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1919 Giro d'Italia

7th edition: May 21 - June 8

Results, stages with running GC, photos and history

1914 Giro | 1920 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1919 Giro Quick Facts | 1919 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | Teams | The Story of the 1919 Giro d'Italia

Olympics 50 Craziest Stories

1919 Giro Quick Facts:

2984 km raced at an average speed of 26.44 km/hr

63 starters and 15 classified finishers

The 1919 Giro was the first edition run after the First World War and was run over areas in northern Italy that had been ruined in the conflict, presenting major difficulties to the organizers and riders.

Costante Girardengo took the lead at the first stage and held it to the end, making him the first "sunrise to sunset" winner. Only Alfredo Binda, Eddy Merckx and Gianni Bugno would replicate that feat.

Les Woodland's book The Olympics' 50 Craziest Stories is available as an audiobook here.

1919 Giro d'Italia Final General Classification:

  1. maglia rosaCostante Girardengo (Stucchi-Dunlop): 112hr 51min 29sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni (Bianchi) @ 51min 56sec
  3. Marcel Buysse (Bianchi) @ 1hr 5min 31sec
  4. Clemente Canepari (Stucchi-Dunlop) @ 1hr 34min 35sec
  5. Ugo Agostini (Bianchi) @ 1hr 39min 39sec
  6. Angelo Gremo (Stucchi-Dunlop) @ 2hr 20min 1sec
  7. Ezio Corlaita (Stucchi-Dunlop) @ 4hr 12min 7sec
  8. Lauro Bordin (Maino) @ 4hr 16min 32sec
  9. Giosuè Lombardi (independent) @ 4hr 28min 33sec
  10. Ugo Ruggeri (independent) @ 6hr 3min 51sec
  11. Marcel Godivier (Bianchi) @ 6hr 52min 54sec
  12. Costante Costa (Verdi) @ 6hr 53min 31sec
  13. Enrico Sala @ 7hr 15min 17sec
  14. Ottavio Pratesi @ 7hr 57min 40sec
  15. Francesco Marchese (Verdi) @ 9hr 20min 59sec

Most highly placed independent rider: Giosue Lombardi

Winning team: Stucchi-Dunlop

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1919 Giro stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Wednesday, May 21, Milano - Trento, 302 km

climbAscent: San Eusebio

  1. Costante Girardengo: 10hr 25min 3sec
  2. Alfonso Calzolari s.t.
  3. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.
  4. Giuseppe Santhià s.t.
  5. Giovanni Roncon @ 1sec
  6. Marcel Godivier @ 1min 27sec
  7. Giuseppi Pifferi @ 3min 57sec
  8. Giuseppe Azzini @ 4min 57sec
  9. Marcel Buysse @ 8min 57sec
  10. Clemente Canepari @ 9min 57sec

GC after Stage 1: Same as stage results

Stage 2: Friday, May 23, Trento - Trieste, 334 km

Ascents: Pergine Valsugana, Fadalto, Kobdilj

  1. Costante Girardengo: 12hr 36min 14sec
  2. Alfonso Calzolari @ 3min 30sec
  3. Giuseppi Santhià @ 5min
  4. Clemente Canepari @ 7min 10sec
  5. Gaetano Belloni @ 9min 5sec
  6. Giuseppi Azzini @ 13min 48sec
  7. Ugo Agostoni @ 14min 5sec
  8. Alfredo Sivocci @ 15min 43sec
  9. Angelo Gremo @ 18min 3sec
  10. Carlo Galetti @ 18min 56sec

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 23hr 1min 17sec
  2. Alfonso Calzolari @ 3min 30sec
  3. Giuseppi Santhià @ 5min
  4. Alfredo Sivocci @ 15min 43sec
  5. Clemente Canepari @ 17min 7sec
  6. Giuseppi Azzini @ 18min 45sec
  7. Gaetano Belloni @ 21min 5sec
  8. Ugo Agostoni @ 24min 2sec
  9. Carlo Galetti @ 28min
  10. Angelo Gremo @ 30min

Stage 3: Sunday, May 25, Trieste - Ferrara, 282 km

  1. Oscar Egg: 9hr 52min 13sec
  2. Costante Girardengo s.t.
  3. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  4. Alfredo Sivocci @ 1sec
  5. Carlo Galetti s.t.
  6. Marcel Buysse s.t.
  7. Angelo Erba s.t.
  8. Alfonso Calzolari s.t.
  9. Clemente Canepari s.t.
  10. Ezio Corlaita s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 32hr 53min 30sec
  2. Alfonso Calzolari @ 3min 31sec
  3. Alfredo Sivocci @ 15min 44sec
  4. Clemente Canepari @ 17min 8sec
  5. Gaetano Bellini @ 21min 5sec
  6. Ugo Agostoni @ 27min 56sec
  7. Carlo Galetti @ 28min 1sec
  8. Angelo Gremo @ 30min 1sec
  9. Marcel Buysse @ 32min 46sec
  10. Luigi Lucotti @ 42min 27sec

Stage 4: Tuesday, May 27, Ferrara - Pescara, 415 km

  1. Ezio Corlaita: 15hr 36min 38sec
  2. Luigi Lucotti s.t.
  3. Marcel Godivier @ 8min 22sec
  4. Marcel Buysse s.t.
  5. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.
  6. Costante Girardengo @ 8min 23sec
  7. Gaetano Belloni @ 8min 24sec
  8. Angelo Gremo @ 10min 28sec
  9. Ugo Agostoni @ 10min 42sec
  10. Clemente Canepari s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 48hr 38min 30sec
  2. Alfonso Calzolari @ 5min 52sec
  3. Alfredo Sivocci @ 15min 46sec
  4. Clemente Canepari @ 19min 28sec
  5. Gaetano Belloni @ 23min 5sec
  6. Ugo Agostoni @ 30min 44sec
  7. Carlo Galetti @ 31min 40sec
  8. Angelo Gremo @ 32min 7sec
  9. Marcel Buysse @ 33min 46sec
  10. Luigi Lucotti @ 50min 50sec

Stage 5: Thursday, May 29, Pescara - Napoli, 312 km

Ascents: Cinquemiglia, Roccaraso, Rionero Sannitico, Macerone, Vinchiaturo

  1. Gaetano Belloni: 12hr 35min 3sec
  2. Costante Girardengo s.t.
  3. Marcel Buysse s.t.
  4. Luigi Lucotti @ 27sec
  5. Oscar Egg @ 17min 7sec
  6. Alfonso Calzolari @ 21min 12sec
  7. Ugo Agostoni @ 22min 2sec
  8. Carlo Galetti @ 26min 27sec
  9. Alfredo Sivocci @ 32min 7sec
  10. Camillo Bertarelli s.t.

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 60hr 57min 10sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni @ 23min 4sec
  3. Alfonso Calzolari @ 29min 26sec
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 32min 46sec
  5. Alfredo Sivocci @ 48min 7sec
  6. Ugo Agostoni @ 50min 33sec
  7. Luigi Lucotti @ 50min 41sec
  8. Carlo Galetti @ 56min 9sec
  9. Clemente Canepari @ 1hr 19min 18sec
  10. Oscar Egg @ 1hr 42min 42sec

Stage 6: Saturday, May 31, Napoli - Roma, 203 km

  1. Costante Girardengo: 7hr 35min 11sec
  2. Alfredo Sivocci @ 1sec
  3. Marcel Godivier s.t.
  4. Gaetano Belloni @ 2sec
  5. Carlo Galetti s.t.
  6. Marcel Buysse @ 14sec
  7. Luigi Lucotti s.t.
  8. Giosuè Lombardi s.t.
  9. Clemente Canepari s.t.
  10. Alfonso Calzolari s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 68hr 32min 21sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni @ 23min 16sec
  3. Alfonso Calzolari @30min
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 33min
  5. Alfredo Sivocci @ 48min 8sec
  6. Luigi Lucotti @ 50min 55sec
  7. Ugo Agostoni @ 53min 42sec
  8. Carlo Galetti @ 56min 11sec
  9. Clemente Canepari @ 1hr 19min 32sec
  10. Angelo Gremo @ 3hr 2min 25sec

Stage 7: Monday, June 2, Roma - Firenze, 350 km

climbAscents: Perugia

  1. Costante Girardengo: 14hr 4min 21sec
  2. Marcel Buysse @ 1sec
  3. Clemente Canepari @ 4min 12sec
  4. Angelo Gremo @ 11min7sec
  5. Gaetano Belloni @ 17sec
  6. Ugo Agostini @ 19min 32sec
  7. Giosuè Lombardi @ 35min 54sec
  8. Ezio Corlaita @ 45min 5sec
  9. Ottavio Pratesi @ 50min 59sec
  10. Alfredo Sivocci @ 55min 1sec

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 82hr 36min 43sec
  2. Marcel Buysse @ 24min
  3. Gaetano Belloni @ 30min 11sec
  4. Ugo Agostoni @ 43min 14sec
  5. Clemente Canepari @ 1hr 33min
  6. Alfredo Sivocci @ 1hr 43min 10sec
  7. Carlo Galetti @ 1hr 50min 41sec
  8. Angelo Gremo @ 2hr 14min
  9. Giosuè Lombardi @ 3hr 8min 38sec
  10. Ezio Corlaita @ 3hr 25min 23sec

Stage 8: Wednesday, June 4, Firenze - Genova, 261 km

climbAscent: Passo del Bracco

  1. Costante Girardengo: 10hr 38min 18sec
  2. Angelo Gremo @ 6min 5sec
  3. Clemente Canepari @ 10min 46sec
  4. Gaetano Belloni @ 11min 45sec
  5. Alfredo Sivocci @ 23min 36sec
  6. Lauro Bordin @ 24min 20sec
  7. Ugo Agostoni @ 26min 22sec
  8. Carlo Galetti @ 29min 18sec
  9. Marcel Buysse @ 31min 16sec
  10. Giosuè Lombardi @ 32min 19sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 93hr 15min 1sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni @ 41min 56sec
  3. Marcel Buysse @ 55min 16sec
  4. Ugo Agostoni @ 1hr 9min 36sec
  5. Clemente Canepari @ 1hr 43min 46sec
  6. Alfredo Sivocci @ 2hr 6min 46sec
  7. Carlo Galetti @ 2hr 9min 59sec
  8. Angelo Gremo @ 2hr 20min 15sec
  9. Giusuè Lombardi @ 3hr 40min 57sec
  10. Lauro Bordin @ 3hr 52min 0sec

Stage 9: Friday, June 6, Genova - Torino, 248 km

climbsAscents: Bocchetta, Colle di Nava

  1. Costante Girardengo: 8hr 56min 4sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  3. Ugo Agostoni @ 2sec
  4. Ezio Corlaita s.t.
  5. Clemente Canepri @ 3sec
  6. Angelo Gremo s.t.
  7. Marcel Buysse @ 4sec
  8. Costante Costa @ 15sec
  9. Ugo Ruggeri @ 2min 23sec
  10. Francesco Marchese @ 21min 2sec

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 102hr 11min 6sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni @ 51min 55sec
  3. Marcel Buysse @ 1hr 5min 5sec
  4. Clemente Canepari @ 1hr 34min 33sec
  5. Ugo Agostoni @ 1hr 39min 36sec
  6. Angelo Gremo @ 2hr 19min 59sec
  7. Ezio Corlaita @ 4hr 9min 45sec
  8. Lauro Bordin @ 4hr 13min 30sec
  9. Giosuè Lombardi @ 4hr 28min 56sec
  10. Ugo Ruggeri @ 6hr 33min 14sec

10th and Final Stage: Sunday, June 8, Torino - Milano, 277 km

  1. Costante Girardengo: 10hr 40min 23sec
  2. Marcel Buysse s.t.
  3. Gaetano Belloni @ 1sec
  4. Marcel Godivier s.t.
  5. Angelo Gremo @ 2sec
  6. Lauro Bordin s.t.
  7. Ottavio Pratesi s.t.
  8. Clemente Canepari s.t.
  9. Ugo Agostino @ 3sec
  10. Ugo Ruggeri @ 37sec

1919 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification


Bianchi Pirelli

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The Story of the 1919 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, eBook or audiobook. The Amazon link here will make either purchase easy.

 Italian bike racing hadn’t completely stopped and both Milan–San Remo (excepting 1916) and the Tour of Lombardy were held during the war. But the Giro was too large an enterprise to carry on during the conflict.
The first postwar edition of the Giro was still about 3,000 kilometers long and with ten stages, the average stage length dropped to 298 kilometers. There was still a 415-kilometer monster in the middle, the fourth stage going from Ferrara to Pescara. While the 1919 race was a tough route, it wasn’t the butcher’s work of 1914.
There were still a few of the old guard from the heroic era entered: Galetti, Santhià, Corlaita and Pavesi, but five years is an eternity in a professional athlete’s lifetime. New champions would contest the 1919 Giro. Girardengo (nicknamed “Gira”) had already been Champion of Italy in 1914 and earned the title again in 1919. He began a winning tear that would make him the dominant Italian rider of the first half of the 1920s. His superiority was extraordinary. While waiting for the second place rider in the eighth stage of the 1919 Giro (it would take over six minutes for Angelo Gremo to arrive), Emilio Colombo asked Girardengo what he would like be called. Girardengo was a bit intimidated by Colombo’s large and commanding presence and told the writer to do as he pleased. Colombo’s response turned out to be historic, “I have decided. I will call you the Champion of Champions (ti chiamerò campionissimo).” The name stuck. Through cycling history the Italians have granted only three riders the title of Campionissimo: Girardengo, Alfredo Binda and finally Fausto Coppi. Those in less awe of Girardengo seized on his short stature and called him the “Novi Runt”.

Lauro Bordin and Costante Girardengo

Lauro Bordin and Costante Girardengo

There were other great new riders entered in the 1919 Giro. Oscar Egg, a formidable Swiss track rider who could win on the road, owned the World Hour Record on and off from 1912 to 1933.

Gaetano Belloni was a fabulous talent. As an amateur in 1915 he rode the professional Tour of Lombardy and surprised the pack by winning. By the time he finally entered the Giro in 1919 he had a string of important victories including Milan–San Remo, Milan–Turin and a second Tour of Lombardy.
Marcel Buysse was one of an extraordinary family of Belgian racers. In 1912 Marcel was leading the Tour de France until a broken handlebar brought him down. He won six stages in the 1913 Tour (without winning the overall title) and was victorious in the 1914 Tour of Flanders. His brother Lucien, who had yet to display any of the unusual talent that would allow him to win the 1926 Tour, was also entered.

Sixty-one riders left Milan on May 21 and headed east for Trent in the first clockwise Giro since 1912. Girardengo won the sprint finish, beating 1914 Giro winner Calzolari.

The peloton in stage 1

Stage 1, the peloton on the road between Bergamo and Brescia

The second stage to Trieste took the race through areas that had been badly damaged in the war and had yet to be rebuilt. Many of the bridges were ruined and the roads in horrible condition. A sign of the times: a fallen bridge forced the riders to cross the (thankfully) dry riverbed of the Tagliamento.
Again Girardengo triumphed over Calzolari, this time by three and a half minutes.

The pack fords a river

Because of a ruined bridge, the riders are forced to ford a river.

Then came an interruption to Girardengo’s triumphal procession. Egg won the third stage, Ezio Corlaita the fourth and Belloni won the fifth. But in each of these stages Girardengo was near the front, generously padding his lead. By the start of stage six in Naples, Girardengo led Belloni by 23 minutes.

The General Classification stood thus:
1. Costante Girardengo
2. Gaetano Belloni @ 23 minutes 4 seconds
3. Alfonso Calzolari @ 29 minutes 26 seconds
4. Marcel Buysse @ 32 minutes 46 seconds

Girardengo wins stage 7

Girardengo wins stage 7 in Florence

From this point Girardengo did the incredible. He won every one of the next five stages! Sometimes he won alone, sometimes in a sprint. That meant that the young man from Novi Ligure had won seven of the year’s available ten stages. It was a magnificent display of domination that showed he had truly earned the title of campionissimo.

Only 15 of the 61 starters made it back to Milan. The deplorable condition of post-war Italian infrastructure made 1919’s stages, though shorter, still immensely difficult. The roads of southern Italy, already in a deplorable state, suffered from four years of wartime neglect. A post-Giro La Gazzetta article discussing the difficult riding conditions said that the final kilometer of the fifth stage into Naples had holes so big that bicycle wheels sunk down almost to their hubs.

Final 1919 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Costante Girardengo (Stucchi) 112 hours 51 minutes 29 seconds
2. Gaetano Belloni (Bianchi) @ 51 minutes 56 seconds
3. Marcel Buysse (Bianchi) @ 1 hour 5 minutes 31 seconds
4. Clemente Canepari (Stucchi) @ 1 hour 34 minutes 35 seconds
5. Ugo Agostini (Bianchi) @ 1 hour 39 minutes 39 seconds

Marcel Buysse became the first foreigner to attain the podium of the Giro.
Girardengo’s victory also marked the first time in Giro history that a rider had seized the lead in the first stage and held it all the way to the end. Italians call it a “sunrise to sunset” win and it is a feat so difficult that only three other riders have been able to so completely master the competition: Alfredo Binda (1927), Eddy Merckx (1973) and Gianni Bugno (1990).

Most racers are reluctant to take and hold the lead of a Grand Tour early on because defending it for an extended period of time exhausts both the leader and his team. Competitors sometimes purposely give up this place to a rider who can be expected to lose it at some point later in the race.

Successful stage racers are usually skilled at expending the minimum amount of energy needed to win. As we’ll see later on, Alfredo Binda and Eddy Merckx rarely showed such concern, but they were exceptional men, the like of whom are seldom seen.

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