Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Giro di Lombardia (Tour of Lombardy), the closing event of the 2004 World Cup, also sealing the end of the current road season on European soil. Actually there's more bike racing to come, with events like tomorrow's Escalada a Montjuich in Catalunya, as well as next Saturday's Florence-Pistoia challenge against the clock in Tuscany. But neither races can be compared to the most prestigious Autumn Classic. Which is going to make history also for a further reason, as it will be the last race of the UCI World Cup, before it leaves room to the Pro Tour in the coming season. And it's going to write the final name in the World Cup list of winners, as at the moment there's still two riders who can do it: "Californian" (as in from La California district of the town of Bibbiona, in the Livorno province of Tuscany) Paolo Bettini, current wearer of the leader's rainbow-stripped jersey, and "Argentinean" Davide Rebellin, who's trailing the Tuscan by 13 points as he yielded him the top spot after last Sunday's Paris-Tours. But the tough parcours of today's event (with two difficulties in the very last part of the 246-km. contest, see maps below, and both "preview" links at the bottom of he page for further details), finishing into Como (instead of the "usual" Bergamo) for the first time in decades is more appropriate for Rebellin's skills than Bettini's.... Let's just wait and see what's going to happen.
Needless to say, both Tour of Lombardy "stars" talked to the press before the race. In the press conference he held at Mendrisio on Friday afternoon, Paolo Bettini picked Ivan Basso as his main favourite to take line honors in Como "He's in excellent condition, and properly motivated. I think he can solo in for the win," was what the Cricket had to say. But he also regards Francesco Casagrande (who sounded well-determined to get a success to wash away the blues a so far disappointing season has given him) and Michael Boogerd as the other main suspects to win the race, although Davide Rebellin (of course), Dario Frigo, Eddy Mazzoleni, Michael Rasmussen, Cadel Evans and Marcos Serrano are part of his list of favourites too. A list not containing Damiano Cunego instead: according to the reigning Olympic Champion, the 2004 Giro winner has had a helluva season, but spent too many energies for him to be a protagonist on the way to Como.
As for the "race inside the race", the one featuring just him and Rebellin, the Quick Step team leader couldn't have been any clearer. He admitted that his only target at Giro di Lombardia is the World Cup overall, which he aims to win for the third time. And the fact no rider has been able to achieve such a result thus far is just a further incentive for him. So he promised he won't go on the attack, adding that it will be up to Rebellin to take the initiative and try to ride off his wheels. In Bettini's opinion, the gruelling Ghisallo ascent, coming quite near the line this time, is likely to tell us who will NOT going to win the race, but as for the winner's name, the descent afterwards (Civiglio), and the last climb (San Fermo della Battaglia) will prove more decisive.
Click for larger image - opens in new window. Courtesy Gazzetta
As for "Tre-bellin", the Veneto-Argentinean is aiming for his biggest success ever, and also for redemption after purely bureaucratic reasons kept him from taking part in the World Champs on the Verona home roads, where he might have been a real protagonist. But the Gerolsteiner team leader is looking on the bright side of things, and said that the energies he saved not racing the Worlds might be of help to him Saturday. "I know that parcours suits my skills," Rebellin added, "although when Bettini is in top form you can expect anything from him. But I also know that he's not playing poker when he says he's not going to drop me". Unlike Bettini, the Gaucho thinks the race will be hard and selective from its early part anyway.
And eventually some neutral points of view: "Gazzetta dello Sport" asked other top Italian riders, all of whom able to take World Cup honors in the past, to give their opinions on the Bettini-Rebellin issue, and so they did. Two-time overall winner Michele Bartoli (1997-1998) acknowledged Bettini is a tough guy who never gives up, and his moves are often unpredictable, but Rebellin, who's stronger than the "Californian" in such a parcours (on paper at least) should give the Tuscan a hard time on the Ghisallo slopes. The 1994 World Cup winner Gianluca Bortolami agrees that in such a difficult race it will be difficult for Bettini to save his 13-point lead in the overall. Maurizio Fondriest (GC winner in 1991 and 1993) thinks that even if Bettini has never had particularly outstanding performances at Giro di Lombardia, the fact that, unlike in the past two editions, he hasn't won the Cup yet may change things. But nonetheless the 1988 World Champion added his voice to the chorus saying Rebellin can win both the race and the Cup (with Basso and Boogerd as other main suspects for Saturday's "stage victory"). Gianni Bugno is a bit more cautious instead: according to the Lombard, World Cup champion back in the days of 1990, the challenge has no clear favourite. Both guys can do it, and the only thing he sounded sure of is that we're going to have a helluva match.
Click for larger
image - opens in new window. Courtesy Gazzetta dello Sport.
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161 riders took the startline at Mendrisio (in the italian-speaking area of Switzerland) at 1043 in the morning local time (CEST). Among them weren't Australian Brett Lancaster (Ceramiche Panaria-Fiordo) and René Andrle (Liberty Seguros) of the Czech Republic.
Another Aussie (and Liberty Seguros) rider, Allan Davis, winner of Thursday's Tour of Piedmont, but without any chance of victory today, staged the first attack, along with Michele Bartoli, winner of the last two editions of this event (but not much of a favourite this time) and Fassa Bortolo's Roberto Petito. The trio stayed clear from km. 6 thru 8 only anyway.
A more serious attemps came at km. 11, courtesy of a bunch of 32 riders, able to put about 16" into the main peloton. As the race stepped into its homeland Italy, the leading group was down to 27 riders, and the gap still hovering around 15 seconds. But by km. 25 four riders distanced themselves from the rest of the front group.
Their names? Paolo Tiralongo (Ita, Ceramiche Panaria-Margres), Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa, Fassa Bortolo), Manuel Quinziato (Ita, Lampre) e Gregory Rast (Swi, Phonak H.S.), of course! Six km. later, the quartet was leading a small bunch containing Emanuele Sella (Ita, Panaria), Devis Miorin (Ita, De Nardi) Vicente García Acosta (Spa, Illes Balears), Marcel Strauss (Swi, Gerolsteiner), Aart Vierhouten (Hol - Lotto-Domo), Bram De Groot (Hol - Rabobank) and the aforementioned wellknown Davis by 25", with the other former escapees now back into the main peloton, trailing by 38". Michele Bartoli just had a flat instead.
Some three km. later (km. 35/210), while tackling the first ascent of the race (San Fedele) things had slightly changed. Not in the leading group, still consisting of Italy's Tiralongo and Quinziato, Spanish-Italian-Argentinean Flecha, and Swiss-Swiss-Swiss Rast, but yes in the next chasing bunch, now made up of the multinational trio of Spain's Gutiérrez, Holland's Raboboy Leon Van Bon, and Italy's Saecoman Mirko Celestino, all three 35" down, while the Gerolsteiner-led (obviuosly) peloton a further 50 seconds behind.
But Rast couldn't follow the pace set by the Latino trio, and got dropped by km. 41. In the meantime, the gaps had increased: Quinziato, Flecha e Tiralongo were leading Gutierrez by 45", Panaria's Sella (a neopro, but able to win a Giro d'Italia stage in May) by 01'20", with Celestino a further five secs. adrift, then José Antonio Lopez Gil (Spagna, Illes Balears-Banesto) at 01'50" behind and the (yep, Gerolsteiner-led) bunch trailing by a more significant 02'38".
At the first KOM prime (on the outskirts of Porlezza) Quinziato, Tiralongo and Flecha were leading Ràst e Gutiérrez by 40", but the two chasers joined the Latino Trio in the descent afterwards, such that by km. 60 we had a front quintet leading the bunch by about 04'30", and the likes of Emanuele Sella, Jose A. López Gil and Mirko Celestino right in the middle. At km. 70 (175 to go) the five leaders had an advantage of 2'48" on the first chasing trio, with the main peloton 4'32" back. The gaps didn't change that much in the folllowing kms, such that by km. 82 they were 02'30" and 04'00" respectively.
But Celestino (first) and Sella and López Gil (later) gave up the chase, and by km. 90 the main peloton had regrouped. The front runners didn't give up their efforts instead: Italy's Manuel Quinziato and Paolo Tiralongo, Spain's Flecha and Gutiérrez and Switzerland's own Gregory Rast retained an advantage of 04'05" as the race hit the feeding zone at Sorico (150k to go).
Soon after being absorbed by the bunch, Emanuele Sella pulled out of the race. And so did his Panaria teammate Paolo Lanfranchi, who actually put a end to his career on the bike in such a way: indeed the Bergamasco veteran was in his last challenge in the pro ranks. Domina Vacanze's Sergio Marinangeli still has a large career in front of him instead, but his Giro di Lombardia is over, as the young (24) rider from Gualdo Tadino, in the green Umbria region of Central Italy, also added his name to the list of today's DNFs.
Efforts from the Waterboys at the front of the bunch are starting to bear fruit, as the gap to the Quinziato-Tiralongo-Flecha-Gutiérrez-Rast group was down to less than 04' by km. 106. And it's likely to shrink further on the upcoming Premana climb (21 km., average gradient 6%, max. gradient up to a good 11%).
Current leaders Manuel Quinziato, Paolo Tiralongo, Flecha, Gregory Rast e Gutiérrez lost a further 30-40 secs in the first half of La Premana, and close to halfway through the race (with about 125k to the line) they were leading Rebellin's teammates and the rest of the bunch by 03'20". The gap shrunk down to less than three minutes as the Tour of Lombardy hit the halfway point. Gutiérrez and Rast are having a hard time following the pace set by the three other leaders, while Paolo Bettini was given a hard time by the Gods of cycling, as he had a flat; but the current leader of the World Cup overall immediately regained the peloton.
Paolo Tiralongo is a Sicilian rider from Avola, in the Siracusa province. Born in 1977, he joined the pros with Fassa Bortolo at the age of 23. Mainly a climber, Tiralongo won the KOM competition at JCTDU in January, and has scored three second place finishes in the current season (at Trofeo Melinda in September, Brixia Tour and GP Città di Rio Saliceto e Correggio and July) but is still looking for his first win ...
Quite surprisingly, the gap started growing again in he second half of La Premana. With 8k to the top of the ascent, and les than 120k to the line, Quinziato, Flecha and Tiralongo were leading the main peloton (now led by the German mix of T-Mobile team and Gerolsteiner) by 03'20", with José Iván Gutiérrez of Spain and Swizterland's Gregory Rast in between. But both the Illes Balears and the Phonak guy are going to be reeled in anyway.
Lampre's Manuel Quinziato is another promising youngster of the Italian cycling scene. Quinziato is from the bilingual (Italian and German) city of Bolzano/Bozen, in the South Tyrol area of Northern Italy, He'll turn 25 in exactly two weeks. A professional rider since 2002 (always with the Lampre jersey, even if he's going to wear Saunier Duval's yellow jersey in 2005), Quinziato is still looking for his first pro success, although he can boast a silver medal in the ITT at the 2003 Italian National Champs. In the current season he has made the podium just once, in a Ronde van Nederland stage held in last August. But if you wanna know everything about the man, just go to Quinziato's own website (in Italian)http://www.manuelquinziato.it
The three fugitives reached the top of La Premana with an advantage of 02'43" over Ivan Gutiérrez and Gregory Rast, and the bunch a further 25" adrift. Paolo Tiralongo was first across the top of the climb, with Manuel Quinziato in second and Juan A. Flecha third. Both Gutiérrez and Rast were reeled in soon later.
The current situation: about 100k to go, three riders (Italy's Paolo Tiralongo of Panaria and Manuel Quinziato of Lampre and Spain's Juan Antonio Flecha of Fassa Bortolo) in the lead, and the chasing bunch three minutes behind. And sunny skies over the finish line at Como, regardless of all the "rainy" weather forecasts we read and heard over the past two-three days. By the way - Michele Bartoli is still in the bunch, but was seen struggling on the Premana slopes. And there's still two challenging ascents to go ...
99k to the line, and the three leaders, currently on the outskirts of Cortenova town, extended the gap again. The margin is now hovering around 03'30".
Born in Junin, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, on September 17, 1977, and a man of Italian heritage but currently based in Catalunya and having Spanish citizenship, Juan Antonio Flecha can definitely boast a better palmares than his two breakaway mates. A palmares containing a prestigious win at the 2003 Tour de France (Stage 11, Narbonne to Toulouse, when he lived up to his name by making the gesture of an archer throwing an arrow when crossing the line) and two recent triumphs in the summer 2004 months: his first ever Word Cup win at GP Zurich (Züri-Metzgete), ahead of Paolo Bettini, and the winning sprint at Giro del Lazio, when our man celebrated his 27th birthday by pipping no less than Gibo Simoni and Jan Ullrich to the line. Btw - it looks like the eleventh stage of Le Tour suits him well, as he came close to repeat victory in Stage 11 of the 2004 edition too, when he was second to David Moncoutiè only.
At 90 km. from the line, the gap remained basically unchanged, with Juan A. Flecha, Paolo Tiralongo and Lampreman future Saunierduvalman Manuel Quinziato leading the peloton (with the Gerolsteiners and T-Mobiles setting the pace as usual) by three minutes and twenty seconds. The average speed at this point of the race is a decent 38.1 kph.
Lecco Coat of Arms.
Courtesy International Civic Heraldry
Some 80 km. remaining as the race hit the city of Lecco (once part of Como province, now a provincial capital by itself). Manuel Quinziato, J.A. Flecha and Paolo Tiralongo maintained a lead of 03'05" over the chasing field, containing about 120 riders.
In the next 15 km. the gap, with the Waterboys and Team CSC (not a hard thing to figure out whom they were working for ...) now riding hard up front, went dramatically down to 01'30", with 70k to go and ascents such as Ghisallo, Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia looming ahead.
By the time the race hit the second feeding zone at Onno, more and more riders dropped out, among them former escapees Rast and Gutiérrez, as well as López Gil. And the peloton shrunk the gap to Quinziato, Tiralongo and Flecha down to 45 seconds only. Expect a gruppo compatto soon.
And as predicted, the peloton actually regrouped, putting a end to Tiralongo, Quinziato and Flecha's adventure. Kudos to the three brave riders, who stayed clear for 161 kilometres (km. 25 thru 186), anyway! But a new phase of the Lombardia is about to start.
56K to go - The peloton is about to tackle Madonna del Ghisallo, and the final series of ascents is about to start. Here are the detailed profiles of the Tour of Lombardy's main climbs.
Click for larger image - opens in new window.
Courtesy Gazzetta dello Sport.
The peloton is still "compatto" (but stretched) on the first slopes of the Ghisallo. Ivan Basso and Francesco Casagrande are in the top positions, while Oscar Freire (who is 88 points down on GC, and could actually win the World Cup if he wins the race and Rebellin and Bettini get few or no points ...) is struggling at the bottom of the bunch. The average speed after 5 hours of racing is 38.800 kph.
The fireworks have started!! Rebellin and Basso attacked on the Ghisallo, along with eight other riders (Cunego included). Bettini tried to follow their move, but gave up soon. Such that at the moment there's a dozen riders (Ivan Basso, Davide Rebellin, Giampaolo Caruso, Isidro Nozal, Marco Fertonani, Michael Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen, Damiano Cunego, Eddy Mazzoleni, Rodríguez, Cadel Evans and Francesco Casagrande) leading the Bettini/Frigo/Nocentini bunch by some 15" with 3k to the top of the ascent.
IVAN BASSO attacks on the last slopes of Il Ghisallo and drops all other fugitives!! The CSC rider is flying, but there's still 46k to go.
Solo leader Ivan Basso reached the top of the Ghisallo climb (it took about 20 mins for him to cover the 8.5 km. ascent). The first group of nine chasers also hit the top of the ascent, they are a dozen seconds down to Basso, with the Bettini group further behind, although the Tuscan could regain Rebellin's wheels in the descent afterwards.
All main riders are tackling the 15-km. downhill into Erba (easier than the next two downhills). And even if some rain is starting to fall on the race, Basso and the others are flying, with the speed up to 95 km/h. Ivan is about to get caught by the other leaders, while the Bettini group is about to join them all.
Mission accomplished: Paolo Bettini regained the front group on the Ghisallo descent.
A good sign for The Cricket, also because the two next (and final) ascents are less difficult, and more appropriate to Bettini's skills, than Il Ghisallo. But much will depend on how many energies are left in Bettini's legs.
Basso and Cunego attacked on the descent. Have the two guys just started a duel that is likely to become the main feature of the next Giro d'Italia??
As soon as the two Italians were reeled in, a new group of six riders (Ondrej Sosenka, Dario Frigo, Isidro Nozal, Rasmussen, Rodriguez, and Daniele Nardello) counter-attacked and quickly opened a gap of about 16".
On the way to the last two ascents of the race, neither Paolo Bettini nor Davide Rebellin have any teammates around left.
The peloton eased down a bit, and Ondrej Sosenka (Cze), Dario Frigo (Ita), Isidro Nozal (Spa), Michael Rasmussen (Den), Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa), and Daniele Nardello (Ita), six riders belonging to as many different teams, took advantage of it and increased the gap to one minute.
Cunego shows his fighting attitude again! Damiano distanced himself from the rest of the bunch and embarked on a solo chase of the six current leaders.
Wearing the Czech National Champion jersey, Ondrej Sosenka rides tempo in the front bunch, with Saunier Duval's Joaquin Rodriguez on his wheels, and the four other escapees follow. Cunego is 01'10" back, with the Basso/Bettini/Rebellin bunch a further 20 secs back. Cunego is caught by the Rebellin/Basso/Bettini group.
This is a huge group now, as close to 70 riders, dropped on the Ghisallo, regained their wheels.
Among them were also four Quick Step riders; good news for Bettini (also because Rebellin is still without any teammates around). Freire was another guy back into the main bunch, which gained 40" on the six frontrunners. The gap is down to 50" on the way to the Civiglio climb.
20k to go. Peloton at Albese con Cassano (hometown of poor Fabio Casartelli). The gap is down to 41". Two Caldirola riders are setting a fast pace at the front of the bunch. Basso's and Cunego's teammates are also seen in the top places working hard.
Ondrej Sosenka (Cze), Dario Frigo (Ita), Isidro Nozal (Spa), Michael Rasmussen (Den), Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa), and Daniele Nardello (Ita) are on the first slopes of the Civiglio. But the chasing peloton (with the likes of Zampieri and Bertagnolli) is making significant gains on them.
Sosenka was the first rider to get dropped, and be swallowed by the flying bunch, that doesn't contain Freire anymore. Less than 20k to go. Cofidis' Cedric Vasseur put in a surprise attack and tries to get across to the five leaders.
Basso, Boogerd and Cunego attack and join the leaders too. Rebellin also makes a move, but Bettini remains on his wheels.
600m to the top of the ascent - Nozal on a solo lead, with a 10-second advantage over a small bunch with Basso, Cunego, Evans, Boogerd, Rodriguez and Nardello.
16k to go. The Basso-led group caught Nozal at the top of the ascent. 8-9 men in the lead, Bettini and Rebellin are slighlty behind, but likely to regain the leading bunch in the (difficult) descent afterwards. Bettini is stuck on Rebellin's wheels. Dario Frigo and Sosenka are also part of the front group. And so are Michael Rasmussen and Cedric Vasseur.
Frigo is struggling to stay in the lead group on the descent, while on the other side Damiano Cunego is flying, and showing some downhilling skills comparable to Savoldelli's.
Cunego took some metres (and 8") out of the other leaders, while it's Cadel Evans at the bottom of the front group now.
The descent is over and the peloton hit the city of Como at last, But there's still one climb (San Fermo) in between them and the line.
Ivan, Michael Boogerd, Isidro Nozal and Ondrej Sosenka taking turns at the front of the bunch, trying to nullify the current gap (6") to Cunego. Bettini and Rebellin still behind. Still together.
Cunego caught by the others. It's 7-8 riders in the lead now, on the way to the last climb.
Bettini taking it (relatively) easy in the next group, ALWAYS on Rebellin's wheels! Here we go, the 2.9km San Fermo has just begun. And Ivan Basso attacks again!
With Cunego countering his move!! Then Boogerd and the others follow. What a clash of giants!
Basso, Boogerd, Cunego, then the T-Mobile duo of Evans and Nardello, and there's also Nozal!
Basso forces the pace again, Cunego follows. Rebellin is struggling, he must have been dropped by Bettini too.
Three in the lead now: Basso, Boogerd and Evans. Cunego and the others dropped!!
Cunego is about 20-30 metres behind, trying to rejoin the three leaders...6k to go. Basso is the most active rider in the leading trio.
But Damiano Cunego does NOT give up!
800m to the last KOM Prime. Boogerd and Evans still on Basso's wheels. Cunego is 5" down on them. The next bunch with Nardello at 20" behind.
5k to go - The three leaders, Cunego, and Nardello reached the top of the last ascent. Time to tackle the final downhill into downtown Como.
Cunego regains the wheels of Basso, Boogerd and Evans. 4 in the lead with 4K (2.5 of which are downhill) to go! And Lombardia's own Daniele Nardello is just 8" down on them!
Nardello back to the front bunch, now containing two T-Mobile riders out of 5.
No news about the Bettini-Rebellin duel, and this is definitely good news for Il Grillo.
2k to go. The descent is over. Time for a five-man sprint?
Rebellin was seen talking to Bettini a few seconds ago. Likely a sign that Davide gave up the fight - but it's time for the race win fight now. Evans on the lead, Boogerd on Cunego's wheels.
CUNEGO MAKES HIS MOVES - AND WINS!!! DAMIANOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CUUUUUNEGO HAS WON THE RACE!!
Boogerd in second, another Saeco, Eddy Mazzoleni wins the next bunch sprint for sixth.
Ivan Basso launched the sprint, but Damiano Cunego easily came around him in the last 100 metres. Boogerd took second again, while the CSC rider repeated his Tour de France third place result. Paolo Bettini and Davide Rebellin crossed the line together. And the Cricket is WORLD CUP WINNER! And for the third straight time too.
Bettini accomplished something unprecedented, whereas Cunego did exactly what Eddy Merckx did in 1972: winning both Giro d'Italia and Giro di Lombardia!
Top Ten Results
1. Damiano Cunego (ITA - SAECO)
2. Michael Boogerd (HOL - RABOBANK)
3. Ivan Basso (ITA - TEAM CSC)
4. Cadel Evans (AUS - T-MOBILE)
5. Daniele Nardello (ITA - T-MOBILE)
6. Marzio Bruseghin (ITA - FASSA BORTOLO)
7. Eddy Mazzoleni (ITA - SAECO)
8. Dario Frigo (ITA - FASSA BORTOLO)
9. Franco Pellizotti (ITA - ALESSIO-BIANCHI)
10. Luca Mazzanti (ITA - PANARIA-MARGRES)
27. Davide Rebellin (ITA - GEROLSTEINER)
28. Paolo Bettini (ITA - QUICK STEP DAVITAMON)
World Cup Overall - Paolo Bettini (ITA - QUICK STEP DAVITAMON)
GIRO DI LOMBARDIA - LIST OF WINNERS:
- 1905. Gerbi Giovanni (Ita)
- 1906. Brambilla, Cesare (Ita)
- 1907. Garrigou, Gustave (Fra)
- 1908. Faber, François (Lux)
- 1909. Cuniolo, Giovanni (Ita)
- 1910. Micheletto, Giovanni (Ita)
- 1911. Pelissier, Henri (Fra)
- 1912. Oriani, Carlo (Ita)
- 1913. Pelissier, Henri (Fra)
- 1914. Bordin, Lauro (Ita)
- 1915. Belloni, Gaetano (Ita)
- 1916. Torricelli, Leopoldo (Ita)
- 1917. Thijs, Philippe (Bel)
- 1918. Belloni, Gaetano (Ita)
- 1919. Girardengo, Costante (Ita)
- 1920. Pelissier, Henri (Fra)
- 1921. Girardengo, Costante (Ita)
- 1922. Girardengo, Costante (Ita)
- 1923. Brunero, Giovanni (Ita)
- 1924. Brunero, Giovanni (Ita)
- 1925. Binda Alfredo (Ita)
- 1926. Binda, Alfredo (Ita)
- 1927. Binda, Alfredo (Ita)
- 1928. Belloni, Gaetano (Ita)
- 1929. Fossati, Pietro (Ita)
- 1930. Mara, Michele (Ita)
- 1931. Binda, Alfredo (Ita)
- 1932. Negrini, Antonio (Ita)
- 1933. Piemontesi, Domenico (Ita)
- 1934. Guerra, Learco (Ita)
- 1935. Mollo, Enrico (Ita)
- 1936. Bartali, Gino (Ita)
- 1937. Bini, Aldo (Ita)
- 1938. Cinelli, Cino (Ita)
- 1939. Bartali, Gino (Ita)
- 1940. Bartali, Gino (Ita)
- 1941. Ricci, Mario (Ita)
- 1942. Bini, Aldo (Ita)
- 1945. Ricci, Mario (Ita)
- 1946. Coppi, Fausto (Ita)
- 1947. Coppi, Fausto (Ita)
- 1948. Coppi, Fausto (Ita)
- 1949. Coppi, Fausto (Ita)
- 1950. Soldani, Renzo (Ita)
- 1951. Bobet, Louison (Fra)
- 1952. Minardi, Giuseppe (Ita)
- 1953. Landi, Bruno (Ita)
- 1954. Coppi, Fausto (Ita)
- 1955. Maule, Cleto (Ita)
- 1956. Darrigade, André (Fra)
- 1957. Ronchini, Diego (Ita)
- 1958. Defilippis, Nino (Ita)
- 1959. Van Looy, Rik (Bel)
- 1960. Daems, Emile (Bel)
- 1961. Taccone, Vito (Ita)
- 1962. De Roo, Jo (Hol)
- 1963. De Roo, Jo (Hol)
- 1964. Motta, Gianni (Ita)
- 1965. Simpson, Tom (GBR)
- 1966. Gimondi, Felice (Ita)
- 1967. Bitossi, Franco (Ita)
- 1968. Van Springel, Herman (Bel)
- 1969. Monséré, Jean-Pierre (Bel)
- 1970. Bitossi, Franco (Ita)
- 1971. Merckx, Eddy (Bel)
- 1972. Merckx, Eddy (Bel)
- 1973. Gimondi, Felice (Ita)
- 1974. De Vlaeminck, Roger (Bel)
- 1975. Moser, Francesco (Ita)
- 1976. De Vlaeminck, Roger (Bel)
- 1977. Baronchelli, G.Battista (Ita)
- 1978. Moser, Francesco (Ita)
- 1979. Hinault, Bernard (Fra)
- 1980. De Wolf, Fons (Bel)
- 1981. Kuiper, Hennie (Hol)
- 1982. Saronni, Giuseppe (Ita)
- 1983. Kelly, Sean (Ire)
- 1984. Hinault, Bernard (Fra)
- 1985. Kelly, Sean (Ire)
- 1986. Baronchelli, Gi. Battista (Ita)
- 1987. Argentin, Moreno (Ita)
- 1988. Mottet, Charly (Fra)
- 1989. Rominger, Toni (Swi)
- 1990. Delion, Gilles (Fra)
- 1991. Kelly, Sean (Ire)
- 1992. Rominger, Toni (Swi)
- 1993. Richard, Pascal (Swi)
- 1994. Bobrik, Vladislav (Rus)
- 1995. Faresin, Gianni (Ita)
- 1996. Tafi, Andrea (Ita)
- 1997. Jalabert, Laurent (Fra)
- 1998. Camenzind, Oscar (Swi)
- 1999. Celestino, Mirko (Ita)
- 2000. Rumsas, Raimondas (Lit)
- 2001. Di Luca, Danilo (Ita)
- 2002. Bartoli, Michele (Ita)
- 2003. Bartoli, Michele (Ita)
- 2004. Cunego, Damiano (Ita)
Note: Just like for the Worlds, readers can watch today's race on RAI SPORT webstream at two locations:
The broadcast times are:
Saturday: 0825 PM CEST (0625 PM GMT, 1125 AM PDT);
Sunday: 0425 AM CEST (0225 AM GMT, Saturday 0725 PM PDT);
Sunday: 1025 AM CEST (0825 AM CEST, 0125 AM PDT).
We will bring you full results, plus rider interviews, later on today, so thank you very much for joining us! What a great way to finish a season!