For us were reserved the roars and the applause, as well as the banner at the center of town, with a 25,000 lire prize. It was around noon, it was hot, there were no trees to give us a little shade. The good old days, right?

Nineteen hundred forty-nine! Nineteen days of slaving away; at the time, it seemed as though we were falling to pieces.

re: giro d'italia 1949 - june 8 - rest day - cont...Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:15 AM

But on that day there will be no more flat tires, no more feeling completely shattered, no more team discipline, nor getting up at the crack of dawn, nor falls into the gutter, nor fines, nor disqualifications, nor injustices from the esteemed panel of judges, but instead, a comfortable chair on the doorstep in which to sit like a gentleman and watch the others sweat blood, at last. All the same, how gratifying! Don't you think?

But is it really?

Did you really think we were serious, and wanted that loathsome chair outside our front door, so we could die in it, little by little? The road is our agony, but also our daily bread; and at night, the ridiculous dreams of racers like us roll up and down. And if the Giro is penal servitude, it is also a great adventure, a game of kings; it is also war, an outing in the country, an exam, madness, all those things that greatly remind us of our youth.

And so I ask you: you, the racers, if someone gave you a purse full of millions, saying to you, "forget it, here is the money, just give up and stay safely at home, no mud, no cramps," what would you reply? You'd reply, "Give up everything, and start rotting in an armchair?" Would you accept, my wretched friends, old convicts, simple-hearted ones, who talk about contracts and salaries, yet you sell your souls, your ugly unfocused souls, for a fine sprint, wouldn't you wheel ahead of all the others, watched by a huge crowd that paid to see you? Come on, if you have the courage, answer. Wouldn't it be a dreadful thing to sell the best of what you have for a scrap of paper?

On the mountains, the real mountains, those with ice at their peaks, those mountains that make us cry and think of home, it was three o'clock in the afternoon. When we were just below the crags, the battle signal was given; Coppi opened fire with a volley of shots along the entire front, and one by one we fell into the pit of our own sweat. Twirling his huge saber, however, Gino Bartali was seen getting up, shakily, to defend his long-standing crown. And people were telling him "You are great!"

All around us, girls were looking at us. They were shouting, applauding, waving their arms about. Now we hate to tell you this, but to be honest, in everyday life you are nothing very special, but today, yes, while you greeted us, you were lovely, very beautiful, so many darlings; you seem to be offering yourselves, body and soul.

But heaven help you if we were to stop! Then you wouldn't laugh any more, would you? Your faces would harden..

In fact, wherever we go, it is always a holiday: a carnival, playtime, a life of pleasure. There they are! There they are! Who's leading? Hurrah for Gino! Hurrah for everybody! Always Sunday: triumph, prizes, tournament, parade, procession to honor the saint; and everybody is happy, joyful, and well fed. And Italy is our velodrome: in the middle of it, we go around and around, with the brave people all around us, 45 million of them, and ever increasing.

And just as we caught our breath and everyone was chatting together, Mario Vicini took a bad fall and landed on the edge of the road. But it was impossible for us to stop. Then came the lightening, claps of thunder, hail, rain, shivers began, but we never stopped. When the bottle of tea was empty, when the food was gone, when we had taken the pep pills, when not even a cube of sugar was left - it was right then came the famous breakaway by numbers 36 (Coppi), 15 (Leoni), and 86 (Pasotti).

And we asked: Why do we do it?

It is Hope that makes us do it (you think that's nothing?): mama waiting at home, sitting by the radio; grandma, who is at the hospice; our wife's shoes; cod liver oil for our children; keep us going, going.

But for how long?

Dear Esteemed Race Director, with your permission, we respectfully lodge a complaint. Subject: the distress that, during the race, is unfairly inflicted upon us by moun
re: giro d'italia 1949 - june 8 - rest day - cont...Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:16 AM
Dear Esteemed Race Director, with your permission, we respectfully lodge a complaint. Subject: the distress that, during the race, is unfairly inflicted upon us by mountains too difficult to climb with our rebellious legs, miserable and tired, that are on strike this morning and no longer want to drive this little piece of machinery called life.

This is why we request a twelve-month extension.

One more Giro. Please tell us you understand.

The starter will lower his little flag. Clean and fresh, we will be on our way, young and old in one single group, our colorful jerseys will look like bouquets of flowers.

At least let's make the first steps together, as if we were all the same age.

And then whatever happens, happens..
re: giro d'italia 1949 - june 9 - dino writesSpirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:17 AM
(Transcribed by Aldo Ross)

Cuneo, the night of Thursday, 9th June 1949

Dino Buzzati writes..

Imagine a provincial theater bursting at the seams with people - Arturo Toscanini is conducting! One hour before it is to begin, and there isn't an empty seat. Society ladies and gentlemen from all over the region have arrived for the occasion. Trepidation, anxiety, pulses are racing. As far back as anyone can recall, the town has never such an event, and people have talked about nothing else for the last month.

The entire orchestra is already assembled on stage. There's a hum of voices and discordant notes as the musicians tune their instruments.

At precisely nine o'clock the lights are dimmed, and the audience holds its breath.

There he is!

A figure in white tie and tails enters from a side door and strides to the dais. A tremendous burst of applause is unleashed.

There he is! Toscanini!

But why does he have black hair?

Why, it isn't him, it's someone else. The news spreads quickly throughout the hall. An unfortunate incident has prevented Toscanini from coming. Replacing him is this young maestro, whom everybody says is a very capable conductor. For a moment the thunderous applause is suspended, while the audience members look at each other, perplexed. But then, to show they are up to the standard of good manners, and in order to avoid humiliating this excellent young man who is, after all, not to blame, the applause resumes. But everybody is deeply disappointed.

The mood was similar this afternoon in Cuneo among the crowd that poured out along the roads coming into town, and onto the long home stretch to the finish line. A powerful roar welcomed the first group of riders to appear, and within this roar it was easy to discern the usual two names shouted by thousands of fans: "Bartali! Coppi!" But Gino Bartali was not there. Nor was Fausto Coppi. Fausto's brother Serse was there among the twelve breakaways, all of them talented and experienced young men, and the winner of the sprint, Oreste Conte of the Coppi's Bianchi team, certainly earned the applause he received.

Nevertheless, it wasn't Toscanini.

Why should we newspaper columnists remain silent about the public's disappointment, which has been repeated with depressing regularity ever since the Giro began, but for the exception of three stages? There was certainly no disappointment in Catania, happy to see its very own Mario Fazio in first place. Nor was there any disappointment in Salerno when Coppi won in a sprint. And there was none in Bolzano, where Coppi won the battle of the Dolomites.

But in the other thirteen cities, even though they were too polite to let on, the fans were very upset. As we all know, emotions are not subject to logic, and the enthusiasts' spirits remain impervious to the cold logic that points-out the absurdity of their demands. What's important to the great champions is to be among the leaders in the overall classification, and one can lose all the skirmishes light-heartedly, provided victory is achieved in the war overall. There are two decisive battles. One was in the Dolomites, which did, in fact, turn the overall classification upside down, and gave big gains to the two "great ones." The other is tomorrow's conflict in the Alps. But try to explain this to the fans. What long faces they pull, seeing their two favorites arrive amid the big battalion of latecomers, without disgrace, but also and without glory,. Their blind love does not waver, but they have a hard time understanding, and feel they've been betrayed.

In Sicily, during the first stage, while the racers were panting up the steep slopes of the Colle del Contrasto, the "old ones" told us with a superior smile: "These hills are mere trifles. Wait until you see what happens in thestage from Villa San Giovanni to Cos
re: giro d'italia 1949 - june 9 - cont......Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:18 AM

In Sicily, during the first stage, while the racers were panting up the steep slopes of the Colle del Contrasto, the "old ones" told us with a superior smile: "These hills are mere trifles. Wait until you see what happens in thestage from Villa San Giovanni to Cosenza. . . yes, that one is definitely an ordeal. At least a third of them will quit."

We left Villa San Giovanni, began the murderous climbs and descents of the Calabrian mountains, and the very wise "old ones" conceded: "Yes, an exhausting stage, but it is of relative unimportance" That's what they said. "In the Dolomites, ah, yes, in the Dolomites, these boys will sweat blood. Everything will be decided up there. For some, it will be a their Waterloo."

We went up the entire Italian peninsula, arrived in the Dolomites, climbed the Rolle, and then the Pordoi, and then the Passo di Campolongo and the Gardena, and the "old ones" looked at us with their little Mephistophelian smiles: "Fine stage, no denying, but it will take more than that. A mere stroll, this, when compared to the French Alps. You'll see, you'll see the Izoard, and then you will truly understand!"

Thus, from stage to stage, the wait for the next day's race became a nightmare.

Today's stage went by smoothly, like an intermezzo, an indispensable stage, yes, because it was necessary for us to reach the foot of the mountains, but in the end it was superfluous. In fact, if the racers had traveled from San Remo to Cuneo by train or motorcoach instead of on their bicycles, the result (from a sporting perspective) would have been identical. Neither the Colle di San Bartolomeo, nor the Colle di Nava were enough to shake the champions, and a kind of perfect harmony reigned in their little family as far as the gates of Cuneo, where (so as not to lose face ) came the rebel's usual breakaway.

Tomorrow, then, on the Giro's most difficult stage, the appeals trial in the Bartali case will take place. As strange as it may seem, the enthusiasm for the campionissimo after his defeat in the Dolomites has increased enormously,. The comparison with a trial is justified. A guilty sentence, rather than an acquittal, swells the popularity of the accused, and the loser is much more poignant than the winner.

An explosion of enthusiasm never seen before will shake the peninsula tomorrow evening if Bartali wins back his lost crown. However, this is his last chance. Although he is a man of extraordinary reserves of energy, and he does not let adversity dishearten him, it is widely believed that tomorrow he will undergo the ultimate test. Millions of Italians continue to believe with touching stubbornness that Bartali is unbeatable. After the Dolomites they said to themselves: "Of course, Bartali needs to warm up! On the Pordoi he wasn't yet in top form. You will see, in the Alps!"

We will see, an endless flood of good wishes and prayers go with him. But watch out! If he were to yield again for the second time tomorrow, it could be an irreparable blow.

How fickle is the crowd's love. After so many disappointments, even the most stubborn faith is destroyed.

Beware, Bartali!

The public is already lining up at the court's entrance. The most famous lawyers have donned their solemn robes, and their most compelling arguments are ready, down to the last comma.

The judges, that is to say, the mountains, sit enigmatically, their very appearance quite intimidating.

Final appeal: On the profile of the race, the Dolomites appear like a frightening series of peaks, similar to the temperature chart of malarial fever - a total of 3900 meters uphill and 3800 meters downhill, with four passes to climb over. However, the profile of tomorrow's stage is even more impressive, and quite worrisome: Five passes, the Colle della Maddelena, Col de Vars, Izoard, Montgenevre, and Sestreire - 4700 meters uphill, 5000 meters downhill. It is natural to make a comparison with moun
re: giro d'italia 1949 - june 9 - cont......Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:19 AM
However, the profile of tomorrow's stage is even more impressive, and quite worrisome: Five passes, the Colle della Maddelena, Col de Vars, Izoard, Montgenevre, and Sestreire - 4700 meters uphill, 5000 meters downhill. It is natural to make a comparison with mountaineering: the Civetta wall is frightening, a classic six grade, but the Eiger, encrusted with green ice, is even more terrifying.

Today on the Col di Nava, after the racers had gone by, a Bartali fan lost patience with an opposing fan: "But did you see him? Do you want to add another ten thousand lire to the bet for tomorrow? You see. . . you're not willing to bet! But did you see how he was catching Coppi? He covered the last three hundred meters looking behind him, as if he were playing around, and when Coppi took off, what did he do? He wasn't even bothered, I swear. Two, three thrusts of the pedals and he charged ahead again. And he kept on looking behind him.. Like a cat, absolutely like a cat, that entertains himself by killing a mouse! Another twenty thousand lire, look, I bet another twenty thousand lire that tomorrow your Coppi will fall apart!"
re: giro d'italia 1949 - june 9 - resulti...Spirito
Jun 19, 2002 12:20 AM
16° tappa - giovedì 9 giugno

SANREMO – CUNEO 190 chilometri


1° Oreste CONTE (Bianchi Ursus), in 5 ore 45' e 43" media: 32,974
2° Mario RICCI (Viscontea), st
3° Oliviero TONINI (Cimatti), st
4° Luciano MAGGINI (Wilier Triestina), st
5° Luciano PEZZI (Atala), st
6° Annibale BRASOLA (Bottecchia), st
7° Vittorio ROSSELLO (Legnano), st
8° Albert DUBOISSON (Ganna), st
9° Léon JOMAUX (Bartali Gardiol), st
10° Pasquale FORNARA (Legnano), st


1° Adolfo LEONI (Legnano Pirelli), Maglia Rosa
2° Fausto COPPI (Bianchi Ursus), a 43"
3° Gino BARTALI (Bartali Gardiol), a 10' e 11"
4° Nedo LOGLI (Arbos), a 14' e 36"
5° Giordano COTTUR (Wilier Triestina), a 15' e 02"
6° Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto), a 16' e 51"
7° Aldo RONCONI (Viscontea), a 17' e 46"
8° Mario FAZIO (Bottecchia), a 19' e 07"
9° Alfredo MARTINI (Wilier Triestina), a 20' e 26"
10° Fritz SCHAER (Stucchi), a 21' e 10"

Maglia Bianca: Giancarlo ASTRUA (Benotto)
is there a book?colker
Jun 19, 2002 5:16 AM
not to dismiss reading it from your post but a book with buzzati account, vintage photography and a preface or two from ..bob roll? you? aldo? why not?
there IS a book!Aldo Ross
Jun 21, 2002 12:00 PM
Yes, indeed, there is a book, an english translation, from VeloPress. I bought the book two years ago, and was disappointed to find it was sometimes poorly translated, at times unintelligible, and was a poor reflection on Buzzati's graceful prose and artistry.

It was this disappointment that prompted me to begin my own translation/transcription. Since the other translation is still relatively new, I am going to wait a few years, than submit my translation, along with photos, maps, results, rider bios, and team details for publication.

Aldo Ross
i wish you wellSpirito
Jun 21, 2002 2:13 PM
knowing how close to heart this is for you and how much time you have spent to do such a great job of it i dont see why it won't find success.

grazie mille

Jun 22, 2002 12:21 PM
i love books on cycling and there are very few of them.