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57th Giro d'Italia 1974 (Italy)

 
   
 
By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian
 

Merckx’s 5th Giro Victory but Barely

Belgian Eddy Merckx won his fifth Giro d’Italia championship but not without a fight.  These were the Merckx Golden Years but the competition was getting closer. 

SPECIAL NOTE: In 1974 the leader of the Mountain Classification wore the Maglia Vert (Green Jersey).

Spanish climber Jose-Manuel Fuente controlled the race through the stage 12 individual time trial won by Merckx.  Fuente lost over 2 minutes in the ITT and gave up the race lead to Merckx on the next stage.  The Cannibal tentatively controlled the race until the penultimate stage 20, the mountain top finish in Tre cime di Laverado.

There were only two stages until the finish in Milan and Merckx was struggling to hold the lead group on the finishing climb.  Fuente set a brutal pace and split the leaders.  Young Italian Gianbattista Baronchelli went after a solo Fuente and gapped Merckx to become the “race leader on-the-road”.  With the Giro lead slipping away from the race leader Merckx dug deep to find a huge effort in the final kilometer to close the gap.  Fuente won the stage and Baronchelli closed to within 12 seconds of the race lead. 

Merckx won the next stage and cemented his hold on the Maglia Rosa.  Eddy Merckx rode into Milan for his fifth Giro d’Italia victory, but not without a fight.

Stage and Distance

Stage Winner

Race Leader

Stage 1 Rome/Vatican-Formia, 164 km

Wilfried Reybrouck (Bel)

Wilfried Reybrouck (Bel)

Stage 2 Formia-Pompei, 121 km

Patrick Sercu (Bel)

Wilfried Reybrouck (Bel)

Stage 3 Pompei-Sorrento, 137 km

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 4 Sorrente-Sapri, 208 km

Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 5 Sapri-Taranto, 215 km

Pierino Gavazzi (Ita)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 6 Taranto-Foggia, 206 km

Franco Bitossi (Ita)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 7 Foggia-Chieti, 257 km

Ugo Colombo (Ita)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 8 Chieti-Macereta, 150 km

Franco Bitossi (Ita)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 9 Macereta-Monte Carpegna, 191 km

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 10 Monte Carpegna-Modena, 205 km

Patrick Sercu (Bel)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 11a Modena-Il Ciocco, 153 km

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 11b Il Ciocco-Forte dei Marmi, 62 km

Patrick Sercu (Bel)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 12 Forte dei Marmi, 40 km ITT

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Stage 13 Forte dei Marmi-Pietra Ligure, 231 km

Enrico Paolini (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 14 Pietra Ligure-San Remo, 189 km

Giuseppe Perletto (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 15 San Remo-Valenza, 206 km

Ercole Gualazzini (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 16 Valenza-Mendrisio, 158 km

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 17 Como-Iseo, 158 km

Santiago Lazcano (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 18 Iseo-Sella Valsugana, 190 km

Franco Bitossi (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 19 Borgo Valsudana-Pordenone, 146 km

Enrico Paolini (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 20 Pord.-Tre cime di Laverado, 163 km

Jose-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 21 Misurina-Bassano del Grappa, 194 km

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Stage 22 Bassano del Grappa-Milan, 257 km

Marino Basso (Ita)

Eddy Merckx (Bel)

Mountain Jersey

* José-Manuel Fuente (Spa)

Point's Jersey

Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)



GdI May 16 - June 09, 1974

4,001 Km

1. Eddy MERCKX (Bel) 113h08'13"

2. Gianbattista Baronchelli (Ita) +12"
3. Felice Gimondi (Ita) +33"
Starters: 140

Finishers: 96

Average Speed: 35.372 km/h

 

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