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