Tour De France commentator at Eurosport

Magrini Riccardo on the right with wordl champion Bettini.

I remember Riccardo as been one the most friendly and entertaining rider during my pro career, we raced in the same team Metauro mobili/Pinarello  during the 1983/1984 season riding also 2 Giro d’Italia together.

He was a great rouler for the team but also a great finisseur and when he had a chance he did win, his quality was last kilometer attack and if the peloton was “sleeping” for few seconds, that was enough for him the get the victory

After a very honorable career as pro Riccardo moved in to coaching and in fact he was  Marco Pantani’s last direttore sportivo

He now work as commentator for the Eurosport (italian) and he will comment the next Tour de France. He’s comments are very appreciated by the public in Italy because he can mix his great expertise with a fantastic humor to combine a very interesting and entertaining experience watching a cycling event

Giro d’Italia Bio under27 report

No luck for Peter Kennaugh again!

Last stage of GiroBio on the “strade bianche” of Tuscany and Peter punched again he came back but by then a group of 6/7 people was in a break away with Colombian Cayetano Sarmiento and finish the race as overall leader and winner.

La MontePaschi Strade Bianche – Fotografo: BETTINI

Peter Kennaugh finished third overall and showed great potential as pro rider, I was told that many teams are looking to get him….rider of the future!

Climbing training for Alfredo Binda

Training back in the 80s was pretty simple, we use to meet in Gallarate near Malpensa airport at 9am all the pro in Varese area and strong amateur (dilettanti) normally about 15/20people and off on the road on row of 2 at very good pace…..

View from Passo del Cuvignone

One of our favourite ride was to go around the lake Maggiore climb up from Cittiglio (Alfredo Binda’s born village) up to Cuvignone 12km between 8/12% radiant and then down to the valley to climb again 2 more passes and back home by 2/3ish.

Passo del Cuvignone

But the interesting story is about Binda’s style of climbing training and obviously the Cuvignone. He use to tied behind his bike a big bunch of thin branches for burning on fireplace and pull it all the way to up the top of the mountain which was at the time small passage with gravel and stones.

Alfredo Binda

I guess the training suits him as he become probably the the strongest rider of his time and for a long period of time.

Cavendish’s Direttore Sportivo….. Signor Valerio Piva

An old friend of mine, Varerio Piva, who has now moved from Italy and is living in Belgium after marrying Danielle, a successful hoteliere (Hotel Malpertuu in Riemst)

I was an amateur with Valerio in 1980 with team Lema/Mobili. Of the 15 riders in the team, 14 turn professional before 1984 winning more than 60 races in one season, including international races and stage races like, Settimana Bergamasca, Giro Val d’Aosta, etc. 4 riders racing for national team either on road or track. All this under the guidance of mythical and possibly the most famous and successful direttore sportivo in history DOMENICO GARBELLI.

Valerio had a long serving career where he raced and worked as “gregario” for many captains in the strongest teams. He become very popular for his quality of team player and of course team “rouler”. He now enjoys cycling from the team car…

Franco Bitossi ” The crazy heart”


Passo dello Stelvio

An excellent junior and amateur, with respectively ten and twenty wins, turns professional in 1961 within the Philco ranks, winning just the second stage (Campobasso-Termoli) in the Three Days of the South
Despite this successful debut, his first two years of professionalism were not particularly brilliant. But it was the start of a long career (18 seasons) dotted with victories in prestigious races in particular. Three Italian Road Championships, two Tours of Sydney, two Zurich Championships, and other major races, are set out in his palmares despite the renowned cardiac hypertrophy he suffered from (hence the nickname “Cuore Matto”). It often forced him to stop racing on the edge, sometimes mid-race, to bring his pulse back to normal, before resuming to recover, and try to challenge the win. In reality it was more of a psychological than a physiological problem, such that in the’70s, thanks to the care of his team doctor Dr. Falai, the problem appeared less (but the nickname remained).

He was not really a man for general classement although you should still remember the good placings he achieved in the Giro d’Italia (7th, 8th and a 10th place) victory in the Tour of Switzerland in 1965 and in the Tirreno-Adriatico and Volta a Catalunya in 1970.

He had many successes yet, paradoxically, is often remembered maybe more for a defeat: the World Championships in 1972 in Gap, he was commanding in the last kilometre but was passed at no more than ten meters from the finish by teammate Marino Basso, which deprived him of the rainbow jersey. He was a protagonist in other editions of the Worlds, fourth at Imola in 1968 and third in 1977 in San Cristobal, Venezuela.



Giro D’Italia Bio under27 (ex Giro d’Italia Baby )

This is the latest from Giro d’Italia under27. We are never going to stop this  cancer just with getting a “painkiller”- we need to eradicate it with surgery!

FLORENCE, June 12 2009 – Four members of the Tour of Italy for amateurs under 27 do not start this morning. Italians Antonio Casimiro Parrinello, 20 years (Bedogni-Grassi-Natalini-Gr. Prague), Simone Campagnari, 23, and Francesco Varena, 22 (shoemakers Montegranaro Marini Silvano), and the Russian Pavel Kochetkov. Values fold. The most accredited was Russian, which this year won the Trofeo De Gasperi, was ranked second in the final ranking of the Giro del Friuli and came second – behind a team and Egor Silin escape – in the Cup of Peace. What has been christened GiroBio, a race marked by cleanliness and transparency, has started to run even before the runners. “The controls of yesterday morning, however, announced – explains Giancarlo Brocci, the head of the competition – have worked. We do not discount anyone. Our line is extremely rigorous. Officially, the exclusion is due to inability for health reasons, but this is obviously a change of mentality wrong. Nine in 10 days stages: today the first, Firenze-Modena, 174.6 km, 164 at the start (instead of 168 members.

Brothers in cycling

I was always interested in cyclist brothers, don’t ask me why but this are some of the one that I remember. By the way looks like the younger one are the stronger!

If you know of any please post me details and i will add to the list. In alphabetical order:

Algeri Vittorio e Pietro

Baronchelli Gianbattista e Gaetano

Bevilacqua Antonio e Leonardo

Cipollini Mario e Cesare

Coppi Fausto e Serse

De Vlaeminck Roger and Eric

Downing Dean and Russel

Madiot Marc and Yvon

Moser Enzo, Aldo and Francesco

Schlech Frank and Andy

Alfredo Binda the legend

Alfredo Binda

One of the greatest riders of the 20’s and 30’s was born on 11 August 1902 in Cittiglio, a small town in the Varese area of Northern. Binda’s story is simply unique: not only could he win, all the most important races in Italy and abroad, but could, in his capacity as coach, help bring triumph to other athletes. Athletes with the calibre of Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi. His palmares as a rider include, 4 Tour of Lombardy, 4 Italian championships, 2 Milan-San Remo, 3 World Championships and 5 editions of the Tour of Italy, with 41 stage wins. It is said that because of his extraordinary superiority, in 1930 he was paid approximately 22,500 lira by the organizers not to take part in the Giro that year…
The name of Alfredo Binda opened the roll of honour at the World Championships. The man from Varese is took victory in the first edition, which took place in 1927, he also achieved a further 2 victories in his career. His record of 3 wins still stands to this day. In 1936 he left the athletic activities of racing and became coach of the Italian national team: leading to victories at the Tour de France with Bartali in ‘48 and Coppi in’49 and ’52, and also the rainbow jersey of the world championships with Coppi in Lugano in 1953.

below one of  Coppi’s legendary climbs at the Giro d’Italia’s, Passo dello Stelvio with Alfredo Binda in the car…