Sunday, September 4, 2011

Fiorenzo Magni Three Time Winner of the Giro d'Itlaia

Fiorenzo Magni racing to a 2nd place finish in the 1956 Giro d'Italia with a broken collarbone.

Fiorenzo Magni was born December 7th, 1920 in Vaino, Italy. The highlights of his career were his three overall wins in the 1948, 1951 and 1955 Giro d'Italia, and his record three consecutive wins at the Ronde van Vlaanderen (1949,1950 and 1951)

In the famous photo above, Magni is riding to a 2nd place in the 1956 Giro with a broken collarbone. He tied a piece of inner tube to his handle bar and pulled on it with his teeth, since it was to painful to pull on the handlebar with his arms while climbing. The reason for his determination to finish at all costs? He was about to retire that year and did not want to abandon his last Giro d'Italia.

In 1954 Magni was the first to negotiate sponsorship from a company that's products were not directly associated with cycling. He worked out sponsorship from Nivea (the face cream company) that supported Magni and his entire team. Up until this time sponsorship for cycling teams came from bicycle manufactures or companies that manufactured components for bicycles. This was a time when professional cycling was struggling.

During the 1954 Giro d'Italia two future great frame makers worked as mechanics for his team. Ernesto Colnago was second mechanic and Fliero Masi was first mechanic. Magni described Masi as "The best mechanic of all time." It was Masi's idea to use the piece of inner tube to gain leverage.

Firoenzo Magni retired from racing in 1956 to manage his Motorcycle Dealership that he started in 1951. The business eventually became a car dealership in Monza, Italy, that still bears his name today.

Fiorenzo Magni winning a race. The only one in the photo!

Magni climbing, I don't think that road is paved.

Another photo of the brave Fiorenzo Magni racing with a broken collarbone.

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