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1934 Giro d'Italia

22nd editon: May 19 - June 10

Results, stages with running GC, photos and history

1933 Giro | 1935 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1934 Giro Quick Facts | 1934 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | Teams | The Story of the 1934 Giro d'Italia |


1934 Giro Quick Facts:

3,706 kilometers raced at an average speed of 30.55 km/hr

105 starters and 52 classified finishers.

17 stages (2 were individual time trials) with an average stage length of 218 km.

Despite winning an incredible 10 stages, Learco Guerra carved out just a narrow 51-second victory over Francesco Camusso, mostly on the basis of his superior time trialing. Five-time Giro winner Alfredo Binda abandoned in the 6th stage after getting hit by a police motorcycle.


1934 Giro d'Italia Final General Classification:

  1. maglia rosaLearco Guerra (Maino): 121hr 17min 17sec
  2. Francesco Camusso (Gloria) @ 51sec
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani (Gloria) @ 4min 59sec
  4. Giuseppe Olmo (Bianchi) @ 5min 39sec
  5. Giovanni Gotti (independent) @ 8min 1sec
  6. Remo Bertoni (Legnano) @ 15min 30sec
  7. Domenico Piemontesi (Maino) s.t.
  8. Adriano Vignoli (independent) @ 24min 46sec
  9. Luigi Giacobbe (Maino) @ 25min 58sec
  10. Luigi Barral (Bianchi) @ 33min 18sec
  11. Joseph "Jef" Demuysère @ 34min 13sec
  12. Bernardo Rogora (Gloria) @ 35min 11sec
  13. Renato Scorticati @ 36min 58sec
  14. Aladino Mealli @ 37min 3sec
  15. Augusto Zanzi @ 43min 7sec
  16. Augusto Como @ 48min 8sec
  17. Orlando Teani @ 49min 13sec
  18. Michele Orecchia @ 53min 1sec
  19. Ambrogio Morelli @ 57min 54sec
  20. Attilio Masarati @ 1hr 7min 54sec
  21. Isidoro Piubellini (independent) @ 1hr 14min 34sec
  22. Fabio Battesini (Legnano) @ 1hr 14min 55sec
  23. Battista Astrua @ 1hr 15min 8sec
  24. Nino Sella (Maino) @ 1hr 25min 13sec
  25. Carlo Oria @ 1hr 28min 12sec
  26. Clementi Grassi @ 1hr 28min 56sec
  27. Ettore Meini (Ganna) @ 1hr 37min 17sec
  28. Ernesto Merlini @ 1hr 41min 2sec
  29. Giovanni Baroni @ 1hr 51min 36sec
  30. Félicien Vervaecke (Ganna) @ 1hr 51min 44sec
  31. Alfons Ghesquiere @ 2hr 4min 5sec
  32. Stefano Giuppone @ 2hr 20min 33sec
  33. Paride Scacchetti @ 2hr 20min 33sec
  34. Livio Carlotti @ 2hr 22min 34sec
  35. Gilberto Di Paolis @ 2hr 29min 7sec
  36. Antonio Andretta (Legnano) @ 2hr 31min 1sec
  37. Vicente Trueba @ 2hr 42min 21sec
  38. Armando Zucchini @ 2hr 47min 58sec
  39. Giuseppe Pancera @ 2hr 49min 17sec
  40. Umberto Guarducci @ 2hr 52min 17sec
  41. Carlo Moretti @ 3hr 6min 25sec
  42. Fabien Galateau @ 3hr 12min 8sec
  43. Virgilio Merlino @ 3hr 23min 36sec
  44. Vincent Salazard @ 3hr 37min 25sec
  45. Herbert Sieronski @ 3hr 44min 58sec
  46. Angelo Rinaldi @ 3hr 54min 22sec
  47. Max Bulla @ 3hr 56min 35sec
  48. Antonio Fraccaroli @ 4hr 15min 35sec
  49. Joseph Abondio @ 4hr 21min 44sec
  50. Francesco Gulli @ 4hr 54min 48sec
  51. Nicolo Mammina @ 5hr 2min 27sec
  52. Attilio Pavesi @ 6hr 45min 31sec

Climbers’ Competition:
1. green jerseyRemo Bertoni: 33 points
2. Luigi Barral: 24
3. Félicien Vervaecke: 23

Team Classification:

  1. Gloria
  2. Maino
  3. Bianchi
  4. Legnano
  5. Ganna

1934 Giro stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Saturday, May 19, Milano - Torino, 169.2 km

  1. Francesco Camusso: 4hr 57min 55sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo @ 15sec
  3. Learco Guerra s.t.
  4. Remo Bertoni s.t.
  5. Nino Sella s.t.
  6. Pietro Rimoldi s.t.
  7. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  8. Rinaldo Gerini s.t.
  9. Edoardo Molinar s.t.
  10. Alfredo Binda s.t.

Stage 2: Sunday, May 20, Torino - Genova, 206.5 km

climbAscent: Passo della Scoffera (674m)

  1. Learco Guerra: 5hr 53min 5sec
  2. Alfredo Binda s.t.
  3. Remo Bertoni s.t.
  4. Ettore Meini s.t.
  5. Rinaldo Gerini s.t.
  6. Giuseppe Graglia s.t.
  7. Alfredo Bovet s.t.
  8. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  9. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  10. Aladino Mealli s.t.

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Francesco Camusso: 10hr 51min 0sec
  2. Learco Guerra @ 15sec
  3. Remo Bertoni s.t.
  4. Alfredo Binda s.t.
  5. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  6. Rinaldo Gerini s.t.
  7. ?
  8. ?
  9. Alfredo Bovet s.t.
  10. Giovanni Cazzolani s.t.

Stage 3: Tuesday, May 22, Genova - Livorno, 220.5 km

climbPasso del Bracco (615m)

  1. Learco Guerra: 6hr 34min 47sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  3. Alfredo Binda s.t.
  4. Ettore Meini s.t.
  5. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  6. Carlo Rovida s.t.
  7. Ambrogio Morelli s.t.
  8. Antonio Andretta s.t.
  9. Luigi Barral s.t.
  10. Battista Astrua s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Francesco Camusso: 17hr 23min 47sec
  2. Learco Guerra s.t.(? probably @ 15sec)
  3. Alfredo Binda s.t.
  4. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  5. Rinaldo Gerini s.t.
  6. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  7. Nino Sella s.t.
  8. Alfredo Bovet s.t.
  9. Luigi Barral s.t.
  10. Remo Bertoni s.t.

Stage 4: Wednesday, May 23, Livorno - Pisa 45 km individual time trial

  1. Learco Guerra: 1hr 5min 39sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo @ 26sec
  3. Domenico Piemontesi @ 50sec
  4. Amédée Fournier @ 51sec
  5. Alfredo Bovet @ 1min 0sec
  6. Robert Rigaux @ 1min 54sec
  7. Francesco Camusso @ 2min 2sec
  8. Alfredo Binda @ 2min 10sec
  9. Aldo Canazza @ 2min 14sec
  10. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 2min 14sec

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Learco Guerra: 18hr 31min 41sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo @ 26sec
  3. Alfredo Bovet @ 1min 0sec
  4. Domenico Piemonteso @ 1min 15sec
  5. Francesco Camusso @ 1min 47sec
  6. Alfredo Binda @ 2min 10sec
  7. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 2min 30sec
  8. Nino Sella @ 3min 1sec
  9. Augusto Como @ 3min 3sec
  10. Vasco Bergamaschi @ 3min 22sec

Stage 5: Thursday, May 24, Pisa - Roma, 333 km

climbAscent: Radicofani (716m)

  1. Learco Guerra: 11hr 19min 57sec
  2. Nino Sella s.t.
  3. Domenico Piemontesi s.t.
  4. Francesco Camusso @ 21sec
  5. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 38sec
  6. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  7. 8 riders in at same time and place

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Learco Guerra: 29hr 51min 33sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo @ 1min 14sec
  3. Domenico Piemontesi @ 1min 15sec
  4. Francesco Camusso @ 2min 8sec
  5. Nino Sella @ 3min 1sec
  6. Alfredo Bovet @ 3min 3sec
  7. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 3min 15sec
  8. Eugenio Gestri @ 4min 59sec
  9. Adriano Vignoli @ 5min 2sec
  10. Vasco Bergamaschi @ 5min 25sec

Stage 6: Saturday, May 26, Roma - Napoli, 228 km

  1. Learco Guerra: 6hr 43min 0sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  3. Ettore Meini s.t.
  4. Karl Altenburger s.t.
  5. Luigi Macchi s.t.
  6. Attilio Masarati s.t.
  7. Alfredo Bovet s.t.
  8. Faliero Masi s.t.
  9. 62 riders at same time and place

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Learco Guerra: 36hr 34min 38sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo @ 1min 14sec
  3. Domenico Piemontesi @ 1min 15sec
  4. Francesco Camusso @ 2min 8sec
  5. Nino Sella @ 3min 1sec
  6. Alfredo Bovet @ 3min 3sec
  7. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 3min 18sec
  8. Eugenio Gestri @ 5min 20sec
  9. Vasco Bergamaschi @ 5min 25sec
  10. Aurelio Scazzola @ 5min 46sec

Stage 7: Sunday, May 27, Napoli - Bari, 339 km

climbAscent: Balvano (845m)

  1. Adriano Vignoli: 11hr 27min 58sec. Earned 1min bonificaton
  2. Ettore Meini @ 10min 42sec
  3. Bernardo Rogora s.t.
  4. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  5. Ambrogio Morelli s.t.
  6. Luigi Barral s.t.
  7. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  8. 16 riders at same time and place

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Learco Guerra: 48hr 13min 18sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo @ 1min 14sec
  3. Domenico Piemontesi @ 1min 15sec
  4. Francesco Camusso @ 2min 8sec
  5. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 3min 18sec
  6. Adriano Vignoli @ 4min 5sec
  7. Giovanni Gotti @ 5min 43sec
  8. Remo Bertoni @ 6min 32sec
  9. Augusto Como @ 6min 48sec
  10. Camillo Erba @ 7min 49sec

Stage 8: Tuesday, May 29, Bari - Campobasso, 245 km

climbAscent: Castelnuovo Daunia (770m)

  1. Félicien Vervaecke: 8hr 25min 30sec. Earned 1min bonification
  2. Luigi Giacobbe s.t.
  3. Enrico Mara s.t.
  4. Renato Scorticati s.t.
  5. Paride Scacchetti s.t.
  6. Fabien Galateau @ 3min 41sec
  7. Alfons Ghesquiere @ 3min 51sec
  8. Herbert Sieronski @ 4min 29sec
  9. Michele Mara @ 5min 0sec
  10. Francesco Camusso @ 6min 17sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Giuseppe Olmo: 56hr 46min 10sec
  2. Learco Guerra @ 29sec
  3. Francesco Camusso @ 34sec
  4. Luigi Giacobbe @ 1min 32sec
  5. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 2min 4sec
  6. Renato Scorticati @ 4min 23sec
  7. Domenico Piemontesi @ 4min 25sec
  8. Giovanni Gotti @ 4min 29sec
  9. Remo Bertoni @ 5min 18sec
  10. Luigi Barral @ 6min 17sec

Stage 9: Wednesday, May 30, Campobasso - Teramo, 283 km

climbsAscents: Cinquemiglia, Rionero Sannitico

  1. Learco Guerra: 10hr 3min 38sec
  2. Remo Bertoni s.t.
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  4. Bernardo Rogora s.t.
  5. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  6. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  7. Domenico Piemontesi @ 7sec
  8. Ambrogio Morelli @ 3min 23sec
  9. Isidoro Piubellini s.t.
  10. Giovanni Baroni @ 7min 24sec

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Learco Guerra: 66hr 49min 24sec
  2. Francesco Camusso @ 1min 27sec
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 2min 37sec
  4. Giovanni Gotti @ 3min 2sec
  5. Domenico Piemontesi @ 3min 7sec
  6. Remo Bertoni @ 3min 31sec
  7. Luigi Giacobbe @ 9min 49sec
  8. Giuseppe Olmo @ 9min 56sec
  9. Renato Scoticati @ 13min 10sec
  10. Bernardo Rogora @ 16min 52sec

Stage 10: Thursday, May 31, Teramo - Ancona, 214 km

climbAscent: Croce di Casale

  1. Learco Guerra: 7hr 18min 4sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  3. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  4. Armando Zucchini s.t.
  5. Domenico Piemontesi s.t.
  6. Ettore Meini s.t.
  7. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  8. Ambrogio Morelli s.t.
  9. Bernardo Rogora s.t.
  10. Joseph Demuysère s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Learco Guerra: 74hr 7min 28sec
  2. Francesco Camusso @ 1min 27sec
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 2min 37sec
  4. Domenico Piemontesi @ 5min 7sec
  5. Giovanni Gotti @ 5min 39sec
  6. Remo Bertoni @ 6min 28sec
  7. Giuseppe Olmo @ 9min 56sec
  8. Luigi Giacobbe @ 10min 47sec
  9. Renato Scorticati @ 16min 3sec
  10. Bernardo Rogora @ 16min 52sec

Stage 11: Saturday, June 2, Ancona - Rimini, 213 km

  1. Learco Guerra: 6hr 55min 42sec
  2. Domenico Piemontesi s.t.
  3. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  4. Antonio Andretta s.t.
  5. Karl Altenburger s.t.
  6. Joseph Demuysère s.t.
  7. Armando Zucchini s.t.
  8. Luigi Barral s.t.
  9. Ambrogio Morelli s.t.
  10. 42 riders at same time and place

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Learco Guerra: 81hr 3min 10sec
  2. Francesco Camusso @ 1min 27sec
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 2min 37sec
  4. Domenico Piemontesi @ 5min 7sec
  5. Giovanni Gotti @ 5min 39sec
  6. Remo Bertoni @ 6min 28sec
  7. Giuseppe Olmo @ 9min 56sec
  8. Luigi Giacobbe @ 10min 47sec
  9. Renato Scorticati @ 16min 3sec
  10. Bernardo Rogora @ 16min 52sec

Stage 12: Sunday, June 3, Rimini - Firenze, 176.5 km

ascentsAscents: Mandrioli (1,173m), Consume (1,025m)

  1. Learco Guerra: 6hr 5min 46sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  3. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  4. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  5. Domenico Piemontesi s.t.
  6. Aladino Mealli s.t.
  7. Adriano Vignoli s.t.
  8. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  9. Bernardo Rogora @ 17sec
  10. Joseph Demuysère @ 47sec

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Learco Guerra: 87hr 7min 56sec
  2. Francesco Camusso @ 2min 27sec
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 3min 37sec
  4. Domenico Piemontesi @ 6min 7sec
  5. Giovanni Gotti @ 6min 39sec
  6. Giuseppe Olmo @ 10min 56sec
  7. Remo Bertoni @ 11min 3sec
  8. Luigi Giacobbe @ 12min 34sec
  9. Bernardo Rogora @ 18min 9sec
  10. Adriano Vignoli @ 19min 26sec

Stage 13: Monday, June 4, Firenze - Bologna, 120 km

climbsAscents: Passo della Futa (903m), Passo della Raticosa (968m)

  1. Giuseppe Olmo: 3hr 38min 21sec. Earned 1min bonification
  2. Remo Bertoni s.t.
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani s.t.
  4. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  5. Francesco Camusso s.t.
  6. Learco Guerra @ 5min 22sec
  7. Joseph Demuysère s.t.
  8. Armando Zucchini s.t.
  9. Augusto Zanzi s.t.
  10. Adriano Vignoli s.t.

GC after stage 13:

  1. Francesco Camusso: 90hr 48min 44sec
  2. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 1min 10sec
  3. Learco Guerra @ 2min 55sec
  4. Giovanni Gotti @ 4min 12sec
  5. Giuseppe Olmo @ 7min 20sec
  6. Remo Bertoni @ 8min 36sec
  7. Domenico Piemontesi @ 12min 39sec
  8. Adriano Vignoli @ 22min 21sec
  9. Luigi Giacobbe @ 25min 6sec
  10. Luigi Barral @ 27min 29sec

Stage 14: Wednesday, June 6, Bologna - Ferrara 50 km individual time trial

  1. Learco Guerra: 1hr 29min 34sec
  2. Giuseppe Olmo @ 1min 5sec
  3. Antonio Andretta @ 2min 25sec
  4. Vincent Salazard @ 3min 35sec
  5. Francesco Camusso @ 3min 46sec
  6. Luigi Giacobbe @ 3min 47sec
  7. Joseph Demuysère @ 4min 11sec
  8. Livio Carlotti @ 4min 57sec
  9. Remo Bertoni @ 5min 12sec
  10. Adriano Vignoli @ 5min 20sec

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Learco Guerra: 92hr 21min 13sec
  2. Francesco Camusso @ 51sec
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 4min 59sec
  4. Giuseppe Olmo @ 5min 39sec
  5. Giovanni Gotti @ 7min 59sec
  6. Remo Bertoni @ 10min 53sec
  7. Domenico Piemontesi @ 15min 30sec
  8. Adriano Vignoli @ 24min 46sec
  9. Luigi Giacobbe @ 25min 58sec
  10. Luigi Barral @ 33min 18sec

Stage 15: Thursday, June 7, Ferrara - Trieste, 273 km

  1. Fabio Battesini: 8hr 13min 4sec
  2. Antonio Andretta s.t.
  3. Giuseppe Olmo s.t.
  4. Ettore Meini s.t.
  5. Ambrogio Morelli s.t.
  6. Remo Bertoni s.t.
  7. Giovanni Baroni s.t.
  8. Attilio Masarati s.t.
  9. Learco Guerra s.t.
  10. Stefano Giuppone s.t.

GC after Stage 15:

  1. Learco Guerra: 100hr 36min 17sec
  2. Francesco Camusso @ 51sec
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 4min 59sec
  4. Giuseppe Olmo @ 6min 39sec
  5. Giovanni Gotti @ 7min 59sec
  6. Remo Bertoni @ 10min 53sec
  7. Domenico Piemontesi @ 15min 30sec
  8. Adriano Vignoli @ 24min 46sec
  9. Luigi Giacobbe @ 25min 58sec
  10. Luigi Barral @ 33min 18sec

Stage 16: Friday, June 8, Trieste - Bassano del Grappa, 273 km

climbsAscents: Pian di Cansiglio (1,057m), Crocetta (1,123m)

  1. Giuseppe Olmo: 9hr 33min 0sec
  2. Ettore Meini s.t.
  3. Domenico Piemontesi s.t.
  4. Fabio Battesini s.t.
  5. Antonio Andretta s.t.
  6. Armando Zucchini s.t.
  7. Paride Scacchetti s.t.
  8. Ambrogio Morelli s.t.
  9. Remo Bertoni s.t.
  10. Orlando Teani s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Learco Guerra: 110hr 9min 17sec
  2. Francesco Camusso @ 51sec
  3. Giovanni Cazzulani @ 4min 59sec
  4. Giuseppe Olmo @ 5min 39sec
  5. Giovanni Gotti @ 7min 59sec
  6. Remo Bertoni @ 10min 53sec
  7. Domenico Piemontesi @ 15min 30sec
  8. Adriano Vignoli @ 24min 46sec
  9. Luigi Giacobbe @ 25min 58sec
  10. Luigi Barral @ 33min 18sec

17th and Final Stage: Sunday, June 10, Bassano del Grappa - Milano, 315 km

climbsAscents: Pian delle Fugazze (1,157m), Colle San Eusebio (374,)

  1. Giuseppe Olmo: 11hr 8min 0sec
  2. Ettore Meini s.t.
  3. Isidoro Piubellini s.t.
  4. Armando Zucchini s.t.
  5. Antonio Andretta s.t.
  6. Learco Guerra s.t.
  7. Attilio Pavesi s.t.
  8. Domenico Piemontesi s.t.
  9. Ambrogio Morelli s.t.
  10. Giovanni Baroni s.t.

1934 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification


Teams:

Bianchi-Pirelli
Dei pirelli
Ganna-Dunlop
Gloria-Hutchinson
Legnano-Hutchinson
Maino-d'Alessandro
Olympia-Spiga
Olmpique


The Story of the 1934 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.

The Giro stayed at seventeen stages, but the stages were somewhat longer. The overall length of this edition was 3,713 kilometers, making for an average stage length of 218 kilometers. The individual time trial was retained but made more civilized. Now there were two, one 45 and the other 59 kilometers long.

A good helping of excellent Belgian and French riders were among the 105 starters. Perhaps the finest was Félicien Vervaecke, who would go on to earn a second place, two thirds, a fourth plus a King of the Mountains prize in the Tour. Demuysère was back and on top of his game, having won that year’s Milan–San Remo.

The Italian contingent included Guerra, Camusso, Olmo, Piemontesi and Binda, who finished at Milan–San Remo buried in the pack, almost fourteen minutes behind Demuysère.

While the race was long by 1933 standards, it wasn’t considered rigorous by contemporary observers. Its climbs inspired no awe and with the finish lines coming well after the peaks, non-climbers could get back on terms with the scalatori and then smack them in the sprint where lightweight climbers are generally prone to get a beating.

One might reasonably think this was a race designed for Guerra, especially given the organizer’s demonstrable lack of love for Binda victories. Since Binda was particularly formidable in the mountains, this configuration removed some of the great man’s claws. Guerra was superb against the clock and he had plenty of clock to race against in this Giro.

The first stage headed off to Turin. Francesco Camusso managed to slip his leash and beat the Guerra- and Giuseppe Olmo-led pack by 15 seconds.
Guerra then took the peloton to racing school. First, he won the next two road stages. Then at the time trial in Pisa he went 41.127 kilometers per hour, almost two kilometers per hour faster than Binda had gone in the 1933 Giro’s time trial; this set tongues flapping. Guerra was in extraordinary form. Binda, who seemed to have suddenly entered the sunset of his career, completed the distance over two minutes slower than the Locomotive.

Guerra wins stage 2

Learco Guerra wins stage 2 in Genoa.

Guerra was now in pink with Olmo second at 26 seconds. Guerra won the next two stages as well so that by the end of the sixth stage in Naples this was the General Classification:
1. Learco Guerra
2. Giuseppe Olmo @ 1 minute 14 seconds
3. Domenico Piemontesi @ 1 minute 15 seconds
4. Francesco Camusso @ 2 minutes 8 seconds
5. Nino Sella @ 3 minutes 1 second

Despite his stage-winning ways, Guerra had not yet carved out anything close to a secure lead.

The independent riders seldom made a large impression on the Giro even though they generally made up about half of the starting pelotons in the 1930s. Unsponsored racer Adriano Vignoli did make his presence known in the seventh leg, however. Stage seven was a 339-kilometer trek crossing the southern Apennines between Naples and Bari. Vignoli raced solo for 160 kilometers, arriving in Bari 10 minutes 42 seconds before the pack. Adding in the one-minute bonification the stage offered, he moved up to sixth place, 4 minutes 5 seconds behind Guerra.

The eighth stage was over the hilly southern country between Bari and Campobasso with another minute’s time bonus in play. Stage winner Vervaecke broke away with Giacobbe and Mara. Olmo followed in a little over six minutes later while Guerra was almost eight minutes slower. Olmo took over the maglia rosa with Guerra 29 seconds back.

Guerra’s answer came the very next day during the ninth stage. Over the rugged Adriatic coastal roads he and six others went clear. Olmo was forced to concede 9 minutes 23 seconds and Il Giro had its pink locomotive back with Camusso stalking him at 87 seconds.

At the feed station in Pescara, Camusso got into an argument with a police commissioner. Arriving tired and hungry, the racer found his path to the food blocked by fans. He made his way to the table using his bike to push people out of the way, saying, “Do you know who I am?” The police commissioner was there and a violent argument ensued. Eventually the two came to blows and a couple of policemen were called to haul the racer away. One of them, vexed by Camusso’s angry attitude asked, “Just who do you think you are? Guerra?”
That must have stung.

Luckily Cougnet was close by and interceded. He got Camusso freed with the promise that the 1931 Giro winner would be severely reprimanded.
Camusso climbed back onto his bike and rejoined the race.

Guerra won the next three stages, the tenth, eleventh and twelfth, but managed to push Camusso back only a minute. After all of his stage winning dominance, he had a lead of only 2 minutes 27 seconds.

The thirteenth stage, from Florence to Bologna, went over the Futa and Raticosa passes that separate Tuscany from Emilia-Romagna. Vervaecke was first over the Futa, but he faded badly and eventually lost over twelve minutes. Next, it was Olmo and Camusso who attacked, taking Bertoni and a couple of others but leaving Guerra, who was suffering from stomach problems, far behind.

At the bottom of the Futa, Guerra was miserable and losing gobs of time. He felt he had suffered enough and decided to quit the Giro. He climbed into the Maino team car, which then continued motoring down the day’s race route. The Maino car soon met up with the organizer’s follow car containing Cougnet and Colombo. Not wanting to have one of cycling’s greatest stars drop out, they pressed Guerra to get back in the race. Finally giving in to their pleas, he climbed out of the car, got back on his bike and rejoined the race. He hooked up with other riders who had been dropped by the Olmo/Camusso attack and gave serious chase, despite having ridden in the team car for a portion of the route.

Olmo beat Camusso to win the stage and five minutes later Guerra led Demuysère over the line.

Giro historians look upon this stage and time loss that Guerra suffered with a gimlet eye since he’d been driven for an unknown number of kilometers in the team car, making the whole affair rather messy. But given Guerra’s popularity, Cougnet was loath to penalize or eliminate the much-loved racer. Guerra in the race meant crowds and thousands of copies of La Gazzetta moving off the newsstands. After all, this was a business.

Camusso’s efforts allowed him to wear the Pink Jersey while riding the next stage, the second time trial at Bologna. Going in to the time trial he had a 70-second lead over Giovanni Cazzulani and 2 minutes 55 seconds on Guerra.
Guerra was considered the best man in the world against the clock and he showed why. Olmo lost 65 seconds and Camusso, who was primarily a climber, was out of his element. The 3 minutes 46 seconds he conceded to Guerra cost him the overall leadership. It was Guerra again in pink with Camusso second at 51 seconds.

Olmo won the last two stages, but the race was effectively over after the time trial and it belonged to Guerra. At 32 years old he had finally won a Grand Tour, taking ten stage victories along the way.

But, the final gap to Camusso was only 51 seconds, which brings us back to stage thirteen. One can’t help but feel that had the race been properly adjudicated with Guerra either forced to go back to where he climbed into the car (if it came to that he probably would have just quit) or be penalized a reasonable amount of time for riding in the car, Camusso would have and should have won the race.

Binda, having come in second in the second stage and third in the third, abandoned during the sixth leg after crashing and getting hit by a police motorcycle.

Italian sports fans had a special treat on the Giro’s final day. Just as Olmo won the final stage at the Arena stadium word came over the radio that Angelo Schiavo had scored the World Cup-winning goal in overtime, giving Italy its first soccer world championship.

Learco Guerra

Learco Guerra

Final 1934 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Learco Guerra (Maino-Clement) 121 hours 17 minutes 17 seconds
2. Francesco Camusso (Gloria) @ 51 seconds
3. Giovanni Cazzulani (Gloria) @ 4 minutes 59 seconds
4. Giuseppe Olmo (Bianchi) @ 5 minutes 39 seconds
5. Giovanni Gotti (independent) @ 8 minutes 1 second
8. Adriano Vignoli (independent) @ 24 minutes 46 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:
1. Remo Bertoni: 33 points
2. Luigi Barral: 24
3. Félicien Vervaecke: 23