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1912 Giro d'Italia

4th edition: May 19 - June 2

Results, stages with running GC, photos and history

1911 Giro | 1913 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1912 Giro Quick Facts | 1912 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | Team rosters | The Story of the 1912 Giro d'Italia |

1912 Giro Quick Facts:

2443.7 km raced at an average speed of 27.32 km/hr

54 starters and 26 classified finishers

For the first and last time in Giro history the 1912 edition was run as a team race with complex scoring rules based upon points. It's explained in The Story of the 1912 Giro d'Italia.

If the 1912 Giro had been run as an individual race based on either points or time, Carlo Galetti would have won his third Giro. His elapsed time was 100hr 2min 57sec

1912 Giro d'Italia Final General Classification:

  1. Atala-Dunlop (Carlo Galetti, Giovanni Micheletto, Eberardo Pavesi, Luigi Ganna): 33 points
  2. Peugeot (Carlo Durando, Angelo Gremo, Ugo Agostini, Domenico Allasia: 23
  3. Gerbi (Giovanni Gerbi, Giovanni Rossignoli, Pietro Albini, Lauro Bordin): 8
  4. Goericke (Domenico Dilda, Enrico Sala, Giovanni Cocchi, Carlo Vertua): 8
  5. Globo (Sante Goi, Cesare Goi, Mario Santagostino, Alberto Maverna): 7
  6. Legnano (Ernesto Azzini, Vincenzo Borgarello, Natale Bosco): 3

1912 Giro stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Sunday, May 19, Milano - Padova, 398.8 km

56 starters, 49 finishers

  1. Giovanni Micheletto (Atala): 13hr 26min 47sec
  2. Giuseppe Santhià
  3. Carlo Galetti
  4. Angelo Gremo
  5. Carlo Durando
  6. Ugo Agostini
  7. Pietro Aymo
  8. Dario Beni
  9. Pietro Albini
  10. Eberardo Pavesi

GC after Stage 1:

  1. Atala-Dunlop (Galetti, Micheletto, Pavesi, Ganna): 7 points
  2. Bianchi (Beni, Bruschera, Aymo, Santhià): 1
  3. Peugeot (Durando, Gremo, Agostini, Allasia): 1
  4. Senior (Brizzi, Contesini, Biano Osnaghi): 1
  5. Gerbi (Gerbi, Rossignoli, Albini, Bordin): 1
  6. Legnano (Azzini, Borgarello, Bosco): 1
  7. Goericke (Dilda, Sala, Cocchi, Vertua): 1
  8. Soriani (Massironi, Bertarelli, Rho, Spinelli): 1
  9. L'Italiana (Gamberini, Calzolari, Zini, Benassi): 1
  10. Globo (S. Goi, C. Goi, Santagostini, Maverna): 1

Stage 2: Tuesday, May 21, Padova - Parma - Bologna, 328.8 km

48 starters, 48 finishers

climbAscent: Monfestino

  1. Vincenzo Borgarello (Legnano): 11hr 20min. 29.0 km/hr
  2. Giuseppe Santhià
  3. Eberardo Pavesi
  4. Carlo Galetti
  5. Dario Beni
  6. Carlo Vertua
  7. Domenico Allasia
  8. Giovanni Micheletto
  9. Giovanni Gerbi
  10. Pietro Fasoli

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Atala-Dunlop: 14 points
  2. Bianchi: 2
  3. Gerbi: 2
  4. Legnano: 2
  5. Peugeot: 2
  6. Senior: 2
  7. Goericke: 2
  8. Globo: 2
  9. Soriani: 1
  10. L'Italiana: 1

Stage 3: Thursday, May 23, Bologna - Ancona - Pescara, 362 km

42 starters, 42 finishers

  1. Ernesto Azzini (Legnano): 13hr 19min 6sec. 27.2 km/hr
  2. Eberardo Pavesi
  3. Domenico Allasia
  4. Pietro Aymo
  5. Pietro Robotti
  6. Pietro Albini
  7. Lauro Bordin
  8. Vincenzo Borgarello
  9. Giovanni Cocchi
  10. Giuseppe Contesini

GC after stage 3:

  1. Atala-Dunlop (Galetti, Micheletto, Pavesi, Ganna): 15 points
  2. Peugeot (Durando, Gremo, Agostini, Allasia): 9
  3. Bianchi (Beni, Bruschera, Aymo, Santhià): 3
  4. Gerbi (Gerbi, Rossignoli, Albini, Bordin): 3
  5. Legnano (Azzini, Borgarello, Bosco): 3
  6. Senior (Brizzi, Contesini, Biano Osnaghi): 3
  7. Goericke (Dilda, Sala, Cocchi, Vertua): 3
  8. Globo (S. Goi, C. Goi, Santagostini, Maverna): 3
  9. L'Italiana (Gamberini, Calzolari, Zini, Benassi): 1

Stage 4: Saturday, May 25, Pescara - Roma

Stage annuled. See Story of the 1912 Giro for details.

Stage 5: Monday, May 27, Roma - Firenze, 337 km

39 starters, 37 finishers

climbsAscents: Perugia, San Donato

  1. Carlo Galetti (Atala) 12hr 57min. 26.0 km/hr
  2. Giovanni Micheletto
  3. Domenico Allasia
  4. Ugo Agostini
  5. Giuseppe Santhià
  6. Emanuele Garda
  7. Pietro Aymo
  8. Angelo Gremo
  9. Eberardo Pavesi
  10. Pietro Fasoli

GC after stage 5:

  1. Peugeot: 16 points (reflects 1-point penalty)
  2. Atala-Dunlop: 15
  3. Bianchi: 4
  4. Gerbi: 4
  5. Goericke: 4
  6. Globo: 4
  7. Legnano: 3
  8. Senior: 3
  9. L'Italiana: 1

Stage 6: Wednesday, May 29, Firenze - Genova, 267.5 km

34 starters, 29 finishers

Ascent: Passo del Bracco

  1. Lauro Bordin (Gerbi): 11hr 7min. 24.1 km/hr
  2. Carlo Galetti
  3. Ugo Agostini
  4. Giovanni Cocchi
  5. Ernesto Azzini
  6. Eberardo Pavesi
  7. Dario Beni
  8. Enrico Sala
  9. Emanuele Garda
  10. Pietro Fasoli

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Atala-Dunlop (Galetti, Micheletto, Pavesi, Ganna): 21 points
  2. Peugeot (Durando, Gremo, Agostini, Allasia): 16
  3. Gerbi (Gerbi, Rossignoli, Albini, Bordin): 5
  4. Globo (S. Goi, C. Goi, Santagostini, Maverna): 5
  5. Legnano (Azzini, Borgarello, Bosco): 3

Stage 7: Friday, May 31, Genova - Torino, 225 km

26 starters, 26 finishers

climbAscent: Bocchetta

  1. Vincenzo Borgarello (Legnano) 8hr 3min. 26.57 km/hr
  2. Carlo Galetti
  3. Giovanni Micheletto
  4. Domenico Allasia
  5. Carlo Durando
  6. Angelo Gremo
  7. Pietro Fasoli
  8. Eberardo Pavesi
  9. Enrico Sala
  10. Ugo Agostini

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Atala-Dunlop: 25 points
  2. Peugeot: 19
  3. Gerbi: 6
  4. Goericke: 6
  5. Globo: 6
  6. Legnano: 3

Stage 8: Sunday, June 2, Torino - Arona - Varese - Milano, 281 km

26 starters, 26 finishers

climbAscent: Biella

  1. Giovanni Micheletto (Atala): 11hr 17min. 24.82 km/hr
  2. Vincenzo Borgarello
  3. Angelo Gremo
  4. Eberardo Pavesi
  5. Pietro Albini
  6. Giovanni Gerbi
  7. Carlo Galetti
  8. Domenico Allasia
  9. Pietro Fasoli
  10. Carlo Durando

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Atala-Dunlop (Galetti, Micheletto, Pavesi, Ganna): 27 points
  2. Peugeot (Durando, Gremo, Agostini, Allasia): 22
  3. Gerbi (Gerbi, Rossignoli, Albini, Bordin): 7
  4. Goericke (Dilda, Sala, Cocchi, Vertua): 7
  5. Globo (S. Goi, C. Goi, Santagostini, Maverna): 7
  6. Legnano (Azzini, Borgarello, Bosco): 3

9th and final stage: Tuesday, June 5: Milano - Varese - Como - Lecco - Bergamo, 235 km.

9th stage was added to replace the annuled 4th stage. It was run over the Giro di Lombardia course.

26 starters, 26 finishers.

climbAscent: Brinzio

  1. Vincenzo Borgarello (Legnano): 8hr 8min 1sec. 29.04 km/hr
  2. Giovanni Micheletto
  3. Carlo Galetti
  4. Ugo Agostini
  5. Michele Robotti
  6. Angelo Gremo
  7. Carlo Durando
  8. Domenico Dilda
  9. Giovanni Cocchi
  10. Giovanni Rossignoli

1912 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification

Team Rosters with rider numbers:

Bianchi: 1. Dario Beni, 2. Mario Bruschera, 3. Pietro Aymo, 4. Giuseppe Santhià

Peugeot: 5. Carlo Durando, 6. Angelo Gremo, 7. Ugo Agostini, 8. Domenico Allasia

Senior: 9. Gino Brizzi, 10. Giuseppe Contesini, 11. Eligio Bianco, 12. Cesare Osnaghi

Gerbi: 13. Giovanni Gerbi, 14. Giovanni Rossignoli, 15. Pietro Albini, 16. Lauro Bordin

Atala-Dunlop: 17. Luigi Ganna, 18. Carlo Galetti, 19. Giovanni Micheletto, 20. Eberardo Pavesi

Legnano: 21. Ernesto Azzini, 22. Vincenzo Borgarello, 24. Natale Bosco

Goericke: 25. Domenico Dilda, 26. Enrico Sala, 27. Giovanni Cocchi, 28. Carlo Vertua

Soriani: 29. Andrea Massironi, 30. Camillo Bertarelli, 31. Augusto Rho, 32. Rinaldo Spinelli

Ranella: 33. Senofonte Castellini, 34. Giovanni Roncon, 35. Antonio Della Fusine, 36. Emilio Pagani

Favero-Dunlop: 37. Guglielmo Zanella, 38. Gino Zanchetta, 39. Luigi Molon, 40. Evaristo Lello

L'Italiana: 41. Ildebrando Gamberini, 42. Alfonso Calzolari, 43. Cesare Zini, 44. Aldo Benassi

Bergami: 45. Azeglio Tomarelli, 46. Giuseppe Perna, 47. Antonio Rotondi

Globo: 49. Sante Goi, 50. Cesare Goi, 51. Mario Santagostino, 52. Alberto Maverna

Stucchi: 52. Michele Robotti, 54. Emanuele Garda, 55. Carlo Oriani, 56. Pietro Fasoli

Two riders assigned backnumbers did not start, 23. Luigi Azzini & 48. Umberto Zoffolo

The Story of the 1912 Giro d'Italia

This excerpt is from "The Story of the Giro d'Italia", Volume 1. If you enjoy it we hope you will consider purchasing the book, either print or electronic. The Amazon link here will make either purchase easy.

1912. This new sport of stage racing still had relatively few traditions limiting the innovative spirits of the race organizers. Both the Tour and the Giro constantly tinkered with their formats. Even though the first three editions of the Giro were wildly successful, the 1912 edition represented a profound departure from the basic concept that cycle racing is a sport contested by teams but won by individuals.

Early on riders learned that it is much easier to follow another cyclist who acts as a windbreak. The faster the rider goes, the greater the advantage to the trailing rider. As the sport evolved, riders would eventually pay others to be pacesetters, creating an energy-saving slipstream for them. At first they were individual paid collaborators then later they became members of the team. Because Desgrange wanted his Tour to be an individual effort, he forbade any sort of rider collusion. He accused Maurice Brocco of riding for others in the 1911 Tour, calling him a domestique, or servant. Desgrange meant to insult Brocco who was then tossed from the Tour for violating Desgrange’s rule.

Desgrange was trying to sweep back the sea and over time domestiques became a recognized and vital part of each team and the term lost its negative connotation. They were expected to sacrifice themselves for their team leaders by pacing them, waiting with them while repairs were performed, giving up wheels or bikes and fetching food and drink. The level of team discipline varied among the various teams and according to the era. In the pioneer days a team member wasn’t necessarily expected to give up all personal ambitions as he would by the 1950s. Note the fierce competition between Bianchi riders Galetti and Rossignoli in the 1911 Giro. The Italians coined a kinder term for the spear-carriers of cycling—gregario, meaning “soldier”. A racer of extraordinary ability who might command leadership of his own team but chooses to ride in the service of another is called a gregario di lusso (deluxe).

The 1912 race was to be raced and won by teams. This new formula was criticized from the moment it was presented. Cougnet put the blame for the idea on a writer named Coledan who wrote about horse racing for La Gazzetta. Entry in the Giro was to be limited to teams of four riders (the organizers showed some flexibility in enforcing this rule), three of whom had to finish for the team to remain in contention. It used a complex points system. Four points to the team with the rider who won the stage, two to the team that put two riders in the day’s top four and finally a single point each to the other teams that finished; I assume that meant with the required three riders.

1912 Giro start

The first stage of the 1912 Giro begins.

Fourteen teams entered, but only a few were competitive. The Atala squad with Galetti, Pavesi, Ganna and Giovanni Micheletto was the prohibitive favorite. Gerbi’s bicycle company fielded a fine quartet in Gerbi, Rossignoli, Pietro Albini and Lauro Bordin. Bianchi, Legnano and Peugeot were the other teams thought to have a chance. Legnano and Bergami each started with just three riders. The 1912 Giro has the distinction of having the fewest starting riders with only 54 racers distributed among the fourteen teams.

The year before, Italy had picked a fight with the Ottoman Empire, triggering the Italo-Turkish war which resulted in Italy taking possession of what is now called Libya. Outraged that the Italians could be just as imperialistic as the rest of Europe, no foreign teams entered the 1912 Giro and the planned French entry withdrew.

The 1912 race represented a bit of a reversion, having only eight stages (later nine, but more about that later) distributed over 2,443 kilometers, an average stage length of 305 kilometers, about 25 more than the previous year.

Atala took firm hold of the race by winning the nearly 400-kilometer first stage from Milan to Padua, Atala’s home city. Micheletto took first while Galetti was third, thereby earning Atala seven points to second-place Bianchi’s one.

Giovanni Micheletto was a fine athlete who raced bicycles because he could. His father was rich enough to allow him to follow his passion. Because of his wealth his nickname was the “Count of Sacile” (his hometown). Though he was the rich boy, he was no mere dilettante; he was fearsomely strong with a punishing sprint.

The race headed south and Atala kept a stranglehold on the lead.

The three musketeers

The Three Musketeers, Ganna, Pavesi and Galetti

On the fourth stage, from Pescara on the Adriatic coast to Rome in the west, the primitive nature of the era’s racing was made painfully obvious. Near the end of the stage the riders were misdirected. The day’s racing had been over hilly and rock-strewn roads and when they arrived at what they thought should have been the finish and found there were no crowds, the racers were furious. It turned out that the exhausted riders had ridden 54 kilometers off course. They decided to stop racing right there on the spot! A train station was only about 10 kilometers from where they had halted so the peloton changed course, headed for the station and took the train into Rome.

Meanwhile, the Giro organizers had filled up a stadium in Rome with paying customers eager to see the day’s finish. They had a near riot on their hands when the spectators discovered the riders had taken the train. Refunds were given and the stage was annulled. One crossed the tifosi at one’s peril.
Two days later the Giro resumed with a 337-kilometer stage to Florence where Atala’s Galetti won. But for Atala the stage was trouble because Ganna was forced to retire, bringing his team down to the minimum of three riders.
Stage seven finished on a track in Turin with Legnano’s Vincenzo Borgarello taking the win. As they were sprinting Micheletto thought Peugeot’s Carlo Durando moved dangerously close to him and maneuvered to counter the threat. The crowd saw it, became enraged, and flooded onto the track. The police hid the two riders in a bar until the tifosi calmed down.

Micheletto won the eighth stage into Milan. To make up for the annulled fourth stage a ninth was added to the end, run over the Tour of Lombardy route. Some accounts say the ninth stage was added because Atala and Peugeot were tied, but at this point, Atala was leading Peugeot 27 to 22.

Micheletto fell ill before the start of this last stage but Pavesi talked him into starting. Borgarello won this stage as well with a recovered Micheletto and his Atala teammate Galetti right behind him.

Team Atala

The winning Atala squad

Final 1912 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Atala-Dunlop (Carlo Galetti, Giovanni Micheletto, Eberardo Pavesi): 33 points, elapsed time of 101 hours 32 minutes 57 seconds
2. Peugeot (Ugo Agostino, Domenico Allasia, Carlo Durando, Angelo Gremo): 23
3. Gerbi (Pierino Albini, Lauro Bordin, Giovanni Gerbi, Giovanni Rossignoli): 8
4. Goericke (Giovanni Cocchi, Giuseppe Dilda, Enrico Sala, Carlo Vertua): 8

If the race had been an individual contest, whether measured by points or time, Galetti would have won his third consecutive Giro. Only 26 of the 54 starters were able to make it to Milan, leaving only five teams with the minimum of three riders eligible for victory.