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50th Giro di Lombardia 1956 (Italy)

 
   
 

By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian

 

 

An Inspirational End to Magni's 1956 Season

Fiorenzo Magni was in the twilight of his career. A tough but aging superstar Magni found eternal inspiration to close the 1956 season.

Magni was finishing a long season and when the final select of the race with 60 km to go was happening, Magni missed the breakaway. Four riders were away, Belgian Fred De Bruyne, major rival Fausto Coppi, Frenchmen Louison Bobet and Andre Darrigade.

As the breakaway increased its lead, team cars began to come past Magni's group. One in particular carried archrival Coppi's mistress, Giulia Occhini (the Woman in White). Magni glanced at the car passing and saw Occhini sneer at him. The dislike they had for each other was well known.

An enraged Magni shot off in pursuit of the breakaway and Occhini's lover, Fausto Coppi. Coming into the finish in Milan Magni caught the 4 leaders. Coppi and Magni began to jostling for position, when French sprinter Andre Darrigade attacked the group and won the race. Coppi was second and Magni third.

If not for Magni inspirational charge Coppi would have won. Fiorenzo Magni considered his mission accomplished.

GdL October 21, 1956
240 Km, Milan-Milan

1. Andre DARRIGADE (Fra) 6h14'20"

2. Fausto Coppi (Ita)

3. Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Starters: 135
Finishers: 69
Average Speed: 38.468 km/h

 

 

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“Age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.”
Fausto Coppi, Italian
"Champion of Champions"