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1949 Giro d'Italia

32nd edition: May 21 - June 12

Results, stages with running GC, photos and history

1948 Giro | 1950 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1949 Giro Quick Facts | 1949 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1949 Giro d'Italia |


1949 Giro Quick Facts:

4,088 km raced at an average speed of 32.566 km/hr

102 starters and 65 classified finishers

By the end of stage nine Fausto Coppi was almost ten minutes behind leader Adolfo Leoni. In stage ten with its three major Dolomite passes, Coppi was able to come within 28 seconds of the lead.

Then, in one of the most famous rides in cycling history, Fausto Coppi was first over five major Alpine passes in stage 17. That ride put him more than 23 minutes ahead of GC second-place Gino Bartali. Those two stages gave the 1949 Giro to Fausto Coppi. Coppi went on to win the Tour de France the same year, making him the first-ever Giro/Tour double winner.


1949 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification:

  1. maglia rosaFausto Coppi (Bianchi): 125hr 25min 50sec
  2. Gino Bartali (Bartali) @ 23min 47sec
  3. Giordano Cottur (Wilier-Triestina) @ 38min 27sec
  4. Adolfo Leoni (Legnano) @ 39min 1sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua (Benotto) @ 39min 50sec
  6. Alfredo Martini (Wilier-Triestina) @ 48min 48sec
  7. Giulio Bresci (Wilier-Triestina) @ 49min 14sec
  8. Serafino Biagioni (Viscontea) @ 53min 14sec
  9. Nedo Logli (Arbos) @ 56min 59sec
  10. Silvio Pedroni (Fréjus) @ 1hr 2min 10sec
  11. Mario Fazio (Bottecchia) @ 1hr 6min 10sec
  12. Luciano Maggini (Wilier-Triestina) @ 1hr 12min 38sec
  13. Settimo Simonini (Fréjus) @ 1hr 14min 13sec
  14. Fritz Schaer (Stucchi) @ 1hr 15min 39sec
  15. Franco Franchi (Fréjus) @ 1hr 17min 54sec
  16. Jean Goldschmidt (Fiorelli) @ 1hr 20min 35sec
  17. Primo Volpi (Arbos) @ 1hr 21min 42sec
  18. Vincenzo Rossello (Legnano) @ 1hr 22min 43sec
  19. Vittorio Rossello (Legnano) @ 1hr 24min 13sec
  20. Léon Jomaux (Bartali) @ 1hr 25min 26sec
  21. Luciano Pezzi (Atala) @ 1hr 25min 44sec
  22. Renzo Soldani (Legnano) @ 1hr 27min 49sec
  23. Andrea Carrea (Bianchi) @ 1hr 28min 7sec
  24. Pino Cerami (Ganna) @ 1hr 29min 26sec
  25. Andrea Pasotti (Benotto) @ 1hr 33min 37sec
  26. Bruno Pasquini (Bianchi) @ 1hr 38min 22sec
  27. Ettore Milano (Bianchi) @ 1hr 39min 46sec
  28. Pasquale Fornara (Legnano) @ 1hr 47min 49sec
  29. Angelo Brignole (Bartali) @ 1hr 50min 7sec
  30. Umberto Drei (Benotto) @ 1hr 52min 2sec
  31. Dino Rossi (Cimatti) @ 1hr 52min 17sec
  32. Giovanni Corrieri (Bartali) @ 1hr 55min 37sec
  33. Vittorio Seghezzi (Edelweiss) @ 1hr 57min 52sec
  34. Ezio Cecchi (Cimatti) @ 1hr 58min 3sec
  35. Vittorio Magni (Bottecchia) @ 2hr 10min 47sec
  36. Giuseppe Doni (Fréjus) @ 2hr 12min 6sec
  37. Oliviero Tonini (Cimatti) @ 2hr 15min 56sec
  38. Attilio Lambertini (Viscontea) @ 2hr 16min 17sec
  39. Giuseppe Ausenda (Wilier-Tirestina) @ 2hr 17min 34sec
  40. Antonio Bevilacqua (Atala) @ 2hr 23min 52sec
  41. Emilio Croci-Torti (Stucchi) @ 2hr 43min 2sec
  42. Guido De Santi (Atala) @ 2hr 50min 7sec
  43. Dino Ottusi (Legnano) @ 2hr 51min 14sec
  44. Enzo Bellini (Bartali) @ 3hr 6min 8sec
  45. Armando Barducci (Fréjus) @ 3hr 9min 16sec
  46. Enzo Coppini (Bottecchia) @ 3hr 28min 22sec
  47. Marcello Paolieri (Arbos) @ 3hr 36min 33sec
  48. Glauco Servadei (Viscontea) @ 3hr 39min 50sec
  49. Mario Ricci (Viscontea) @ 3hr 40min 27sec
  50. Valerio Bonini (Benotto) @ 3hr 42min 40sec
  51. Valeriano Zanazzi (Arbos) @ 3hr 51min 9sec
  52. Roger Missine (Ganna) @ 3hr 52min 42sec
  53. Luciano Frosini (Legnano) @ 3hr 53min 26sec
  54. Fernando Della Giustina (Stucchi) @ 3hr 56min 7sec
  55. Serse Coppi (Bianchi) @ 4hr 26min 4sec
  56. Giovanni Pinarello (Stucchi) @ 4hr 42min 20sec
  57. Alfio Fazio (Bottecchia) @ 4hr 57min 4sec
  58. Fiorenzo Crippa (Bianchi) @ 4hr 59min 50sec
  59. Annibale Brasola (Bottecchia) @ 5hr 1min 17sec
  60. Pietro Fulcheri (Edelweiss) @ 5hr 10min 28sec
  61. Oreste Conte (Bianchi) @ 5hr 51min 37sec
  62. Primo Zuccotti (Fiorelli)@ 6hr 18min 39sec
  63. Mario Benso (Bartali) @ 7hr 41min 58sec
  64. Luigi Malabrocca (Stucchi) @ 7hr 47min 26sec
  65. Sante Carollo (Wilier-Triestina) @ 9hr 57min 7sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. green jerseyFausto Coppi (Bianchi)
  2. Gino Bartali (Bartali)
  3. Alfredo Pasotti (Benotto)

Winning Team: Wilier-Triestina


1949 Giro stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Saturday, May 21, Palermo - Catania, 261 km

climbMajor ascent: Contrasto

  1. Mario Fazio: 7hr 47min 55sec (2 minute time bonus)
  2. Andrea Carrea s.t. (45 second time bonus)
  3. Giordano Cottur @ 36sec
  4. Fausto Coppi @ 2min 21sec
  5. Giovanni Corrieri s.t.
  6. Gino Bartali s.t.
  7. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  8. Fritz Schaer s.t.
  9. Luciano Maggini s.t.
  10. Nedo Logli s.t.

Stage 2: Sunday, May 22, Catania - Messina, 163 km

  1. Sergio Maggini: 4hr 47min 46sec. (1 minute bonus)
  2. Giordano Cottur s.t. (30 second bonus)
  3. Fritz Schaer s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Aldo Ronconi s.t.
  5. Guido De Santi s.t.
  6. Léon Jomaux @ 1min 13sec
  7. Luciano Pezzi s.t
  8. Luciano Frosini s.t.
  9. Giovanni Corrieri @ 2min 24sec
  10. Glauco Servadei s.t.

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Giordano Cottur: 12hr 36min 13sec
  2. Andrea Carrea @ 1min 17sec
  3. Mario Fazio @ 1min 18sec
  4. Fritz Schaer @ 1min 34sec
  5. Aldo Ronconi @ 1min 49sec
  6. Léon Jomaux @ 3min 2sec
  7. Luciano Pezzi s.t.
  8. Alfredo Martini @ 3min 43sec
  9. Giovanni Corrieri @ 4min 13sec
  10. Gino Bartali @ 4min 13sec

Stage 3: Monday, May 23, Villa San Giovanni - Consenza, 214 km

climbMajor ascent: Tiriolo

  1. Guido De Santi: 7hr 3min 31sec. (1 minute bonus)
  2. Alfredo Pasotti @ 1min 38sec (30 second bonus)
  3. Luciano Maggini @ 3min 13sec (15 second bonus)
  4. Renzo Soldani s.t.
  5. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  6. Alfredo Martini s.t.
  7. Léon Jomaux s.t.
  8. Aldo Ronconi s.t.
  9. Ugo Fondelli s.t.
  10. Mario Ricci s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Giordano Cottur: 19hr 42min 57sec
  2. Andrea Carrea @ 1min 7sec
  3. Mario Fazio @ 1min 18sec
  4. Fritz Schaer @ 1min 34sec
  5. Aldo Ronconi @ 1min 49sec
  6. Léon Jomaux @ 2min 2sec
  7. Luciano Pezzi @ 3min 2sec
  8. Alfredo Martini @ 3min 43sec
  9. Nedo Logli s.t.
  10. Luciano Maggini @ 3min 58sec

Stage 4: Tuesday, May 24, Cosenza - Salerno, 292 km

  1. Fausto Coppi: 9hr 59min 21sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Adolfo Leoni s.t. (30 second bonus)
  3. Gino Bartali s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Renzo Soldani s.t.
  5. Umberto Drei s.t.
  6. Luciano Frosini s.t.
  7. Danilo Barozzi s.t.
  8. Nedo Logli s.t.
  9. Mario Ricci s.t.
  10. Mario Fazio s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Giordano Cottur: 29hr 42min 18sec
  2. Mario Fazio @ 1min 18sec
  3. Fritz Schaer @ 1min 34sec
  4. Aldo Ronconi @ 1min 34sec
  5. Léon Jomaux @ 2min 2sec
  6. Andrea Carrea @ 2min 11sec
  7. Fausto Coppi 2 2min 58sec
  8. Luciano Pezzi @ 3min 2sec
  9. Guido De Santi @ 3min 33sec
  10. Alfredo Martini @ 3min 43sec

Stage 5: Thursday, May 26, Salerno - Napoli, 161 km

  1. Serafino Biagioni: 4hr 36min 24sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Adolfo Leoni @ 4min 2sec (30 second bonus)
  3. Luciano Maggini s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Fausto Coppi s.t.
  5. Nedo Logli s.t.
  6. Renzo Soldani s.t.
  7. Gino Bartali s.t.
  8. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  9. 26 riders at same time and placing

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Giordano Cottur: 34hr 22min 44sec
  2. Mario Fazio @ 1min 18sec
  3. Fritz Schaer @ 1min 34sec
  4. Aldo Ronconi s.t.
  5. Léon Jomaux @ 2min 2sec
  6. Andrea Carrea @ 2min 11sec
  7. Fausto Coppi @ 2min 58sec
  8. Adolfo Leoni @ 3min 13sec
  9. Guido De Santi @ 3min 18sec
  10. Serafino Biagioni @ 3min 23sec

Stage 6: Friday, May 27, Napoli - Roma, 233 km

  1. Mario Ricci: 7hr 7min 50sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Luciano Frosini s.t. (30 second bonus)
  3. Alfredo Pasotti s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Vincenzo Rossello s.t.
  5. Fritz Schaer s.t.
  6. Elio Busancano s.t.
  7. Pino Cerami s.t.
  8. Albert Duboisson s.t.
  9. Adolfo Leoni @ 30sec
  10. Oreste Conte s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Giordano Cottur: 41hr 31min 4sec
  2. Fritz Schaer @ 1min 4sec
  3. Mario Fazio @ 1min 18sec
  4. Aldo Ronconi @ 1min 34sec
  5. Léon Jomaux @ 2min 2sec
  6. Andrea Carrea @ 2min 11sec
  7. Fausto Coppi @ 2min 58sec
  8. Adolfo Leoni @ 3min 13sec
  9. Guido De Santi @ 3min 18sec
  10. Serafino Biagioni @ 3min 23sec

Stage 7: Saturday, May 28, Roma - Pesaro, 296 km

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 8hr 2min 6sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Luciano Maggini s.t. (30 second bonus)
  3. Alfredo Pasotti s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Antonio Bevilacqua s.t.
  5. Vincenzo Rossello s.t.
  6. Nedo Logli s.t.
  7. Valeriano Zanazzi s.t.
  8. 9 riders at same time and placing

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Mario Fazio: 49hr 24min 28sec
  2. Aldo Ronconi @ 1sec
  3. Giordano Cottur @ 26sec
  4. Adolfo Leoni @ 55sec
  5. Fritz Schaer @ 1min 30sec
  6. Nedo Logli @ 55sec
  7. Léon Jomaux @ 2min 27sec
  8. Fausto Coppi @ 3min 24sec
  9. Serafino Biagioni @ 3min 49sec
  10. Alfredo Martini @ 4min 9sec

Stage 8: Sunday, May 29, Pesaro - Venezia, 273 km

  1. Luigi Casola: 8hr 19min 7sec (2 minute bonus)
  2. Adolfo Leoni s.t. (45 second bonus)
  3. Mario Ricci s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Nedo Logli s.t.
  5. Oreste Conte s.t.
  6. 67 riders at same time and placing

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Mario Fazio: 57hr 53min 35sec
  2. Aldo Ronconi @ 1sec
  3. Adolfo Leoni @ 13sec
  4. Giordano Cottur @ 26sec
  5. Fritz Schaer @ 1min 50sec
  6. Nedo Logli @ 2min 25sec
  7. Léon Jomaux @ 2min 28sec
  8. Fausto Coppi @ 3min 24sec
  9. Serafino Biagioni @ 3min 49sec
  10. Alfredo Martini @ 4min 5sec

Stage 9: Tuesday, May 31, Venezia - Udine, 249 km

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 7hr 1min 20sec. (2 minute bonus)
  2. Alfredo Pasotti s.t. (30 second bonus)
  3. Luciano Pezzi s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Oliviero Tonini s.t.
  5. Giuseppe Doni s.t.
  6. Serafino Biagioni s.t.
  7. Luciano Frosini s.t.
  8. Leo Castelucci s.t.
  9. Aldo Ronconi @ 2min 53sec
  10. Fritz Schaer s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 64hr 52min 6sec
  2. Mario Fazio @ 4min 42sec
  3. Aldo Ronconi @ 4min 44sec
  4. Serafino Biagioni @ 5min 38sec
  5. Fritz Schaer @ 6min 12sec
  6. Giordano Cottur @ 6min 42sec
  7. Luciano Pezzi @ 8min 41sec
  8. Nedo Logli @ 8min 42sec
  9. Léon Jomaux @ 8min 45sec
  10. Fausto Coppi @ 9min 41sec

Stage 10: Wednesday, June 1, Udine - Bassano del Grappa, 154 km

  1. Giovanni Corrieri: 3hr 45min 41sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Giuseppe Doni @ 1min 14sec (30 second bonus)
  3. Pasquale Fornara s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Adolfo Leoni @ 2min 5sec
  5. Glauco Servadei s.t.
  6. Oreste Conte s.t.
  7. Vittorio Seghezzi s.t.
  8. Marcello Paolieri s.t.
  9. Luciano Frosini s.t.
  10. Nedo Logli s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 68hr 40min 51sec
  2. Mario Fazio @ 4min 43sec
  3. Aldo Ronconi @ 4min 44sec
  4. Serafino Biagioni @ 5min 29sec
  5. Fritz Schaer @ 6min 13sec
  6. Giordano Cottur @ 6min 42sec
  7. Luciano Pezzi @ 8min 41sec
  8. Nedo Logli @ 8min 42sec
  9. Léon Jomaux @ 8min 45sec
  10. Fausto Coppi @ 9min 41sec

Stage 11: Thursday, June 2, Bassano del Grappa - Bolzano, 237 km

climbsMajor ascents: Rolle, Pordoi, Gardena

  1. Fausto Coppi: 8hr 13min 35sec (3min 30sec bonus)
  2. Adolfo Leoni @ 6min 58sec (1min 15sec bonus)
  3. Gino Bartali s.t. (1min 45sec bonus)
  4. Giancarlo Astrua s.t. (15 second bonus)
  5. Vittorio Rossello @ 12min 47sec
  6. Giordano Cottur s.t.
  7. Andrea Carrea @ 14min 43sec
  8. Alfredo Martini s.t.
  9. Léon Jomaux @ 15min 31sec
  10. Nedo Logli @ 16min 18sec

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 77hr 0min 9sec
  2. Fausto Coppi @ 28sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 10min 12sec
  4. Gordano Cottur @ 13min 17sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 14min 28sec
  6. Mario Fazio @ 16min 30sec
  7. Aldo Ronconi @ 16min 31sec
  8. Serafino Biagioni @ 17min 26sec
  9. Fritz Schaer @ 18min 0sec
  10. Léon Jomaux @ 18min 33sec

Stage 12: Saturday, June 4, Bolzano - Modena, 253 km

  1. Oreste Conte: 7hr 21min 0sec (1min 30sec bonus)
  2. Antonio Bevilacqua s.t (1min 30sec bonus)
  3. Vittorio Seghezzi s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Nedo Logli s.t.
  5. Umberto Drei s.t.
  6. Armando Barducci s.t.
  7. Oliviero Tonini s.t.
  8. Luciano Pezzi s.t.
  9. Andrea Carrea s.t.
  10. Adolfo Leoni @ 4min 26sec

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 84hr 25min 20sec
  2. Fausto Coppi @ 43sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 10min 27sec
  4. Giordano Cottur @ 14min 20sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 14min 54sec
  6. Nedo Logli @ 15min 6sec
  7. Mario Fazio @ 16min 45sec
  8. Aldo Ronconi @ 16min 56sec
  9. Serafino Biagioni @ 17min 41sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 18min 15sec

Stage 13: Sunday, June 5, Modena - Montecatini Terme, 163 km

climbsMajor ascent: Abetone

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 5hr 4min 0sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Fausto Coppi s.t. (45 second bonus)
  3. Alfredo Martini s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Gino Bartali s.t. (30 second bonus)
  5. Nedo Logli s.t.
  6. Giordano Cottur s.t.
  7. Giulio Bresci s.t.
  8. Renzo Soldani s.t.
  9. 8 riders at same time and placing

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 89hr 28min 20sec
  2. Fausto Coppi @ 58sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 10min 56sec
  4. Giordano Cottur @ 15min 2sec
  5. Nedo Logli @ 16min 6sec
  6. Giancarlo Astrua @ 16min 21sec
  7. Mario Fazio @ 17min 45sec
  8. Aldo Ronconi @ 17min 46sec
  9. Alfredo Martini @ 20min 26sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 21min 40sec

Stage 14: Monday, June 6, Montecatini Terme - Genova, 226 km

climbMajor ascent: Bracco

  1. Vincezo Rossello: 6hr 35min 40sec
  2. Silvio Pedroni s.t.
  3. Vittorio Rossello s.t.
  4. Luciano Pezzi @ 2min 2sec
  5. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  6. Gino Bartali s.t.
  7. Mario Ricci s.t.
  8. Vittorio Seghezzi s.t.
  9. Nedo Logli s.t.
  10. Rausto Coppi s.t.

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 96hr 6min 2sec
  2. Fausto Coppi @ 58sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 10min 41sec
  4. Nedo Logli @ 14min 36sec
  5. Giordano Cottur @ 15min 2sec
  6. Giancarlo Astrua @ 16min 51sec
  7. Aldo Ronocni @ 17min 46sec
  8. Mario Fazio @ 19min 7sec
  9. Alfredo Martini @ 20min 26sec
  10. Fritza Schaer @ 21min 40sec

Stage 15: Tuesday, June 7, Genova - San Remo, 136 km

  1. Luciano Maggini: 3hr 50min 14sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Renzo Soldani s.t. (30 second bonus)
  3. Vittorio Seghezzi s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Umberto Drei s.t.
  5. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  6. Antonio Bevilacqua s.t.
  7. Oliviero Tonini s.t.
  8. Dino Rossi s.t.
  9. Luciano Pezzi s.t.
  10. Serse Coppi @ 26sec

GC after Stage 15:

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 99hr 56mn 55sec
  2. Fausto Coppi @ 58sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 10min 41sec
  4. Nedo Logli @ 14min 36sec
  5. Giordano Cottur @ 15min 2sec
  6. Giancarlo Astrua @ 16min 51sec
  7. Aldo Ronconi @ 17min 46sec
  8. Mario Fazio @ 19min 7sec
  9. Alfredo Martini @ 20min 26sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 21min 40sec

Stage 16: Thursday, June 9, San Remo - Cuneo, 190 km

climbMajor ascent: Nava

  1. Oreste Conte: 5hr 45min 43sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Mario Ricci s.t. (30 second bonus)
  3. Oliviero Tonini s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Luciano Maggini s.t.
  5. Luciano Pezzi s.t.
  6. Anibale Brasola s.t.
  7. Vittorio Rossello s.t.
  8. Albert Dubuisson s.t.
  9. Léon Jomaux s.t.
  10. Pasquale Forara s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 105hr 43min 47sec
  2. Fausto Coppi @ 43sec
  3. Gino Bartali @ 10min 11sec
  4. Nedo Logli @ 14min 36sec
  5. Giordano Cottur @ 15min 2sec
  6. Giancarlo Astrua @ 16min 51sec
  7. Aldo Ronconi @ 17min 46sec
  8. Mario Fazio @ 19min 7sec
  9. Alfredo Martini @ 20min 26sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 22min 10sec

Stage 17: Thursday, June 9, Cuneo - Pinerolo, 254 km

climbMajor ascents: Maddalena, Vars, Izoard, Montgenèvre, Sestriere

  1. Fausto Coppi: 9hr 19min 55sec (4 minute bonus)
  2. Gino Bartali @ 11min 52sec (2 minute bonus)
  3. Alfredo Martini @ 19min 45sec (45 second bonus)
  4. Giordano Cottur s.t.
  5. Giulio Bresci s.t.
  6. Giancarlo Astrua s.t.
  7. Serafino Biagioni @ 23min 37sec
  8. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  9. Umberto Drei s.t.
  10. Dino Rossi s.t.

GC after Stage 17:

  1. Fausto Coppi: 115hr 0min 25sec
  2. Gino Bartali @ 23min 20sec
  3. Adolfo Leoni @ 26min 54sec
  4. Giordano Cottur @ 37min 33sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 39min 22sec
  6. Alfredo Martini @ 42min 27sec
  7. Giulio Bresci @ 45min 38sec
  8. Serafino Biagioni @ 50min 21sec
  9. Nedo Logli @ 54min 24sec
  10. Mario Fazio @ 58min 55sec

Stage 18: Saturday, June 11, Pinerolo - Torino 65 km individual time trial

  1. Antonio Bevilacqua: 1hr 32min 3sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Giovanni Corrieri @ 1min 32sec (30 second bonus)
  3. Guido De Santi @ 1min 33sec (15 second bonus)
  4. Fausto Coppi @ 2min 8sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 2min 21sec
  6. Giordano Cottur @ 2min 47sec
  7. Giuseppe Ausenda @ 2min 49sec
  8. Gino Bartali @ 3min 20sec
  9. Dino Rossi @ 3min 32sec
  10. Nedo Logli @ 4min 28sec

GC after stage 18:

  1. Fausto Coppi: 116hr 34min 36sec
  2. Gino Bartali @ 24min 32sec
  3. Giordano Cottur @ 38min 12sec
  4. Adolfo Leoni @ 38min 46sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 39min 35sec
  6. Alfredo Martini @ 48min 48sec
  7. Giulio Bresci @ 48min 59sec
  8. Serafino Biagioni @ 52min 59sec
  9. Nedo Logli @ 56min 44sec
  10. Silvio Pedroni @ 1hr 1min 55sec

19th and Final Stage: Sunday, June 12, Torino - Monza, 267 km

climbMajor ascent: Ghisallo

  1. Giovanni Corrieri: 8hr 51min 29sec (1 minute bonus)
  2. Mario Ricci s.t. (30 second bonus)
  3. Fausto Coppi s.t. (15 second bonus)
  4. Oliviero Tonini s.t.
  5. Annibale Brasola s.t.
  6. Luciano Frosini s.t.
  7. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  8. 51 riders at same time and placing

1949 Giro d'Italia final complete General Classification


The Story of the 1949 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.

Being an accomplished and successful track racer, Coppi did very well in the winter racing indoors all over Europe. It was also very lucrative. In a time before television, it was the one chance fans had to see their heroes in action for more than the momentary blur they got, standing by the side of the road, the peloton blasting by at 35 kilometers per hour. But in the winter leading up to the 1949 season Coppi spent less time on the banked tracks, giving his body a chance to recover from the brutal schedule a mid-twentieth century professional racer endured.

The result was a spectacular spring. He won Milan–San Remo alone, leaving a six-man chase group containing Ortelli and Magni more than four minutes behind. He had some near wins in the northern classics. At Paris–Roubaix Coppi sensed that the moment was perfect to send his brother Serse off on a break. The race turned into a confused mess when a few riders who had dropped Serse were misdirected and then claimed they should be placed ahead of Serse. The race was awarded to André Mahé but Fausto Coppi protested loudly. To settle the scrum between the French and Italian cycling federations the victory was eventually awarded to both riders. Fausto Coppi went on to win the single-day Giro di Romagna, leaving second-place Magni four minutes back, third place Ronconi seven minutes in arrears and fourth place Bartali more than ten minutes behind. Coppi was ready for the Giro.

Bartali was riding the wild crest of popularity generated by his 1948 Tour win. The Santamaria brothers, bike builders in Milan, began making Bartali branded bikes and naturally Bartali left Legnano to ride for his own brand. By the time the Giro rolled around, Bartali hadn’t notched up any notable wins.

Magni wasn’t entered. Not that Magni wasn’t extremely fit that spring; he won the Tour of Flanders.

Two weeks before the 1949 Giro started, the Italian sporting world was shattered by the Superga air crash in which nearly the entire Turin soccer team died. The much-beloved team was returning from Lisbon when the plane ran into stormy weather and crashed on the Superga hill near the basilica in Turin. Both Coppi and Bartali were friends of players on the team and like a lot of Italy, badly shaken by the loss of one of Italy’s dominant teams. Coppi wore the team’s badge on his jersey for a while after the tragedy.

The 1949 Giro started in Palermo, Sicily. It had been nineteen years since the Giro had last visited the island. To get everyone and everything down to Sicily, a boat left Genoa carrying a few of the racers, the mechanics and their gear. They stopped at Naples, allowing the riders to gives their bikes a spin. There the rest of the racers were picked up and the big show continued on to Palermo. The nineteen-stage, 3,860-kilometer Giro would spend two days racing on the island before heading up the toe of the boot and then towards the Veneto. This year the Giro would give time bonuses to the first rider over certain selected mountains as well as to the winners of intermediate sprints.

The start in Palermo boded well for a vigorous, hard-fought race. After only two kilometers of riding, a small group escaped. Shortly thereafter several others bridged up to the break including Mario Fazio, who had been born in Catania, the day’s finishing city. As the break rode the long 261 kilometers over the hilly Sicilian countryside, nearly all the original members of the escape dropped out until it was just Fazio and Bianchi domestique Andrea Carrea. Cottur had briefly made contact with the pair but Fazio, the Bottecchia team captain, managed to shake the Wilier rider and beat Carrea in the sprint. Cottur had done his own cause a lot of good by coming in just 36 seconds later. Coppi led in the field (with Bartali), two and a half minutes later.

Cottur had obviously brought both good form and a sharp eye to the race. The next day he made the winning break along with Ronconi and a relatively new pro from Switzerland, Fritz Schaer, who would mature into one of the finer racers of the 1950s. The Cottur group negotiated the hilly 263-kilometer parcours 2 minutes 24 seconds faster than the main pack. Cottur got to take the Pink Jersey to the mainland with a little more than a minute’s lead over Carrea.

The Giro lost no time when race continued the next day after a ferry transfer to the mainland at Villa San Giovanni. The rugged Calabrian countryside would continue to make the opening week a challenge for those seeking to save their energy for the high mountains in the third week.

Cottur ably defended his lead through Salerno, Naples and Rome. Stage four not only had relentless steep hills, but the weather was dreadful with rain, wind, cold and fog. Near the end of the stage Adolfo Leoni, Antonio Bevilacqua and Giorgio Cargioli broke away on the descent into the small town of Eboli. Coppi and Bartali joined in the chase which just caught the fleeing riders near the finish in Salerno. Coppi took his first Giro stage win of 1949.

Coppi laid down a marker in the easier fifth stage into Naples. For some reason Bartali was left behind (another lapse for Gino) on a mild hill and Coppi and Cottur took advantage of the moment to drop the hammer. The chase was on and Bartali did the work of pursuing the fugitives almost entirely on his own. After suffering at least one flat during the chase he finally regained contact with the Coppi/Cottur group and his scare was over.

Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali

Coppi looks back at Bartali

While all this racing was going on, the reader should be reminded that much of Italy still lay in shambles. Italian Writer Dino Buzzati, who followed the 1949 Giro for the Corriere della Sera, made this terribly clear with his famous description of bombed out Monte Cassino—the scene of a horrific World War II battle—near the road the riders took as they headed from Naples to Rome:

“Why was ancient, noble Cassino not waiting today for the Giro’s racers traveling from Naples to Rome? It would have been so nice. On the contrary, there were no lovely girls at the windows, even the windows were missing, even the walls were missing where the windows would have opened. There were no multicolored festoons of shiny paper strung between the little dilapidated, pink houses. Even the houses were missing, the streets, too. There was nothing but shapeless rocks cooked and bleached white by the sun, and dust, wild grass, brambles, and a few shrubs indicating that now nature was in charge here, to wit: rain, wind, sun, lizards, organisms of the vegetable and animal world. But man was no longer here, the patient creature who for many centuries had lived here, worked, loved, procreated in the intimacy of the dwellings he had built for himself stone upon stone. And now, instead, nothing, nothing existed any longer.”

At the start of the seventh stage, 298 kilometers going from Rome to Pesaro, the Classification stood thus:
1. Giordano Cottur
2. Fritz Schaer @ 1 minute 4 seconds
3. Mario Fazio @ 1 minute 18 seconds
4. Aldo Ronconi @ 1 minute 34 seconds
5. Georges Jomaux @ 2 minutes 2 seconds

The inclusion of time bonuses for winning intermediate sprints had been criticized by many, but it did have the effect of making the race jumpier with riders constantly trying to form breaks to snare the bonifications. Stage seven, the longest one this year, was no exception. The average speed of 37 kilometers per hour was high for both the era and the stage’s length. Gaetano Belloni, now the manager of Ronconi and Vicini’s Viscontea team, said it was the most aggressive long stage he had ever seen. Sixteen riders managed to stay away until the end, though the gap was carefully modulated down to less than two minutes by the teams of the important contenders. Fazio was in that winning group; Cottur was not. Fazio was back in pink with Ronconi at one second and Cottur third, down only 26 seconds.

Fazio was able to carry the Pink Jersey all the way to Udine. But in stage nine Adolfo Leoni, a capable all-rounder on the Legnano team who possessed a fearsome sprint, was part of the winning break that left Fazio’s small chasing group three minutes behind. Time bonuses gave Leoni a lead of nearly five minutes over Fazio. Coppi and Bartali came in over ten minutes later, completely unworried, it would seem, about the escapades of these less highly rated riders.

The day’s route had taken the race through Trieste, and this time around, the greeting the Giro received was quite different from what met the peloton in 1946. There were no bullets, just wild crowds screaming for joy, waving Italian tricolor flags, thrilled to be part of the Tour of Italy.

Stage eleven was the single Dolomite stage, taking the race over the Rolle, Pordoi, Campolongo and Gardena passes. Then the race headed south to Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, and Liguria before its Piedmontese appointment with the high Alps in stage seventeen.

Coppi on the Pordoi

Coppi on the Podoi

As Buzzati put it, Coppi and Bartali had until now been fencing with slender foils. Now, in the steep Dolomites, they would bring out their broadswords and fight with all their might.

Bartali made the first move on the Rolle but his was quickly covered by Coppi, Ronconi and Cottur. He eased a bit but in that single attack, Il Vecchio (the old man) had shattered the field. He pressed on and was first over the summit with the other classification hopefuls on his wheel for the descent.

On the flat after there had been some regrouping, Bartali tried to eat some food. At that moment of inattention Coppi, with his superb tactical sense of knowing just the right moment to land a blow, disappeared. Bartali put his Belgian gregario Georges Jomaux to work leading the chase. But then Bartali flatted and had to stop. It later turned out that Bartali had been aware of a slowly leaking tire and had Jomaux tell the team car about it. Word got to Coppi because Jomaux shouted the news to the mechanics and while Bartali was trying to eat before changing wheels, whoosh, Coppi was gone.

To make the whole wheel change episode worse, Bartali argued with his manager Vittorio Colombo over when to change the wheel and what gears it should have. Worse than that, in all the delay and discussion Bartali ultimately forgot to finish eating.

Meanwhile Coppi, with Leoni and Benotto rider Alfredo Pasotti, began to climb the Pordoi. Coppi burned Leoni and Pasotti off his wheel without even looking back, so intent was he on making real time on his chasers. Five minutes after Coppi, Bartali crested the Pordoi.

By the time Coppi was well into the Gardena pass, Bartali had started on its lower slopes, also alone. At this point he was in the first stage of hunger knock and was pedaling squares.

Fausto Coppi

Fausto Coppi alone and off the front

Coppi pressed on and arrived in Bolzano alone. Leoni and Giancarlo Astrua had since caught Bartali and the three of them arrived seven minutes later. Coppi had indeed taken out his broadsword and grievously wounded everyone else who hoped to win the 1949 Giro d’Italia.

The new General Classification:
1. Adolfo Leoni
2. Fausto Coppi @ 28 seconds
3. Gino Bartali @ 10 minutes 12 seconds
4. Giordano Cottur @ 13 minutes 17 seconds
5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 14 minutes 39 seconds

For the next several stages Bartali and Coppi held their fire, even over the Abetone pass in stage thirteen which finished in Montecatini. This was Tuscany, Bartali country, and his tifosi had hoped he would attack on his home turf in front of his ardent fans.

But the guns weren’t quite hung up. Coppi made a surge for the line and if he’d won, the time bonus would have given him the maglia rosa. Leoni dug deep and managed to take the stage and retain the lead. The former domestique to both Coppi and Bartali was free to race to win now that Bartali was no longer his Legnano team captain, and Leoni was reveling in his freedom. With the time bonus from winning stage thirteen, he now had a 58-second lead over Coppi with Bartali still a distant third, facing a 10 minute 56 second deficit.

While the majority of the riders were working at their limits to either win the Giro or help their team captains get the Pink Jersey, there were a few who had a different aspiration. Arising as a joke among the riders, in 1946 a competition came about for the maglia nera (black jersey), the lowest-placed rider in the General Classification. The riders chose the Black Jersey because that was the jersey worn by soccer player Giuseppe Ticozzelli, who decided to ride the 1926 Giro as an independent. Ticozzelli rode only three stages and during each one, if the mood grabbed him, he would stop at a restaurant and calmly have a hearty meal, unworried about the race that was speeding down the road.

In 1946 and ’47 the “winner” of the prize was Luigi Malabrocca. Malabrocca attained no small fame from his exploit of being the last rider and profited from the generous prize money this odd classification paid. In 1948 Aldo Bini, who broke his hand in a crash and was forced to walk his bike up some climbs like a pioneer-era racer, won the prize. But in 1949 a furious competition broke out between Malabrocca and Sante Carollo.

They did all they could to lose time while always remembering to arrive at the finish before the time cut-off. They would hide in bars or even barns. One even gave his own bike a flat tire. Anything to lose more time than the other. Carollo turned out to be very skilled at “negative racing” losing two hours more than Malabrocca. Giovanni Pinarello won this prize in 1951, the maglia nera’s last year. Pinarello said he used the Black Jersey prize money to start his framebuilding shop which went on to equip several winners of the vastly more coveted maglia rosa.

Stage seventeen had to have been designed by director Torriani to be a leg-breaker and race-decider. 254 kilometers long and with five major passes, the Maddalena (called the col de Larche by the French), Vars, Izoard, Montgenèvre and Sestriere, it was the most anticipated stage of the race. The frenzy of division between the supporters of Bartali and Coppi was at a fever pitch. Bartali’s supporters were sure that this was finally a proper stage for their hero, who would finally dispatch the upstart Coppi. Bartali had predicted that Coppi would take off on one of the early climbs and that he would catch him on the fourth, the Montgenèvre.

It was a wet, cold, miserable day that would keep the riders in the saddle for more than nine hours. On the first mountain, the Maddalena, climber Primo Volpi took off. Volpi had been a teammate of Bartali and Coppi on Legnano before the war. Coppi took off after Volpi and before the crest of the Maddalena, Coppi was alone. Meanwhile, almost resentfully, Bartali pulled out of the pack and began to chase. Bartali later said he didn’t think Coppi’s move was going to be the decisive attack. There are differing accounts of what happened in this stage and some say that Volpi attacked when Bartali flatted. In any case, Coppi was irritated by Volpi’s early move but felt it had to be covered.

Coppi gregario Andrea Carrea says that part way up the Maddalena Coppi was having trouble with his chain and called for the mechanic to oil it. They tried to lubricate Coppi’s chain while he rode but the bumpy dirt road made that impossible. Reluctantly, Coppi dismounted and just as he had both feet on the ground, Volpi with Bartali hot on his tail went by. Coppi jumped back on his bike and went off in hot pursuit of the pair. He soon had the two of them in his rear view mirror.

OK, here’s another version of the Maddalena story, this time from Alfredo Martini. He said Coppi generally didn’t attack Bartali in the mountains, but while riding at the back of the peloton as the Maddalena climb began, he noticed that Bartali was having trouble with his brake cables near the levers and was distracted. Coppi used that moment of inattention to attack. Coppi was meticulous about his bike while Bartali was somewhat careless about his machine and as a result suffered numerous mechanical difficulties (far more than Coppi) throughout his career.

At this point Coppi was still facing about 190 kilometers of racing over four more major Alpine passes. He pressed on, gaining time with every pedal stroke. Buzzati reached for a metaphor and found it in Homer’s epic final battle between Achilles (Coppi) and Hector (Bartali) in which the stronger Achilles, favored by Zeus, coldly slays Hector.

Coppi’s gap to Bartali, now chasing alone, was 6 minutes 46 seconds at the top of the Montgenèvre, 8 minutes at Sestriere and a devastating 11 minutes 52 seconds at the finish in Pinerolo. Martini led in Cottur, Astrua and Giulio Bresci 19 minutes 14 seconds after Coppi finished. Without Coppi, Bartali’s ride would have been considered extraordinary, and it was. But Coppi had established his supremacy in no uncertain terms. Writers generally ascribed Bartali’s second place to age. I’m not so sure. Bartali smoked and drank, not a rare thing at that time, but he did so more than most professional racers. Coppi, on the other hand, being a student of health and hygiene, was generally fastidious about what he ate and drank, and in that context, I wonder if Bartali had finally damaged his marvelous lungs to the point that he was vulnerable to an attack by the greatest racer of the age. Without the tobacco, what might Bartali have done?

And yet, maybe it was simply age. He confided to Buzzati that he no longer had the courage to descend at speed, though not long before (in the 1948 Tour, for example) Bartali had been a fearsome and skilled descender.

Speculation aside, the new standings with only the next stage’s 65-kilometer individual time trial left (mercifully with a rest day in between) to affect the standings, the Giro looked like the secure property of Fausto Coppi.
1. Fausto Coppi
2. Gino Bartali @ 23 minutes 20 seconds
3. Adolfo Leoni @ 26 minutes 54 seconds
4. Giordano Cottur @ 37 minutes 33 seconds
5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 39 minutes 22 seconds

Antonio Bevilacqua had been careful to avoid working too hard in the Alpine stages and attacked the time trial with gusto and won it cleanly. Coppi, obviously still tired from stage seventeen and perhaps dosing his effort a bit, was fourth, two minutes slower while Bartali was eighth. It was thought that Leoni might slip past Bartali, a mediocre time-trialist, and take second place but Leoni had a painful saddle sore that kept Bartali’s position secure.

The final stage took the riders over the Ghisallo and onto the Monza race car track. Bartali gave it one last shot on the Ghisallo, and was first over the summit, but Coppi and the others were quickly back on his wheel on the descent. One of Bartali’s riders, Giovanni Corrieri, won the final stage, while a vigilant Coppi was third with Bartali content to finish in the pack. During the final ceremonies the Turin football team, called il Grande Torino, was memorialized.

Coppi had won his third Giro d’Italia.

Looking back, Buzzati wrote of the competition between Bartali and Coppi, “We must confess today that this rivalry is only a memory because Bartali, a champion of undoubted valor, cannot stand up to comparison with Coppi.” At this point Coppi was at the apex of his short arc. Without any doubt, he was the finest, strongest, most complete and accomplished bicycle racer in the world.

Final 1949 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Fausto Coppi (Bianchi) 125 hours 25 minutes 50 seconds
2. Gino Bartali (Bartali) @ 23 minutes 47 seconds
3. Giordano Cottur (Wilier Triestina) @ 38 minutes 27 seconds
4. Adolfo Leoni (Legnano) @ 39 minutes 1 second
5. Giancarlo Astrua (Benotto) @ 39 minutes 50 seconds
65. Maglia Nera Sante Carollo (Wilier-Triestina) @ 9 hours 57 minutes 7 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:
1. Fausto Coppi (Bianchi)
2. Gino Bartali (Bartali)
3. Alfredo Pasotti (Benotto)

Before and after the Giro there was the question of the Tour de France team, which would be an Italian national team, not a trade team. Binda, the team manager, had brought the Coppi and Bartali together for a meeting in March, finally getting them to sign an agreement to cooperate. Then came Coppi’s spring romp with his magical Giro performance, causing the Coppi camp to demand that Binda make him the team’s sole captain and leave Bartali home. For Binda, this was politically impossible.

Another meeting was held as he tried, in his words, to put a cat and a dog in a sack. Another agreement was made. This one was complex, even assigning the number of gregari dedicated to each rider. There were some difficult moments for Binda in the 1949 Tour, but by the time the race reached the Alps, Bartali had decided to give his equivocal support to Coppi. In stages sixteen and seventeen they united to destroy the rest of the field with a pair of rides that went down in cycling history as among the most dominating and effective ever. Coppi won the Tour and did what no rider had yet done, win the Giro and the Tour in the same year. Bartali was second, eleven minutes behind his younger teammate, but still fifteen minutes ahead of third place. In other words, except for Coppi, old Bartali was still the best stage racer in the world.
Coppi finished off the season by winning the Tour of Lombardy.

The bicycles that Coppi and Bartali rode in 1949 were little changed from their prewar versions: steel lugged frames, aluminum rims with sew-up tires, steel cottered cranks and side-pull brakes. But there was one way they differed. In the Giro both Coppi and Bartali used Campagnolo’s unusual “Corsa” gear changing system.

Campagnolo had started with his invention of the quick-release hub. Through the 1930s and ’40s he produced a small number of beautifully hand-crafted hubs and gear changing systems. His business was so small that he didn’t hire his first full-time employee until 1940.

The Corsa system was brilliant in its simplicity and efficiency and mind-boggling in its difficulty to use. It had no energy wasting pulleys. From a short distance a Campagnolo Corsa equipped bike looks almost like a pre-derailleur bike from the Girardengo era. It had two levers on the seat stay. One loosened the quick release and the other was attached to a Vittoria Margherita-type paddle that shifted the chain when the rider pedaled backwards. When the rider loosened the quick release and shifted to a larger cog, the wheel was pulled forward by the chain tension. When the rider switched to a smaller cog, gravity let the wheel go back and tighten the chain. Then the rider tightened the quick release to secure the rear hub, all while still on the fly. Notches in the dropouts and splines on the hub axle kept the wheel straight. It was simple and bullet-proof, valuable qualities when racing on postwar roads.

Simplex, then the best selling derailleur in the world, paid Coppi a bucket load of money to switch to their more modern (two pulleys mounted in a cage that automatically wrapped up the chain slack as it moved the chain across the rear cogs to change gears) system when he rode in the Tour de France.

For the 1949 Tour de France, Bartali switched to the Cervino, an updated version of the old Vittoria system. That was one reason why Coppi and Bartali each needed his own domestiques on the Italian Tour de France team. They used incompatible gear systems and needed their own riders close at hand in case a wheel change was needed.

Bartali ended up buying the Cervino derailleur company. When Campagnolo produced his “Gran Sport” deforming parallelogram derailleur (that’s how they still work) in the early 1950s, it set a new standard for reliability and shifting quality. Nearly always making sure that his bike enjoyed every possible technical advantage, Coppi switched to the new Campagnolo system.