Friday, April 20, 2012

The Third Man

Fiorenzo Magni was always the third man of the Golden Age of Italian cycling that was dominated by Bartoli and Coppi. Despite that he was Italian National Road Champion three times, won three editions of the Giro and many other races.

Her was never a great climber but often managed to stay in contention through sheer bloody-mindedness.

To quote from the man himself:

"In the 1956 Giro I fell on the descent from Volterra and I broke my collarbone. The doctor said to me  'You can't ride'. But I put some rubber sponge on the handlebars and I rode the time trial. I used up four pairs of shoes by trying to brake. Then I rode over the Apennines. But on the uphill time trial at San Luca the pain was too much, so Faliero Masi cut a tyre for me and ties it to the handlebars and I held it in my teeth. The next day in the Modena-Rapallo stage, I fell again and I broke my upper arm. I feinted with pain. I was already on a stretcher. But I got up and the group waited for me. And I finished the Bondone stage in the snow."

Most of us don't go out if it looks like possible showers.

Quote taken from John Foot's Pedalare! Pedalare! Bloomsbury 2011

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