Category: Giro d’Italia

Tommy Prim

PHOTOS

A BRIEF HISTORY

Tommy Prim (born 29 July 1955) is a retired Swedish professional cyclist who rode for the Italian Bianchi team between the years of 1980 and 1986. In 1983 he became the first Scandinavian rider to win a classic race when he was victorious in Paris–Brussels, his other career highlights include winning Tirreno–Adriatico and the Tour de Romandie as well as twice finishing runner up in the Giro d’Italia in 1981 and 1982.

Prim rode for the local CK Wano cycling club in Varberg as a youngster and became Swedish Junior champion in 1972, as an amateur he was Swedish champion in 1976 and 1979 as well the Scandinavian amateur champion in 1975 and 1976. He took the under 22 classification of the Tour of Britain in 1976, in what was his first trip abroad with the Swedish national team. He competed in the team time trial event at the 1976 Summer Olympics.

In 1978 and 1979 Prim turned in top class performances in the highly rated Italian stage race Settimana Bergamasca, which has been won by some of the Worlds top riders before they turned professional. Prim’s feats in the Bergamasca race caught the eye of the top professional teams and at the end of 1979 Prim turned professional with the Italian Bianchi-Piaggio squad, a decision which was made easier by the presence of fellow Scandinavians Knut Knudsen and Alf Segersäll in that team. His team manager would be master tactician Giancarlo Ferretti.

Prim’s made an immediate impact as a professional in his debut season of 1980, he finished seventh in the early season Tour of Sardinia and was part of the Bianchi team that won the team time trial stage at Paris–Nice, this good form ensured him a ride in the Giro d’Italia where he took a stage into Teramo as well as finishing fourth overall and taking the young riders jersey. He was also disqualified after winning the stage into Sorrento when he rode Italian sprinter Giovanni Mantovani into the barriers. Later that season he won the Italian one day race the Coppa Agostoni.

Prim went to the 1981 Giro d’Italia in top form after winning the Tour de Romandie just prior to the Italian race, he ended up taking the runners up spot behind Giovanni Battaglin, many observers felt that Prim could have won the 1981 Giro if his Bianchi squad had backed him solely instead of having three team leaders (Italians Silvano Contini and Giambattista Baronchelli were the others). In 1982 Prim finished runner up once again in the Giro, beaten by the tactically astute Bernard Hinault. In 1983 he entered the Giro as sole team leader for Bianchi and everything started well when he took the leaders pink jersey after the first stage team time trial, however, his form in the mountains was uncharacteristically poor and he eventually finished a disappointing 15th overall. In September 1983 he won the Paris–Brussels, which at that time was still regarded as a “Classic” race, he went clear with an early break which stayed away for 280 kilometres, he dropped his breakaway companions on the Alsemberg climb just before the finish and remained clear until the finish to become the first Scandinavian rider to win a classic race.

PALMARES

1980
4th Overall Giro d’Italia and one stage
1st Coppa Agostoni
2nd Overall Deutschland Tour
2nd Overall Giro di Trentino
4th Overall Paris–Nice

1981
2nd Overall Giro d’Italia
1st Trofeo Pantalica
1st Overall Tour de Romandie
3rd Overall Deutschland Tour

1982
2nd Overall Giro d’Italia
Stage in Setmana Catalana
1st Overall Tour of Sweden
2nd Overall Tour de Romandie

1983
15th Overall Giro d’Italia
1st Paris–Brussels
1st Overall Tour of Sweden
3rd Overall Tour de Romandie
3rd Baracchi Trophy

1984
1st Overall Tirreno Adriatico
2nd Baracchi Trophy

1985
4th Overall Giro d’Italia
3rd Overall Tour de Romandie

1986
21st Overall Giro d’Italia

PROFESSIONAL TEAMS

1980–1986 Bianchi

ADDITIONAL ARTICLE: Read Edmond Hood’s showcase article on Tommy Prim HERE

Gösta Pettersson

PHOTOS

A BRIEF HISTORY

Gösta Artur Roland Pettersson (born 23 November 1940) is a retired Swedish cyclist. As an amateur, he competed in the individual and team road events at the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Olympics and won one silver and two bronze medals, in 1964 and 1968. In 1968 he also took part in two track events: individual and team 4000 m pursuit.

Pettersson’s brothers, Erik, Sture and Tomas, were also Olympic cyclists, and their quartet was known as the Fåglum brothers. They won the World Amateur Cycling Championships in 1967–1969 and a team silver medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics; three of the brothers were also part of the bronze-winning road team at the 1964 Games. In 1967 they were awarded the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal.

After the 1969 World Championships the Fåglum brothers turned professional. In 1970 Gösta won the Tour de Romandie, Coppa Sabatini and Trofeo Baracchi (with brother Tomas), and finished third at the Tour de France and sixth at the Giro d’Italia. Next year he won the Giro d’Italia, Giro dell’Appennino and Giro delle Marche. He finished sixth at the 1972 Giro d’Italia and seventh at the 1973 Tour de Suisse. His last major success was second place at the 1974 Tour de Suisse.

PROFESSIONAL CAREER

1970
Tour de Romandie :
Classement général
4eb étape (contre-la-montre)
Coppa Sabatini
Trophée Baracchi (avec Tomas Pettersson)
2e du Grand Prix de Lugano
2e du GP Forli
2e du GP Baden-Baden
3e du Tour de France
6e du Tour d’Italie

1971
Tour d’Italie
Tour des Apennins
Tour des Marches
2e de Paris-Nice
2e de la Semaine catalane
2e du Trophée Baracchi (avec Tomas Pettersson)
2e du Grand Prix de Lugano
2e du Tour de Sardaigne
2e du GP Baden-Baden (avec Tomas Pettersson)
3e de Milan-San Remo
3e du GP Forli

1972
7e étape du Tour d’Italie
8eb étape du Tour de Suisse
Trophée Cougnet
2e du Tour des Pouilles
3e du Trophée Baracchi (avec Tomas Pettersson)
3e du GP Forli
6e du Tour d’Italie
9e de Milan-San Remo

1973
8eb étape du Tour de Suisse (contre-la-montre)
2e du Trophée Baracchi (avec Davide Boifava)
3e du Tirreno-Adriatico
3e du Tour de Sardaigne

1974
2e du Tour de Suisse
2e du Trophée Baracchi (avec Martín Emilio Rodríguez)
Résultats sur les grands tours

Tour de France
1970 : 3e
1971 : abandon (14e étape)
Tour d’Italie
1970 : 6e
1971 : Leader du classement général Vainqueur du classement général, Jersey maillot rose pendant 4 jours
1972 : 6e, vainqueur de la 7e étape
1973 : 13e
1974 : 10e

VIDEOS


Alfonsina Strada

PHOTOS

A BRIEF HISTORY

Alfonsina Strada [Morini] (16 March 1891 – 13 September 1959) was an Italian cyclist, the only woman to have ridden one of cycling’s three major stage races. She started in the Giro d’Italia in 1924 when the organisers mistook her for a man. Newspapers called her “The Devil in a dress.” We hunted far and wide for RARE photos of this strong woman.

Her racing career included an Italian record which lasted 26 years. She died aged 69 as she propped up her motorcycle after riding to a bicycle race.

Strada’s ride in the Giro d’Italia came about through a disagreement between the organiser, Emilio Colombo of Gazzetta dello Sport, and the top riders of the day. The riders refused to take part. Colombo did what the Tour de France had done and offered places to whoever wanted to ride. Gazzetta dello Sport promised to pay their bills, their hotels and their food. It offered places for 90 riders and promised 600 chickens, 750 kg of other meat, 4,800 bananas and 720 eggs. But there would be no managers, no masseurs, no mechanics and no team cars.

Strada entered as “Strada, Alfonsin.” The absence of a final “o” or “a” to her first name hid whether she was a man or a woman. She was accepted as number 72 and, assuming her to be a man, journalists began writing of Alfonsino. The truth emerged the day before the start and by then it was too late.

She came 74th on the first day, an hour behind the leader but nothing by the standard of the day, when riders could be separated by hours. She finished 50th of 65 between Genoa and Florence and survived as far as Naples. Then the weather turned. A gale blew, rain poured, mud and rocks swept across the road. Strada was among many who crashed. Her handlebars snapped and she stood by the roadside until a peasant snapped a broomstick to jam in the hole. She rode on with one side of her bars of steel and the other of broomstick but finished outside the time limit.

The next day was to Fiume, where a crowd lifted her from her bicycle and carried her in triumph when she finished in tears from pain and exhaustion 25 minutes after the time limit. It motivated her to continue to Milan. Only 38 completed the race and Strada, although no longer formally in the running, finished more than 20 hours ahead of Telesforo Benaglia, the lanterne rouge. She finished 28 hours behind the winner, 30-year-old Giuseppe Enrici of Piedmont. But almost an hour separated Enrici from his runner-up, Federico Gay, so it was hardly a close-run race. And two riders finished behind her.

Strada was never allowed to ride the Giro again, but she followed it for several years and earned the respect of Armando Cougnet (journalist), Giardini, Colombo, Cattaneo, Lattuarda, Costante Girardengo, as well as of journalists and competitors. She rode exhibition races throughout Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg and before Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in Saint Peterburg. In 1937, in Paris, she defeated the French champion, Robin.

In 1938 she set the female world record for the hour, covering 32.58 km at Longchamp, Paris, a record beaten in 1955 by Tamara Novikova of the Soviet Union.

The Italian writer Dino Buzzati wrote that, as a boy riding in a park in Milan, he saw Strada and managed to stay with her for two laps before “exploding”. He said that after that she shot off down the path like an arrow.

VIDEO

Italian Play dedicated to the story of Alfonsina Strada’s ride in the 1924 Giro d’Italia

Video in Italian – The first WOMAN in history to challenge the greats of cycling by cycling the Giro d’Italia: Alfonsina Strada

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