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1938 Giro d'Italia

26th edition: May 7 - May 29

Results, stages with running GC, photos and history

1937 Giro | 1939 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1938 Giro Quick Facts | 1938 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | Teams | The Story of the 1938 Giro d'Italia |


1938 Giro Quick Facts:

3,754 km raced at an average speed of 33.27 km/hr

94 starters and 50 classified finishers.

1936 & 1937 Giro winner Gino Bartali was ordered by the Italian government to miss the Giro to properly prepare for the Tour de France, which he won.

The only rider who could have challenged Bartali, Giovanni Valetti, took the lead in the hilly ninth stage. From there he continually increased his lead until he was nearly nine minutes ahead of second-place Ezio Cecchi when the race ended.


1938 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification:

  1. maglia rosaGiovanni Valetti (Fréjus): 112hr 49min 28sec
  2. Ezio Cecchi (Gloria) @ 8min 47sec
  3. Severino Canavesi (Gloria) @ 9min 6sec
  4. Settimo Simonini (U.S. Canelli)@ 15min 49sec
  5. Michele Benente (U.S. Canelli) @ 19min 46sec
  6. Walter Generati (Bianchi) @ 22min 2sec
  7. Cesare Del Cancia (Ganna) @ 24min 7sec
  8. Karl Litschi (Olympia) @ 29min 24sec
  9. Ruggero Balli (Bianchi) @ 32min 23sec
  10. Aladino Mealli (Wolsit) @ 28min 38sec
  11. Diego Marabelli (Bianchi) @ 45min 45sec
  12. Cino Cinelli (Fréjus) @ 1hr 6min 24sec
  13. Georges Christiaens (Ganna) @ 1hr 8min 59sec
  14. Bernardo Rogora (Gloria) @ 1hr 19min 11sec
  15. Stefano Giuppone (Fréjus) @ 1hr 21min 58sec
  16. Richard Menapace (Dopolavoro Mater) @ 1hr 30min 45sec
  17. Cyriel Van Overberghe (Ganna) @ 1hr 52min 58sec
  18. Jean-Marie Goasmat (Dei) @ 1hr 58min 23sec
  19. Angelo Tamborini (Wolsit) @ 2hr 6min 39sec
  20. Olimpio Bizzi (Fréjus) @ 2hr 7min 56sec
  21. Camille Michielsen (Ganna) @ 2hr 12min 13sec
  22. Remo Cerasa (Il Littoriale) @ 2hr 21min 18sec
  23. Zoarino Guidi (Il Littoriale) @ 2hr 23min 52sec
  24. Edgardo Scappini (U.S. Azzini) @ 2hr 25min 43sec
  25. Fabien Galateau (Dei) @ 2hr 26min 55sec
  26. Giovanni Gotti (Dei) @ 2hr 27min 38sec
  27. Fulvio Montini (U.S. Azzini) @ 2hr 33min 6sec
  28. Ascanio Arcangeli (Il Littoriale) @ 2hr 57min 57sec
  29. Gilberto Di Paolis (Dopolavoro Mater) @ 2hr 59min 1sec
  30. Carlo Romanatti (Bianchi) @ 2hr 59min 53sec
  31. Luciano Succi (Wolsit) @ 3hr 14min 19sec
  32. Leo Amberg (Olympia) @ 3hr 15min 33sec
  33. Giordano Cottur (Lygie) @ 3hr 18min 26sec
  34. Pietro Rimoldi (Ganna) @ 3hr 23min 58sec
  35. Giuseppe Martano (Fréjus) @ 3hr 24min 22sec
  36. Walter Fantini (U.C. Modenese) @ 3hr 31min 27sec
  37. Noël Declercq (Ganna) @ 3hr 42min 34sec
  38. Gino Malavesi (La Voce di Mantova) @ 3hr 44min 44sec
  39. Sauveur Ducazeaux (Dei) @ 3hr 55min 26sec
  40. Nicolo Mantini (Dopolavoro Mater) @ 3hr 56min 6sec
  41. Primo Zucotti (U.S. Canelli) @ 4hr 13min 45sec
  42. Paride Scacchetti (U.C. Modenese) @ 4hr 26min 24sec
  43. Pietro Chiappini (Il Littoriale) @ 4hr 40min 22sec
  44. Faustino Montesi (Ganna) @ 4hr 50min 43sec
  45. Luigi Macchi (Gloria) @ @ 5hr 41min 24sec
  46. Berto Gualberto (Gloria) @ 5hr 47min 21sec
  47. Raffaele Di Paco (Dei) @ 6hr 5min 25sec
  48. Giovanni Bisio (Wolsit) @ 6hr 5min 39sec
  49. Vladimiro Lazzarini (Gruppo A) @ 6hr 59min 8sec
  50. Werner Huber (Olympia) @ 7hr 3min 51sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. green jerseyGiovanni Valetti: 29 points
  2. Giordano Bottur: 26
  3. Ezio Cecchi: 18
  4. Settimo Simonini: 13
  5. Karl Litschi: 9

Team Classification:

  1. Gloria-Ambrosiana: 340hr 5min 28sec
  2. Bianchi @ 3min 6sec
  3. Fréjus @ 51min 18sec
  4. Ganna @ 1hr 49min 0sec
  5. Wolsit-S.C. Binda @ 4hr 22min 32sec

1938 Giro stage results with running GC:

There were several days with split stages. Some accounts call them a & b, thus giving 1938 18 stages. Others (and this is the more common Italian practice) give each stage a unique number, making 1938 have 21 stages. I have followed that second practice with the alternative stage numbers also noted.

Stage 1: Saturday, May 7, Milano - Torino, 182 km

  1. Marco Cimatti: 5hr 0min 0sec
  2. Raffaele Di Paco s.t.
  3. Osvaldo Bailo s.t.
  4. Tolmino Gios s.t.
  5. Enrico Mara s.t.
  6. Cino Cinelli s.t.
  7. Sauveur Ducazeaux s.t.
  8. Edoardo Molinar s.t.
  9. Pietro Chiappini s.t.
  10. Francesco Albani s.t.

Stage 2: Sunday, May 8, Torino - San Remo, 204 km

climbMajor ascent: San Bartolomeo

  1. Mario Vicini: 6hr 34min 10sec
  2. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  3. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  4. Ruggero Balli s.t.
  5. Adriano Vignoli s.t.
  6. Karl Litschi @ 3min 39sec
  7. Ezio Cecchi @ 3min 42sec
  8. Cyriel Van Overberghe @ 5min 50sec
  9. Zoarino Guidi @ 7min 18sec
  10. Stefano Giuppone @ 8min 41sec

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Mario Vicini: 11hr 34min 10sec
  2. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  3. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  4. Ruggero Balli s.t.
  5. Adriano Vignoli s.t.
  6. Karl Litschi @ 3min 39sec
  7. Ezio Cecchi @ 3min 42sec
  8. Cyriel Van Overberghe @ 5min 50sec
  9. Settimio Simonini @ 8min 41sec
  10. Stefano Giuppone @ 8min 41sec

Stage 3: Monday, May 9, San Remo - Santa Margherita Ligure, 172 km

  1. Giovanni Gotti: 5hr 11min 5sec
  2. Adolfo Leoni @ 35sec
  3. Enrico Mara s.t.
  4. Fabien Galateau s.t.
  5. Walter Generati s.t.
  6. Aladino Mealli s.t.
  7. Jean Fontenay s.t.
  8. Antonio Negrini @ 1min 28sec
  9. Giovanni Valetti @ 2min 26sec
  10. Olimpio Bizzi @ 3min 0sec

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 16hr 48min 15sec
  2. Mario Vicini s.t.
  3. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  4. Ruggero Balli s.t.
  5. Adriano Vignoli @ 44sec
  6. Karl Litschi @ 3min 30sec
  7. Ezio Cecchi @ 4min 38sec
  8. Aladino Mealli @ 7min 14sec
  9. Criel Van Overberghe @ 7min 41sec
  10. Giovanni Valetti @ 9min 0sec

Stage 4: (or stage 4a) Tuesday, May 10, Santa Margherita Ligure - La Spezia, 81 km

climbMajor ascent: Bracco

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 2hr 26min 50sec
  2. Olimpio Bizzi @ 1min 45sec
  3. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  4. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  5. Ezio Cecchi s.t.
  6. Edoardo Molinar s.t.
  7. Michele Benente s.t.
  8. Luciano Succi s.t.
  9. Aladino Mealli @ 2min 4sec
  10. Isidoro Piubellini s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 19hr 16min 50sec
  2. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  3. Ruggero Balli @ 2min 0sec
  4. Ezio Cecchi @ 4mkin 38sec
  5. Adriano Vignoli @ 4min 50sec
  6. Karl Litschi @ 4min 54sec
  7. Mario Vicini @ 4min 59sec
  8. Giovanni Valetti @ 7min 15sec
  9. Aladino Mealli @ 7min 33sec
  10. Diego Marabelli @ 10min 14sec

Stage 5: (or stage 4b) Tuesday, May 10, La Spezia - Montecatini Terme, 110 km

  1. Walter Generati: 3hr 6min 0sec
  2. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  3. Cino Cinelli @ 45sec
  4. Pietro Rimoldi s.t.
  5. Bianco Bianchi s.t.
  6. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  7. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  8. Leo Amberg s.t.
  9. Ascanio Arcangeli s.t.
  10. Ruggero Balli s.t.

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 22hr 23min 35sec
  2. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  3. Ruggero Balli @ 2min 0sec
  4. Ezio Cecchi @ 4min 38sec
  5. Adriano Vignoli @ 4min 50sec
  6. Karl Litschi @ 4min 54sec
  7. Mario Vicini @ 4min 59sec
  8. Giovanni Valetti @ 7min 15sec
  9. Aladino Mealli @ 7min 33sec
  10. Giovanni Gotti @ 10min 1sec

Stage 6: (or stage 5) Thursday, May 12, Montecatini Terme - Chianciano Terme, 184 km

  1. Salvatore Crippa: 5hr 18min 54sec
  2. Remo Cerasa @ 3min 45sec
  3. Michele Benente s.t.
  4. Robert Zimmermann @ 4min 17sec
  5. Olimpio Bizzi @ 5min 29sec
  6. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  7. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  8. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  9. Gino Scappini s.t.
  10. Bernardo Rogora s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 27hr 47min 58sec
  2. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  3. Ruggero Balli @ 2min 0sec
  4. Ezio Cecchi @ 4min 38sec
  5. Adriano Vignoli @ 4min 50sec
  6. Karl Litschi @ 4min 54sec
  7. Giovanni Valetti @ 7min 15sec
  8. Aladino Mealli @ 7min 33sec
  9. Giovanni Gotti @ 10min 1sec
  10. Diego Marabelli @ 10min 14sec

Stage 7: (or stage 6) Friday, May 13, Chianciano Terme - Rieti, 168 km

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 4 hr 53min 40sec
  2. Luigi Macchi s.t.
  3. Walter Generati s.t.
  4. Cino Cinelli @ 7min 15sec
  5. Pietro Chiappini s.t.
  6. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  7. Bernardo Rogora
  8. Gino Scappini s.t.
  9. Leo Amberg s.t.
  10. Ascanio Arcangeli s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 32hr 48min 53sec
  2. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  3. Ruggero Balli @ 2min 0sec
  4. Ezio Cecchi @ 4min 38sec
  5. Adriano Vignoli @ 4min 50sec
  6. Karl Litschi @ 4min 54sec
  7. Walter Generati @ 5min 31sec
  8. Giovanni Valetti @ 7min 15sec
  9. Aladino Mealli @ 7min 33sec
  10. Diego Marabelli @ 10min 14sec

Stage 8: (or stage 7a) Saturday, May 14, Rieti - Terminillo individual time trial (timed hill climb), 20 km

climbMajor ascent: Terminillo

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 53min 26sec
  2. Giordano Cottur s.t.
  3. Aladino Mealli @ 28sec
  4. Karl Litschi @ 41sec
  5. Ezio Cecchi @ 1min 9sec
  6. Ascanio Arcangeli @ 1min 29sec
  7. Edoardo Molinar @ 2min 32sec
  8. Diego Marabelli @ 2min 37sec
  9. Cesare Del Cancia @ 2min 56sec
  10. Jean-Marie Goasmat @ 2min 59sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 33hr 45min 15sec
  2. Severino Canavesi @ 2min 3sec
  3. Karl Litschi @ 2min 30sec
  4. Ezio Cecchi @ 2min 51sec
  5. Giovanni Valetti @ 3min 19sec
  6. Ruggero Balli @ 4min 28sec
  7. Adriano Vignoli @ 5min 3sec
  8. Diego Marabelli @ 9min 55sec
  9. Michele Benente @ 11min 45sec
  10. Settimo Simonini @ 11min 52sec

Stage 9: (or stage 7b) Saturday, May 14, Rieti - Roma, 152 km

  1. Cino Cinelli: 4hr 30min 0sec
  2. Olimpio Bizzi s.t.
  3. Diego Marabelli s.t.
  4. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  5. Zaurino Guidi s.t.
  6. Michele Benente s.t.
  7. Ezio Cecchi s.t.
  8. Salvatore Crippa s.t.
  9. Karl Litschi s.t.
  10. Settimo Simonini s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 38hr 15min 15sec
  2. Karl Litschi @ 2min 30sec
  3. Ezio Cecchi @ 2min 51sec
  4. Severino Canavesi @ 2min 58sec
  5. Giovanni Valetti @ 3min 10sec
  6. Ruggero Balli @ 5min 46sec
  7. Adriano Vignoli @ 6min 20sec
  8. Diego Marabelli @ 9min 55sec
  9. Michele Benente @ 11min 45sec
  10. Settimo Simonini @ 11min 52sec

Stage 10: (or Stage 8) Sunday, May 15, Roma - Napoli, 234 km

  1. Raffaele Di Paco: 7hr 8min 40sec
  2. Olimpio Bizzi s.t.
  3. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  4. Sauveur Ducazeau s.t.
  5. Walter Generati s.t.
  6. Pietro Chiappini @ 1min 55sec
  7. Giordano Cottur s.t.
  8. Tolmino Gios s.t.
  9. Luciano Succi s.t.
  10. Diego Marabelli s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 45hr 25min 50sec
  2. Karl Litschi @ 2min 30sec
  3. Ezio Cecchi @ 2min 51sec
  4. Severino Canavesi @ 2min 58sec
  5. Giovanni Valetti @ 3min 10sec
  6. Ruggero Balli @ 5min 46sec
  7. Adriano Vignoli @ 6min 20sec
  8. Diego Marabelli @ 9min 55sec
  9. Walter Generati @ 10min 22sec
  10. Olimpio Bizzi @ 11min 0sec

Stage 11: (or stage 9) Tuesday, May 17, Napoli - Lanciano, 221 km

climbMajor ascent: Rionero Sannitico

  1. Giordano Cottur: 7hr 17min 7sec
  2. Giovanni Valetti s.t.
  3. Olimpio Bizzi @ 4min 46sec
  4. Ruggero Balli s.t.
  5. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  6. Settimo Simonini s.t.
  7. Michele Benente s.t.
  8. Aladino Mealli s.t.
  9. Adriano Vignoli s.t.
  10. Richard Menapace s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 52hr 46min 16sec
  2. Cesare Del Cancia @ 1min 37sec
  3. Karl Litschi @ 5min 38sec
  4. Severino Canavesi @ 5min 57sec
  5. Ezio Cecchi @ 6min 58sec
  6. Ruggero Balli @ 7min 12sec
  7. Adriano Vignoli @ 7min 47sec
  8. Olimpio Bizzi @ 12min 36sec
  9. Diego Marabelli @ 12min 54sec
  10. Michele Benente @ 13min 12sec

Stage 12: (or Stage 10) Wednesday, May 18, Lanciano - Ascoli Piceno, 149 km

  1. Raffaele Di Paco: 3hr 47min 6sec
  2. Olimpio Bizzi @ 32sec
  3. Diego Marabelli s.t.
  4. Zaurino Guidi s.t.
  5. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  6. Walter Generati s.t.
  7. Renato Rossi s.t.
  8. Fabien Galateau s.t.
  9. Michele Benente s.t.
  10. Severino Canavesi s.t.

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 56hr 39min 12sec
  2. Severino Canavesi @ 39sec
  3. Cesare Del Cancia @ 1min 27sec
  4. Ezio Cecchi @ 1min 40sec
  5. Karl Litschi @ 5min 38sec
  6. Ruggero Balli @ 7min 2sec
  7. Olimpio Bizzi @ 7min 18sec
  8. Diego Marabelli @ 7min 36sec
  9. Adriano Vignoli @ 7min 47sec
  10. Michele Benente @ 7min 54sec

Stage 13: (or Stage 11) Thursday, May 19, Ascoli Piceno - Ravenna, 268 km

  1. Cino Cinelli: 7hr 11min 38sec
  2. Raffaele Di Paco s.t.
  3. Pietro Chiappini s.t.
  4. Karl Litschi s.t.
  5. Giordano Cottur s.t.
  6. Diego Marabelli s.t.
  7. Vladimiro Lazzarini @ 18sec
  8. Tolmino Gios s.t.
  9. Luciano Succi s.t.
  10. Remo Cerasa s.t.

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 63hr 51min 8sec
  2. Severino Canavesi @ 39sec
  3. Cesare Del Cancia @ 1min 27sec
  4. Ezio Cecchi @ 1min 40sec
  5. Karl Litschi @ 5min 20sec
  6. Ruggero Balli @ 7min 2sec
  7. Diego Marabelli @ 7min 18sec
  8. Olimpio Bizzi @ 7min 18sec
  9. Adriano Vignoli @ 7min 47sec
  10. Michele Benante @ 7min 54sec

Stage 14: (or Stage 12) Saturday, May 21, Ravenna - Treviso, 199 km

  1. Raffaele Di Paco: 5hr 35min 15sec
  2. Pietro Rimoldi s.t.
  3. Pietro Chiappini s.t.
  4. Walter Generati s.t.
  5. Isidoro Piubellini @ 20sec
  6. Luciano Succi s.t.
  7. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  8. Cyriel Van Overberghe s.t.
  9. Giordano Cottur @ 31sec
  10. Sauveur Ducazeau s.t.

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 69hr 27min 54sec
  2. Severino Canavesi @ 39sec
  3. Cesare Del Cancia @ 1min 27sec
  4. Ezio Cecchi @ 1min 40sec
  5. Karl Litschi @ 5min 20sec
  6. Ruggero Balli @ 7min 2sec
  7. Olimpio Bizzi @ 7min 18sec
  8. Diego Marabelli s.t.
  9. Adriano Vignoli @ 7min 47sec
  10. Michele Benente @ 7min 54sec

Stage 15: (or Stage 13) Sunday, May 22, Treviso - Trieste, 207 km

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 9hr 23min 12sec
  2. Ezio Cecchi s.t.
  3. Camille Michielsen s.t.
  4. Michele Benente s.t.
  5. Natale Mantini s.t.
  6. Walter Generati s.t.
  7. Giovanni Valetti s.t.
  8. Karl Litschi s.t.
  9. Riccardo Menapace @ 1min 45sec
  10. Georges Christiaens @ 2min 28sec

GC after Stage 15:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 75hr 7min 54sec
  2. Cesare Del Cancia @ 1min 27sec
  3. Ezio Cecchi @ 1min 40sec
  4. Severino Canavesi @ 3min 7sec
  5. Karl Litschi @ 5min 20sec
  6. Michele Benente @ 7min 54sec
  7. Walter Generati @ 8min 22sec
  8. Ruggero Balli @ 9min 30sec
  9. Diego Marabelli @ 9min 45sec
  10. Adriano Vignoli @ 11min 25sec

Stage 16: (or Stage 14) Monday, May 23, Trieste - Belluno, 243 km

climbMajor ascent: Mauria

  1. Olimpio Bizzi: 8hr 12min 48sec
  2. Cino Cinelli s.t.
  3. Pietro Rimoldi s.t.
  4. Georges Christiaens s.t.
  5. Giuseppe Martano s.t.
  6. Ruggero Balli s.t.
  7. Pietro Chiappini s.t.
  8. Cesare Del Cancia s.t.
  9. Aladino Mealli s.t.
  10. Isidoro Piubellini s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 83hr 20min 39sec
  2. Cesare Del Cancia @ 1min 27sec
  3. Ezio Cecchi @ 1min 40sec
  4. Severino Canavesi @ 3min 7sec
  5. Karl Litschi @ 5min 20sec
  6. Michele Benente @ 7min 54sec
  7. Walter Generati @ 8min 25sec
  8. Ruggero Balli @ 9min 30sec
  9. Settimo Simonini @ 12min 38sec
  10. Olimpio Bizzi @ 17min 40sec

Stage 17: (or Stage 15) Wednesday, May 25, Belluno - Rocoaro Terme, 249 km

climbsMajor ascents: Rolle, Fugazze

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 7hr 55min 28sec
  2. Ezio Cecchi @ 1min 46sec
  3. Settimo Simonini @ 3min 11sec
  4. Giuseppe Martano @ 5min 46sec
  5. Severino Canavesi @ 5min 59sec
  6. Aladino Mealli @ 9min 32sec
  7. Diego Marabelli @ 11min 47sec
  8. Walter Generati s.t.
  9. Michele Benente @ 11min 52sec
  10. Bernardo Rogora @ 19min 42sec

GC after Stage 17:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 91hr 16min 7sec
  2. Ezio Cecchi @ 3min 26sec
  3. Severino Canavesi @ 9min 6sec
  4. Settimo Simonini @ 15min 49sec
  5. Michele Benente @ 19min 46sec
  6. Walter Generati @ 10min 12sec
  7. Cesare Del Cancia @ 22min 30sec
  8. Karl Litschi @ 25min 42sec
  9. Ruggero Balli @ 30min 33sec
  10. Aladino Mealli @ 32min 17sec

Stage 18: (or Stage 16) Friday, May 27: Recoaro Terme - Bergamo, 272 km

climbMajor ascent: Presolana

  1. Diego Marabelli: 7hr 57min 40sec
  2. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  3. Severino Canavesi s.t.
  4. Ezio Cecchi s.t.
  5. Michele Benente s.t.
  6. Giordano Cottur s.t.
  7. Karl Litschi s.t.
  8. Settimo Simonini s.t.
  9. Giovanni Valetti s.t.
  10. Ruggero Balli @ 1min 50sec

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 99hr 13min 47sec
  2. Ezio Cecchi @ 3min 26sec
  3. Severino Canavesi @ 9min 6sec
  4. Settimo Simonini @ 15min 49sec
  5. Michele Benente @ 19min 46sec
  6. Walter Generati @ 22min 2sec
  7. Cesare Del Cancia @ 24min 30sec
  8. Karl Litschi @ 25min 42sec
  9. Ruggero Balli @ 32min 23sec
  10. Aladino Mealli @ 34min 7sec

Stage 19: (or Stage 17) Saturday, May 28, Bergamo - Varese, 154 km

  1. Cesare Del Cancia: 4hr 49min 18sec
  2. Sauveur Ducazeaux s.t.
  3. Pietro Rimoldi @ 13sec
  4. Cino Cinelli s.t.
  5. Faustino Montesi s.t.
  6. Camille Michielsen s.t.
  7. Ruggero Balli s.t.
  8. Michele Benente s.t.
  9. Olimpio Bizzi s.t.

GC after Stage 19:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 104hr 3min 18sec
  2. Ezio Cecchi @ 8min 47sec
  3. Severino Canavesi @ 9min 6sec
  4. Settimo Simonini @ 18min 49sec
  5. Micele Benente @ 19min 46sec
  6. Walter Generati @ 22min 2sec
  7. Cesare Del Cancia @ 24min 7sec
  8. Karl Litschi @ 29min 24sec
  9. Ruggero Balli @ 32min 23sec
  10. Aladino Mealli @ 39min 28sec

Stage 20: (or Stage 18a) Sunday, May 29, Varese - Locarno, 100 km

climbMajor ascent: Monte Ceneri

  1. Leo Amberg: 2hr 37min 50sec
  2. Georges Christiaens @ 9min 35sec
  3. Remo Cerasa s.t.
  4. Aladino Mealli s.t.
  5. Pietro Rimoldi @ 10min 25sec
  6. Carlo Romanatti s.t.
  7. Vladimiro Lazzarini s.t.
  8. 38 riders at same time and place

GC after Stage 20:

  1. Giovanni Valetti: 106hr 51min 33sec
  2. Ezio Cecchi @ 8min 47sec
  3. Severino Canaversi @ 9min 6sec
  4. Settimo Simonini @ 18min 49sec
  5. Michele Benente @ 19min 46sec
  6. Walter Generati @ 22min 2sec
  7. Cesare Del Cancia @ 24min 7sec
  8. Karl Litschi @ 29min 24sec
  9. Ruggero Balli @ 32min 23sec
  10. Aladino Mealli @ 38min 38sec

21st and Final Stage: (or Stage 18b) Sunday, May 21, Locarno - Milano, 180 km

climbMajor ascent: Ghisallo

  1. Olimpio Bizzi: 5hr 57min 55sec
  2. Pietro Rimoldi s.t.
  3. Cino Cinelli s.t.
  4. Sauveur Ducazeaux s.t.
  5. Giovanni Gotti s.t.
  6. Pietro Chiappini s.t.
  7. Fabien Galateau s.t.
  8. 35 riders at same time and place

1938 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Calssification


Teams

Bianchi
Dei
Fréjus
Ganna
Gloria-Ambrosiana
Jygie-Settebello
Olympia
Wolsit-S.C. Binda

Groups

U.S. Azzini
U.S. Canelli
Dopolavoro Mater
Il Littoriale
La Voce di Mantova
U.C. Modenese
Gruppo A


The Story of the 1938 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.

Looking to enhance Italian prestige worldwide, the Italian government ordered Bartali to skip the Giro in order to properly prepare for the Tour de France, so Bartali as well as his Legnano squad had to take a pass on the Giro in 1938. In that 1938 Tour, Bartali, then the Italian Road Champion, earned a page in cycling history with his dramatic solo victory in the fourteenth stage with its three major alpine passes. Girardengo directed Bartali and the Italian team as they clubbed their Tour competition into submission with a final eighteen-minute gap over second-place Félicien Vervaecke.

Thus the Giro was deprived of the most exciting stage racer in the world as well as a proper rematch between Valetti and Bartali. Because the entire Legnano team was absent, the race was also without Bini, Mollo and Bergamaschi. Trying to put a little lipstick on the pig, La Gazzetta promoted the 1938 Giro as a race of youth.

In 1937, most of the independents had been gathered in “Clubs” but 31 had remained completely on their own. In 1938 all riders were either on sponsored teams or grouped by the organizers into clubs.

There remained a diminished foreign contingent and again Amberg was far and away the best of this group. The 1938 Giro was an Italian race that was Valetti’s to lose. He and Bartali had been so far ahead of the competition that the 1937 Giro was a simply a race between these two men.

The only time trialing in the 1938 edition was a 20-kilometer hill-climb at Terminillo. The team time trial, which dissatisfied a lot of fans, was dropped for now.

Journeyman pro Marco Cimatti took the year’s first Pink Jersey by winning a big sprint into Turin. The next day a break of five capable riders—Vicini, Del Cancia, Canavesi, Ruggero Balli and Adriano Vignoli—pulled 3 minutes 39 seconds clear of the pack. Vicini won the sprint along with the honor of wearing the maglia rosa. His breakaway companions were scored with the same time, but behind him in the General Classification on the basis of points.

The points give and the points take away. Del Cancia finished in front of Vicini at the end of stage three and now he was the leader.

So far, each stage had broken the peloton into small groups and individual finishers and it continued that way when stage four went to La Spezia. The effect was for Del Cancia to keep the lead, but the members of the stage two breakaway who had been tied on time slowly fell away. By the end of the seventh stage, but before the timed hill-climb, the standings stood thus:
1. Cesare Del Cancia
2. Severino Canavesi @ same time
3. Ruggero Balli @ 2 minutes
4. Ezio Cecchi @ 4 minutes 38 seconds
5. Adriano Vignoli @ 4 minutes 50 seconds

Valetti on the Terminillo

Giovanni Valetti (left) winning the Terminillo hill-climb

Valetti won the time trial, moving him up from eighth to fifth place, but Del Cancia had done well enough not only to keep his lead, but also to put two minutes between himself and Canavesi. While Del Cancia had a clear lead, Valetti the bloodhound had the scent.

Di Paco wins stage 8 in Napoli

Raffaele Di Paco wins stage 8 in Naples

Valetti pounced in the stage that so often had made a difference in the Giri of the 1920s and ’30s, the race from Naples across the Apennines to the Adriatic side of the peninsula. He broke away with Giordano Cottur, a powerful rider just beginning a pro career that would run right into the Bartali and Fausto Coppi buzz-saw. He earned the nickname the “Eternal Third” because of his ability to beat everyone but those two.

Cottur and Valetti used the second half of the 221-kilometer stage eleven well. Their break of 120 kilometers gave Cottur his first Giro stage win and Valetti a time gain of 4 minutes 46 seconds. That was more than enough to give him the lead and put Del Cancia in second, 1 minute 37 seconds back.

By the time the race had arrived at Belluno before the seventeenth stage’s trip through the Dolomites, Valetti still had the lead, though he hadn’t been able to nurture it into anything that might allow even the slightest relaxation.

After stage 16 here were the standings:
1. Giovanni Valetti
2. Cesare Del Cancia @ 1 minute 27 seconds
3. Ezio Cecchi @ 1 minute 40 seconds
4. Severino Canavesi @ 3 minutes 7 seconds
5. Karl Litschi @ 5 minutes 20 seconds

The Dolomite stage again went over the Rolle, and Canavesi teammate Bernardo Rogora was first over the top. The next major ascent was to Pian delle Fugazze. Valetti was in his element in the mountains and was first to crest the pass. He finished alone at Recoaro Terme, 1 minute 46 seconds ahead of Cecchi while Canavesi lost six minutes. For Del Cancia the stage was his downfall as his 21-minute time loss put the race out of reach for the year. Cecchi was the new second place, 3 minutes 26 seconds behind leader Valetti.

Valetti on Fugazze

Giovanni Valetti on the Pian della Fugazze

Valetti held steady as the race went back to Milan. With Bartali gone, there was really no one who could challenge the taciturn man from Piedmont.

By the standards of the time, this was a blisteringly fast Giro with an average speed of 32.272 kilometers per hour, and, so far in our story, the fastest Giro ever.

Valetti with Girardengo

Giovanni Valetti with Costante Girardengo (in flat cap and pinstripe suit)

Final 1938 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Giovanni Valetti (Frejus) 112 hours 49 minutes 28 seconds
2. Ezio Cecchi (Gloria-Ambrosiana) @ 8 minutes 47 seconds
3. Severino Canavesi (Gloria-Ambrosiana) @ 9 minutes 6 seconds
4. Settimo Simonini (US Canelli) @ 15 minutes 49 seconds
5. Michele Benente (US Canelli) @ 19 minutes 40 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:
1. Giovanni Valetti (Frejus)
2. Giordano Cottur (Lygie-Settebello)
3. Ezio Cecchi (Gloria-Ambrosiana)

Almost immediately after winning the Giro, Valetti headed north and won the Tour of Switzerland, beating Arsène Mersch by almost thirteen minutes.