Gastone Nencini

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Gastone Nencini
Nencini at the 1960 Tour de France
Personal information
Full nameGastone Nencini
NicknameIl Leone del Mugello
Faccia di fatica (Fatigue-face)[1]
Born(1930-03-01)1 March 1930
Barberino di Mugello, Italy
Died1 February 1980(1980-02-01) (aged 49)
Florence, Italy
Team information
Professional teams
Major wins
Grand Tours
Tour de France
General classification (1960)
Mountains classification (1957)
4 individual stages (1956, 1957, 1958)
Giro d'Italia
General classification (1957)
Mountains classification (1955)
7 individual stages (1955, 1958, 1959, 1960)
Medal record
Men's road bicycle racing
Representing  Italy
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 1953 Lugano Amateur's Road Race

Gastone Nencini (Italian pronunciation: [ɡaˈstoːne nenˈtʃiːni]; 1 March 1930 – 1 February 1980) was an Italian road racing cyclist who won the 1960 Tour de France and the 1957 Giro d'Italia.[2]

Nicknamed Il Leone del Mugello, "The Lion of Mugello" (from his birthplace Barberino di Mugello, near Florence), Nencini was a powerful all-rounder, particularly strong in the mountains.

He was an amateur painter and a chain smoker.[3] He was a gifted descender. "The only reason to follow Nencini downhill would be if you had a death wish", said the French rider Raphaël Géminiani.[4] It was in trying to follow Nencini down a mountain on Stage 14 of the 1960 Tour de France that Roger Rivière missed a bend, crashed over a wall and broke his spine.[5]

Downhill race[edit]

Nencini's downhill race with Henry Anglade has become part of the legend of cycling. Anglade was a proud rider and Nencini one of the fastest down hills. They met at a col in the Dolomites during the Giro d'Italia. The weather was bad and a snowstorm had forced 57 riders to abandon that day. Anglade said:

I couldn't tolerate the idea that Nencini was the best descender of the peloton. I said to him, call the blackboard man,[6] we'll do the descent together and whoever comes second pays for the aperitifs this evening. So he called the ardoisier and asked him to follow us. The road was of compressed earth. We attacked the drop flat out. I let Nencini take the lead so that I could see how he negotiated the bends before attacking him. In the end I dropped as though I was alone. At the bottom, I had taken 32 seconds out of him, written on the blackboard. I was really tickled. I had beaten Nencini. The next time I saw him was that evening in the hotel I was staying at. He had just bought me an apéritif![7]


Monument at Futa pass

At the Futa pass, on the mountains over his native Barberino di Mugello, a monument is placed to his memory: a big bronze bas-relief portrait of him racing and the inscription saying: "A Gastone Nencini. Il comune di Barberino, gli sportivi, i compagni di tante battaglie ricordano il campione mugellano" (translated from Italian: "To Gastone Nencini. The administration of Barberino, the sportsmen, the comrades of many battles remember the Mugello-born champion").

Gastone Nencini with wife Bianca, wearing the pink jersey from the Giro d'Italia 1957

Career achievements[edit]

3rd Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Mountains classification
1st Stages 9 & 12
1st Tre Valli Varesine
1st Stage 22 Tour de France
1st Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria
Tour de France
1st Mountains classification
1st Stages 10 & 18
3rd Giro del Lazio
1st Circuit of Omegna
1st Circuit of Lokeren
5th Overall Tour de France
1st Stage 19
5th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 10 & 18
1st Stage 9 Giro d'Italia
1st Overall Tour de France
1st Grand Prix de Nice
1st Circuit of Montélimar
2nd Overall Giro d'Italia
1st Stages 5 & 10
3rd Milano–Torino
1st Circuit of Acireale
2nd Trofeo Matteotti
2nd Giro dell'Appennino
2nd Züri-Metzgete
3rd Overall Tour de Romandie

Grand Tour results timeline[edit]

1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
Tour de France DNE DNE 22 6 5 DNE 1 DNE DNF-14 DNE DNE
Stages won 1 2 1 0 0
Mountains classification 17 1 7 4 NR
Points classification 21 9 8 3 NR
Giro d'Italia 16 3 DNF 1 5 10 2 DNE 13 DNF DNF
Stages won 0 2 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 0
Mountains classification NR 1 NR 5 NR NR 3 NR NR NR
Points classification N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Vuelta a España N/A 18 DNE 9 DNF-9 DNE DNE DNE DNE DNE DNE
Stages won 0 0 0
Mountains classification NR NR NR
Points classification NR 2 NR
1 Winner
2–3 Top three-finish
4–10 Top ten-finish
11– Other finish
DNE Did not enter
DNF-x Did not finish (retired on stage x)
DNS-x Did not start (not started on stage x)
HD Finished outside time limit (occurred on stage x)
DSQ Disqualified
N/A Race/classification not held
NR Not ranked in this classification

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Vergne, Laurent (22 July 2015). "Cannibale, Chéri-pipi, Wookie, Andy torticolis… le Top 20 des surnoms mythiques du cyclisme" [Cannibal, Chéri-pipi, Wookie, Andy Torticollis... the Top 20 mythical nicknames of cycling]. Eurosport (in French). Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  2. ^ Gastone Nencini at Cycling Archives
  3. ^ Brisson, Jean-Pascal (2014). Les 100 plus grands cyclistes de l'histoire. Paris: Editions Clément. p. 77. ISBN 979-1092547-65-8.
  4. ^ McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour de France: How a Newspaper Promotion Became the Greatest Sporting Event in the World. Vol. 1: 1903-1964. Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing. p. 243. ISBN 1-59858-180-5.
  5. ^ McGann, Bill; McGann, Carol (2006). The Story of the Tour de France: How a Newspaper Promotion Became the Greatest Sporting Event in the World. Vol. 1: 1903-1964. Indianapolis: Dog Ear Publishing. p. 244. ISBN 1-59858-180-5.
  6. ^ A motorcyclist who times riders' lead or deficit during a race and displays it on a blackboard
  7. ^ Coup de Pédales, Belgium, undated cutting