Felice Gimondi

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Felice Gimondi
Felice Gimondi 1966.jpg
Gimondi at the 1966 Giro d'Italia
Personal information
Full nameFelice Gimondi
NicknameThe Phoenix[1]
Born(1942-09-29)29 September 1942
Sedrina, Italy
Died16 August 2019(2019-08-16) (aged 76)
Giardini Naxos, Italy
Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight71 kg (157 lb)
Team information
DisciplineClassics
RoleRider
Rider typeAll-rounder
Professional teams
1965–1972Salvarani
1973–1979Bianchi–Campagnolo
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
General classification (1965)
7 individual stages (1965, 1967, 1969, 1975)
Giro d'Italia
General classification (1967, 1969, 1976)
6 individual stages (1966, 1968, 1971, 1973, 1976)
Vuelta a España
General classification (1968)
1 individual stage (1968)

Stage races

Volta a Catalunya (1972)
Tour de Romandie (1969)

One-day races and Classics

World Road Race Championships (1973)
National Road Race Championships (1968, 1972)
Milan–San Remo (1974)
Paris–Roubaix (1966)
Giro di Lombardia (1966, 1973)
Grand Prix des Nations (1967, 1968)

Felice Gimondi (Italian pronunciation: [feˈliːtʃe dʒiˈmondi]; 29 September 1942 – 16 August 2019) was an Italian professional racing cyclist. With his 1968 victory at the Vuelta a España, only three years after becoming a professional cyclist, Gimondi, nicknamed "The Phoenix", was the second cyclist (after Jacques Anquetil) to win all three Grand Tours of road cycling: Tour de France (1965, his first year as a pro), Giro d'Italia (1967, 1969 and 1976), and Vuelta a España (1968).[2] He is one of only seven cyclists to have done so.[3]

Biography[edit]

Gimondi at the start of the 22nd stage of the 1967 Giro d'Italia

Gimondi was born on 29 September 1942 in Sedrina in the Province of Bergamo.[4] He was the son of a transport manager and a post mistress.[5] In his youth, he frequently took his mother's post bicycle and later helped with delivering mail on it.[6] In 1964, Gimondi rode the road race at the 1964 Olympic Games, where he finished in 33rd place.[7] After winning the Tour de l'Avenir, he was signed, in 1965, as a professional to the Salvarani team.[4] With the withdrawal of another cyclist from Salvarani's 1965 Tour de France team, Gimondi was added at the last minute and later recalled that he had to ask his mother for permission to start the race. He took the yellow jersey on stage 3, but lost the race lead later when he waited for his nominal team captain Vittorio Adorni. Adorni later dropped out, leaving Gimondi to fight out the overall victory with Raymond Poulidor, securing the Tour in the final time trial.[8][9]

His early successes led to him being regarded as a successor to well-renowned fellow Italian Fausto Coppi, nicknamed campionissimo. Gimondi's career coincided for the most part with that of highly-successful Eddy Merckx. However, Gimondi was able to build up a respectable palmarès himself, even through the era of Merckx' dominance.[8]

After winning the 1967 Giro d'Italia and the 1968 Vuelta a España, Gimondi had become the second-ever rider to have won all three Grand Tours after Jacques Anquetil. He won the Giro a further two times, first in 1969.[10] In 1976, Gimondi was not counted among the favourites, being regarded as past his prime, but overcame a deficit on race leader Johan De Muynck in the final time trial to take his third victory in the race. His success was subsequently called the "miracle in Milan".[9]

His other successes include four victories in the so-called "monument classics", winning Paris–Roubaix in 1966, Milan–San Remo in 1974 and the Giro di Lombardia twice (1966 and 1973).[10] In the 1973 World Championship road race, he formed a group with Luis Ocaña and Freddy Maertens to bridge a gap to Merckx, who had attacked earlier. At the finish, he outsprinted Maertens to clinch the title.[6][9] He had already placed third in 1970 and second in 1971.[10] Gimondi also won Paris–Brussels twice, in 1966 and 1976.[5]

He failed twice to pass doping controls, first in the 1968 Giro d'Italia[11] and then at the 1975 Tour de France.[12] His positive test at the 1968 Giro was for the stimulant Fencamfamin, but since the substance was not on the prohibited list at the time, he kept his third place overall at the race.[13] At the 1975 Tour, he received a 10-minute time penalty.[6]

Gimondi in 2009

A major cyclosportive event is named in his honour, the Gran Fondo Felice Gimondi, held annually around Bergamo. Since 2019, it honours all seven riders to have won all three Grand Tours.[14]

Throughout his career and after it, Gimondi was closely associated with the bicycle manufacturer Bianchi.[15] In the late 1980s, Gimondi was briefly directeur sportif at the Gewiss–Bianchi team.[9] He served as manager for Bianchi's mountain-bike team for a long period of time.[15] Between 2000 and 2001, Gimondi briefly worked as president of the Mercatone Uno–Albacom team[9] and as an advisor to Marco Pantani. At the end of the 1998 Tour de France, race organiser Jean-Marie Leblanc invited Gimondi onto the stage during the podium celebration, when Pantani became the first Italian winner of the race since he had himself won the event in 1965.[16] In 2008, Gimondi was the president of the TX Active – Bianchi cycling team which specializes in MTB races.[17]

In 1968, Gimondi married Tiziana Bersano, with whom he had two daughters, Norma and Federica.[8]

Gimondi died on 16 August 2019 after suffering a heart attack while swimming on vacation in Sicily. He was 76.[9] His funeral was held on 20 August in Paladina near Bergamo, attended by thousands of people. His long-time rival Eddy Merckx did not attend, stating that he was "too saddened" by the loss of his friend.[15]

Career achievements[edit]

Major results[edit]

Source:[18]

1963
1st Giro del Friuli
1964
1st Overall Tour de l'Avenir
1965
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Tour de France
1st Stages 3, 18 (ITT) & 22 (ITT)
1966
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Giro di Lombardia
1st Stage 20 Giro d'Italia
1st Paris–Brussels
1st Stage 3b (ITT) Tour de Romandie
1st Coppa Agostoni
1st Coppa Placci
1967
1st Jersey pink.svg Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 10 & 20 Tour de France
1st Grand Prix des Nations
1st Giro del Lazio
1st Gran Premio di Lugano
1968
1st Jersey yellow.svg Overall Vuelta a España
1st Stage 17
1st MaillotItalia.svg National Road Race Championships (Giro di Romagna)
1st Stage 16 (ITT) Giro d'Italia
1st Trofeo Baracchi
1st Grand Prix des Nations
1st Critérium des As
1969
1st Jersey pink.svg Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Jersey green.svg Overall Tour de Romandie
1 Stage 12 Tour de France
1st Giro dell'Appennino
1st Stage 1 Paris–Luxembourg
1970
1st Trofeo Matteotti
1st Stage 6 Tour de Suisse
1st Stage 5b (ITT) Tirreno–Adriatico
1971
1st Stages 7 & 18 Giro d'Italia
1st Giro del Piemonte
1st Grand Prix de Wallonie
1972
1st MaillotItalia.svg National Road Race Championships (Giro dell'Appennino)
1st MaillotVolta.png Overall Volta a Catalunya
1st Gran Premio di Lugano
1st Overall Six-Days of Milan
1973
1st MaillotMundial.PNG UCI World Road Race Championships
1st Giro di Lombardia
1st Giro del Piemonte
1 Stage 16 (ITT) Giro d'Italia
1st Trofeo Baracchi
1st Coppa Bernocchi
1st Overall Giro di Puglia
1974
1st Milan–San Remo
1st Coppa Agostoni
1975
1st Stage 10 Tour de France
1976
1st Jersey pink.svg Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 21
1st Paris–Brussels
1977
1st Overall Six-Days of Milan

Grand Tour results timeline[edit]

1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978
Vuelta a España 1
Giro d'Italia 3 5 1 3 1 2 7 8 2 3 3 1 15 11
Tour de France 1 7 4 2 6

Source:[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Italian cycling legend Felice Gimondi dies at 76". France 24. News Wires. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  2. ^ Felice Gimondi. Cycling Hall of Fame.
  3. ^ Sarkar, Pritha (17 August 2019). "Cycling: Italian great Gimondi dies of heart attack". Euronews. Reuters. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  4. ^ a b Windsor, Richard (16 August 2019). "Italian cycling legend Felice Gimondi dies, aged 76". Cycling Weekly. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  5. ^ a b "'Great man, great champion': Five-time Grand Tour winner Gimondi dies at 76". cyclingtips.com. 17 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Knuth, Johannes (18 August 2019). "Im Schatten des Kannibalen". Süddeutsche Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  7. ^ Felice Gimondi Archived 24 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Sports reference.
  8. ^ a b c Fotheringham, William (21 August 2019). "Felice Gimondi obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Ostanek, Daniel (16 August 2019). "Felice Gimondi dies aged 76". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  10. ^ a b c "Felice Gimondi: Italian cycling legend dies at the age of 76". BBC. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Nueve corredores acusados de ingerir drogas, entre ellos los españoles Mariano Díaz y Joaquín Galera". La Vanguardia (in Spanish). 18 June 1968. p. 54. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  12. ^ "El doping de Gimondi, confirmado". Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 30 July 1975. p. 19. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  13. ^ Gallagher, Brendan (2017). Corsa Rosa: A History of the Giro d’Italia. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 149. ISBN 978-1472918802.
  14. ^ "Granfondo Felice Gimondi: Tribut an die "Glorreichen Sieben"". radsport-news.com (in German). 7 November 2018. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "Thousands attend Felice Gimondi's funeral". cyclingnews.com. 20 August 2019. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  16. ^ Westemeyer, Susan (5 February 2007). "Gimondi on Pantani film and cyclist". cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  17. ^ "2008 Official Gewiss-Bianchi Team: in pursuit of new emotions and victories". Archived from the original on 14 July 2008. Retrieved 26 January 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). bianchi.com
  18. ^ Felice Gimondi at Cycling Archives
  19. ^ "Felice Gimondi". procyclingstats.com. Retrieved 19 August 2019.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]