1946 Giro d'Italia
|Dates||15 June - 7 July|
|Stages||16, including three split stages|
|Distance||3,039.5 km (1,889 mi)|
|Winning time||96h 32' 20"|
The 1946 Giro d'Italia was the 29th edition of the Giro d'Italia, a cycling race organized and sponsored by the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. The race began on 15 June in Milan with a stage that stretched 185 km (115 mi) to Turin, finishing back in Milan on 7 July after a 176 km (109 mi) stage and a total distance covered of 3,039.5 km (1,889 mi). The race was won by the Italian rider Gino Bartali of the Legnano team, with fellow Italians Fausto Coppi and Vito Ortelli coming in second and third respectively.
The 1946 Giro d'Italia was contested by seven teams and six groups. Each team consisted of seven riders, while each group was made up of four cyclists. This made the starting peloton total 79 riders. Nearly half of the riders were starting their first edition of the Giro. Of the riders that began the race, only 40 were able to complete the race. Joseph Magnani became the first American, and by the virtue North American, to compete in the Giro. The peloton was entirely Italian as Italy was technically still at war with most other countries.
After having ridden together on Legnano at the last Giro and until World War II halted professional cycling in Italy, Fausto Coppi (Bianchi) and Gino Bartali (Legnano) entered the Giro now on different teams. Coppi started the season in great form and won the Milan–San Remo by over fourteen minutes after riding nearly the whole race alone. Tensions between the two riders elevated after May's Züri-Metzgete, where Bartali asked Coppi to help him to the finish and, if so, he would not contest the race to the line. Coppi agreed, but Bartali attacked as Coppi adjusted his toe straps and won the race, angering Coppi. Together, they were seen as favorites to win the race. Mario Ricci, Adolfo Leoni, Aldo Bini, and Glauco Servadei also received consideration as riders to win the opening stage. Vito Ortelli was another other main contenders for the race win. In interview with the Unione Velocipedistica Italiana president Borroni, Bartali stated that he only wanted to ride the Giro in order to get granted permission to ride the Tour de Suisse. Fermo Camellini and Oreste Conte received attention as threats to win the race. A notable exclusion was Fiorenzo Magni who was not allowed to participate due to his allegiance to the Italian Fascists.
The squads entering the race were:
- Wilier Triestina
- V. C. Bustese
- Fronte Della Gioventu'-Duluz
- Azzini-Freni Universal
- Centro Sportivo Italiano
Route and stages
The Italian Cycling Federation announced on 7 December 1945 that several of bike races would be return the following season including the likes of the Giro, Giro di Lombardia, Milan–San Remo, and more. The significance of the restart was noted by a l'Unità writer who wrote: "... this Giro makes the idea of unity of our nation concrete..." The paper even took to referring it as the Giro della Rinascita (English: Tour of Rebirth). Cities in Italy submitted requests to be hosts for the stages of the Giro by 28 January 1946. As planning started, there were problems that arose: as the bombing from the war had destroyed bridges and roads significantly. The damages to the railroad system and the southern roads in particular, limited the Giro to the land north of Naples. A main concern of race organizers was the date of the Italian elections, which was announced to be on 2 June by the Council of Ministers. To avoid overlapping with the election, on 13 March the event was announced, and that it would start on 15 June and end on 7 July. The route was fully revealed on 11 April. The route was viewed to be largely symbolic in nature as it visited sites that were related to events from the First and Second World Wars like Trento, Bassano del Grappa, and Piave. Pope Pius XII wrote to La Gazzetta dello Sport and mentioned he would offer an audience if the race were to pass through Rome, which the organizers obliged and the riders had the opportunity to meet the Pope.
The day before the race started, organizers announced the stage from Rovigo to the Allied controlled Trieste could not finish in Trieste and its finish would be moved to Vittorio Veneto. Trieste was then under British and American control as Italy and Yugoslavia disputed the land. This decision caused controversy both within Trieste and across Italy and the government soon began to negotiate for a finish in Trieste. After the race had started, on 22 June, the Allied Military Command announced that the originally planned finish in Trieste would be allowed.
|1||15 June||Milan to Turin||185 km (115 mi)||Plain stage||Giordano Cottur (ITA)|
|2||16 June||Turin to Genoa||190 km (118 mi)||Plain stage||Antonio Bevilacqua (ITA)|
|3||17 June||Genoa to Montecatini Terme||222 km (138 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Adolfo Leoni (ITA)|
|18 June||Rest day|
|4a||19 June||Montecatini Terme to Prato||30 km (19 mi)||Individual time trial||Antonio Bevilacqua (ITA)|
|4b||Prato to Bologna||112 km (70 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Fausto Coppi (ITA)|
|5a||20 June||Bologna to Cesena||80 km (50 mi)||Plain stage||Olimpio Bizzi (ITA)|
|5b||Cesena to Ancona||128 km (80 mi)||Plain stage||Aldo Bini (ITA)|
|21 June||Rest day|
|6||22 June||Ancona to Chieti||170 km (106 mi)||Plain stage||Vito Ortelli (ITA)|
|7||23 June||Chieti to Naples||244 km (152 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Mario Ricci (ITA)|
|24 June||Rest day|
|8||25 June||Naples to Rome||226 km (140 mi)||Plain stage||Elio Bertocchi (ITA)|
|9||26 June||Rome to Perugia||191 km (119 mi)||Plain stage||Aldo Baito (ITA)|
|10||27 June||Perugia to Florence||165 km (103 mi)||Plain stage||Renzo Zanazzi (ITA)|
|28 June||Rest day|
|11||29 June||Florence to Rovigo||245 km (152 mi)||Plain stage||Oreste Conte (ITA)|
|12||30 June||Rovigo to Trieste||132 km (82 mi)||Plain stage||Stage Cancelled|
|1 July||Rest day|
|13||2 July||Udine to Auronzo di Cadore||124.5 km (77 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Fausto Coppi (ITA)|
|14||3 July||Auronzo di Cadore to Bassano del Grappa||203 km (126 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Fausto Coppi (ITA)|
|4 July||Rest day|
|15||5 July||Bassano del Grappa to Trento||186 km (116 mi)||Stage with mountain(s)||Aldo Ronconi (ITA)|
|16a||6 July||Trento to Verona||90 km (56 mi)||Plain stage||Oreste Conte (ITA)|
|16b||Verona to Mantua||72 km (45 mi)||Plain stage||Elio Bertocchi (ITA)|
|17||7 July||Mantua to Milan||176 km (109 mi)||Plain stage||Oreste Conte (ITA)|
|Total||3,039.5 km (1,889 mi)|
The leader of the general classification – calculated by adding the stage finish times of each rider – wore a pink jersey. This classification is the most important of the race, and its winner is considered as the winner of the Giro. A similar classification to the general classification was the "aggruppati" classification which was calculated in the same fashion as the general classification, but it was excluse to the riders competing from groups rather than teams.
In the mountains classification, the race organizers selected different mountains that the route crossed and awarded points to the riders who crossed them first.
The winner of the team classification was determined by adding the finish times of the best three cyclists per team together and the team with the lowest total time was the winner. If a team had fewer than three riders finish, they were not eligible for the classification. The group classification was decided in the same manner, but the classification was exclusive to the competing groups.
There was a black jersey (maglia nera) awarded to the rider placed last in the general classification. The classification was calculated in the same manner as the general classification.
The rows in the following table correspond to the jerseys awarded after that stage was run.
||Best Group rider classification||Mountains classification||Last in General classification
||Team classification||Group classification|
|1||Giordano Cottur||Giordano Cottur||?||not awarded||Mario Spinazzi||?||?|
|2||Antonio Bevilacqua||Antonio Bevilacqua||Egidio Marangoni||Elio Bertocchi|
|3||Adolfo Leoni||Serse Coppi|
|4b||Fausto Coppi||Fermo Camellini||Gino Bartali|
|5b||Aldo Bini||Salvatore Crippa||Severino Canavesi|
|7||Mario Ricci||Vito Ortelli|
|8||Elio Bertocchi||Enea Antolini|
|9||Aldo Baito||Antonio Giauna|
|10||Renzo Zanazzi||Leopoldo Ricci|
|11||Oreste Conte||Luigi Malabrocca|
|13||Fausto Coppi||Gino Bartali|
|Final||Gino Bartali||Salvatore Crippa||Gino Bartali||Luigi Malabrocca||Legnano||?|
|Denotes the winner of the General classification|
|1||Gino Bartali (ITA)||Legnano||65h 32' 20"|
|2||Fausto Coppi (ITA)||Bianchi||+ 47"|
|3||Vito Ortelli (ITA)||Benotto||+ 15' 28"|
|4||Salvatore Crippa (ITA)||ENAL-Campari||+ 15' 31"|
|5||Aldo Ronconi (ITA)||Benotto||+ 24' 31"|
|6||Giulio Bresci (ITA)||Welter||+ 27' 35"|
|7||Ezio Cecchi (ITA)||Centro Sportivo Italiano||+ 37' 58"|
|8||Giordano Cottur (ITA)||Wilier Triestina||+ 38' 28"|
|9||Alfredo Martini (ITA)||Welter||+ 39' 54"|
|10||Primo Volpi (ITA)||Velo Club Bustese||+ 43' 12"|
|1||Gino Bartali (ITA)||Legnano||27|
|2||Fausto Coppi (ITA)||Bianchi||20|
|3||Vito Ortelli (ITA)||Benotto||17|
|4||Aldo Ronconi (ITA)||Benotto||8|
|5||Serse Coppi (ITA)||Bianchi||5|
|Ezio Cecchi (ITA)||Centro Sportivo Italiano|
|6||Giordano Cottur (ITA)||Wilier Triestina||4|
Group rider classification
|1||Salvatore Crippa (ITA)||ENAL–Campari||95h 47' 51"|
|2||Ezio Cecchi (ITA)||Centro Sportivo Italiano||+ 22' 27"|
|3||Primo Volpi (ITA)||V. C. Bustese||+ 27' 42"|
|4||Aldo Baito (ITA)||V. C. Bustese||+ 28' 44"|
|5||Serafino Biagioni (ITA)||Fronte Della Gioventu'-Duluz||+ 31' 25"|
|6||Bruno Pasquini (ITA)||Milan-Gazzetta||+ 35' 46"|
|7||Enzo Coppini (ITA)||Fronte Della Gioventu'-Duluz||+ 43' 20"|
|8||Diego Marabelli (ITA)||ENAL–Campari||+ 46' 31"|
|9||Augusto Introzzi (ITA)||Azzini-Freni Universal||+ 1h 2' 32"|
|10||Andrea Giacometti (ITA)||Fronte Della Gioventu'-Duluz||+ 1h 14' 47"|
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- Foot 2011, p. 77.
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- "Il Giro d'Italia si iniziera il 15 giugno" [The Giro d'Italia will begin on June 15th]. Corriere dello Sport (in Italian). 14 March 1946. p. 1. Archived from the original on 15 October 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
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- Foot 2011, p. 85–6.
- Foot 2011, pp. 81–2.
- Foot 2011, p. 86.
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- "L'ultima tappa in una immensa cornice di folla e la vittoria di Leoni" [The final step in a huge frame of the crowd and the victory of Leoni]. Il Littoriale (in Italian). 10 June 1940. p. 2. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
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- "Aspra lotta sui monti e appassionante finale di gara" [Bitter struggle over the mountains and exciting final race]. La Stampa (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. 6 July 1946. p. 1. Retrieved 22 June 2012.