"Red Devil" Gets Relegated
SPECIAL NOTE: The Milano-Milano race had become the premier end of the racing season event and was renamed Giro di Lombardia in 1907.
There was a stellar field of riders for the 1907 Giro di Lombardia (called Milano-Milano). The top 3 from the Tour de France, Lucien Petit-Breton, Gustave Garrigou, and Emile Georget, came to test the Autumn Classic. 1905’s champion Giovanni Gerbi trained very hard for the Lombardia confrontation.
Giovanni "the Red Devil" Gerbi easily finished first with a 40 min. lead on a bewildered peloton. However, he was later relegated to last place for multiple race infractions and dirty tricks. These infractions included:
- Paying a gate keeper to lower the railroad-crossing barrier after he had passed so the other riders would be delayed.
- Drafting off multiple cars and pacers.
- Throwing tacks on the race route causing multiple punctures.
- Encouraging his fans to damage the roads to cause other riders to crash.
Second placed Gustave Garrigou was awarded the 1907 victory after the relegation.
SPECIAL NOTE: The Red Devil’s relegation was accompanied with a two year suspension. The suspension was shortened to six months after over zealous Gerbi fans, “tifosi”, started burning the promoter’s newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
|GdL November 3, 1907
|210 Km, Milan-Milan (Sesto San Giovanni)
Gustave GARRIGOU (Fra) 7h53'41"
Ernesto Azzini (Ita) +12'23"
Luigi Ganna (Ita)
| Finishers: 37
|Average Speed: 26.600 km/h
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