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1951 Giro d'Italia

34th edition: May 19 - June 10

Results, stages with running GC, photos and history

1950 Giro | 1952 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1951 Giro Quick Facts | 1951 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1951 Giro d'Italia |


1951 Giro Quick Facts:

4,153 km raced at an average speed of 34.217 km/hr

98 starters and 75 classified finishers

Fiorenzo Magni and Rik van Steenbergen fought a ferocious battle for the 1951 Giro. Van Steenbergen surprised all by climbing well in the Dolomites.

Magni won the Giro with a descent in stage 18 that required suicidal courage. By taking chances that no one else will willing to take, he gained three minutes on van Steenbergen and won the Giro.


1951 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification:

  1. maglia rosaFiorenzo Magni (Ganna) 121hr 11min 37sec
  2. Rik Van Steenbergen (Girardengo) @ 1min 46sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler (Fréjus) @ 2min 36sec
  4. Fausto Coppi @ 4min 4sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua (Taurea) @ 4min 7sec
  6. Hugo Koblet (Guerra) @ 6min 5sec
  7. Louison Bobet (Bottecchia) @ 9min 45sec
  8. Arrigo Padovan (Atala) @ 14min 41sec
  9. Vincenzo Rossello (Taurea) @ 14min 49sec
  10. Gino Bartali (Bartali) @ 21min 12sec
  11. Pasquale Fornara (Legnano) s.t.
  12. Elio Brasola (Wilier-Triestina) @ 25min 32sec
  13. Giulio Bresci (Bottecchia) @ 27min 9sec
  14. Bruno Pasquini (Fréjus) @ 28min 31sec
  15. Bruno Pontisso (Arbos) @ 30min 59sec
  16. Luciano Maggini (Atala) @ 31min 18sec
  17. Donato Zampini (Ganna) @ 33min 6sec
  18. Virgilio Salimbeni (Legnano) @ 33min 37sec
  19. Dino Rossi (Guerra) @ 33min 50sec
  20. Alfredo Martini (Taurea) @ 34min 38sec
  21. Rinaldo Moresco (Wilier-Tristina) @ 37min 26sec
  22. Vittorio Rossello (Taurea) @ 39min 5sec
  23. Luciano Pezzi (Atala) @ 39min 45sec
  24. Pietro Guidici (Stucchi) @ 40min 30sec
  25. Alfredo Pasotti (Wilier-Triestina) @ 51min 56sec
  26. Antonio Bevilacqua (Benotto) @ 52min 24sec
  27. Ugo Fondelli (Stucchi) @ 53min 42sec
  28. Silvio Pedroni (Fréjus) @ 53min 58sec
  29. Ettore Milano (Bianchi) @ 57min 50sec
  30. Armando Barducci (Fréjus) @ 1hr 0min 20sec
  31. Andrea Correa (Bianchi) @ 1hr 0min 25sec
  32. Danilo Barozzi (Atala) @ 1hr 3min 52sec
  33. Angelo Menon (Stucchi) @ 1hr 5min 25sec
  34. Fiorenzo Crippa (Bianchi) @ 1hr 10min 5sec
  35. Cesare Olmi (Stucchi) @ 1hr 10min 28sec
  36. Franco Franchi (Ganna) @ 1hr 10min 35sec
  37. Giacomo Zampieri (Arbos) @ 1hr 13min 45sec
  38. Remo Sabatini (Bartali) @ 1hr 17min 46sec
  39. Giovanni Pettinati (Benotto) @ 1hr 19min 8sec
  40. Waldemaro Bartalozzi (Atala) @ 1hr 20min 21sec
  41. Giovanni Roma (Bottecchia) @ 1hr 25min 32sec
  42. Sergio Vitali (Stucchi) @ 1hr 26min 25sec
  43. Oreste Conte (Bianchi) @ 1hr 27min 19sec
  44. Nedo Logli (Ganna) @ 1hr 28min 20sec
  45. Mario Baroni (Taurea) @ 1hr 29min 49sec
  46. Giuseppe Minardi (Legnano) @ 1hr 29min 52sec
  47. Umberto Drei (Benotto) @ 1hr 30min 51sec
  48. Adolfo Grosso (Wilier-Triestina) @ 1hr 30min 56sec
  49. Lino Sartini (Stucchi) @ 1hr 43min 53sec
  50. Franco Giacchero (Girardengo) @ 1h4 44min 41sec
  51. Pietro Zappon (Wilier-Triestina) @ 1hr 46min 23sec
  52. Luigi Casola (Atala) @ 1hr 47min 26sec
  53. Marcello Ciolli (Fréjus) @ 1hr 49min 22sec
  54. Serse Coppi (Bianchi) @ 1hr 49min 31sec
  55. Serafino Biagioni (Ganna) @ 1hr 52min 38sec
  56. Luciano Frosini (Arbos) @ 1hr 57min 14sec
  57. Tranquillo Scudellaro (Legnano) @ 2hr 1min 54sec
  58. Dante Rivola (Benotto) @ 2hr 5min 53sec
  59. Giovanni Corrieri (Bartali) @ 2hr 6min 46sec
  60. Désiré Keteleer (Bianchi) @ 2hr 7min 39sec
  61. Ersilio Dordoni (Arbos) @ 2hr 8min 9sec
  62. Adolfo Leoni (Legnano) @ 2hr 9min 3sec
  63. Attilio Lambertini (Bartali) @ 2hr 11min 30sec
  64. Mario Gestri (Bartali) @ 2hr 12min 59sec
  65. Guido De Santi (Benotto) @ 2hr 14min 10sec
  66. Annibale Brasola (Wilier-Triestina) @ 2hr 16min 38sec
  67. Mario Fazio (Bottecchia) @ 2hr 21min 28sec
  68. Emilio Croci-Torti (Fréjus) @ 2hr 35min 23sec
  69. Rodolfo Falzoni (Guerra) @ 2hr 42min 32sec
  70. Luciano Cremonese (Wilier-Triestina) @ 2hr 45min 4sec
  71. Jacques Marinelli (Stucchi) @ 2hr 49min 47sec
  72. Bartolo Bof (Benotto) @ 2hr 50min 10sec
  73. Mertin Metzger (Guerra) @ 3hr 4min 55sec
  74. Olimpio Bizzi (Guerra) @ 3hr 18min 4sec
  75. Giovanni Pinarello (Bottecchia) @ 3hr 26min 11sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. green jerseyLouison Bobet (Bottecchia)
  2. Fausto Coppi (Bianchi)
  3. Alfredo Pasotti (Wilier-Triestina)

Winning Team: Taurea


1951 Giro stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Saturday, May 19, Milano - Torino, 202 km

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 5hr 16min 12sec
  2. Renzo Soldani @ 28sec
  3. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  4. Giulio Bresci s.t.
  5. Lucian Frosini s.t.
  6. Giancarlo Astrua s.t.
  7. Raymond Impanis s.t.
  8. Marcel Kint s.t.
  9. Silvio Pedroni @ 1min 43sec
  10. Ferdy Kübler s.t.

Stage 2: Sunday, May 20, Torino - Alassio, 202 km

ascentMajor ascent: Nava

  1. Antonio Bevilacqua: 5hr 1min 35sec
  2. Annibale Brasola @ 1min 52sec
  3. Guido De Santi s.t.
  4. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  5. Alfredo Martini s.t.
  6. Ettore Milano s.t.
  7. Umberto Drei s.t.
  8. Loretto Petrucci @ 2min 16sec
  9. Oreste Conte s.t.
  10. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 10hr 37min 31sec
  2. Renzo Soldani, Giulio Bresci, Giancarlo Astrua, Raymond Impanis s.t.
  3. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 50sec
  4. Ferdy Kübler @ 1min 15sec
  5. Silvio Pedroni, Marcel Kint @ 1min 18sec
  6. Luciano Pezzi @ 1min 46sec

Stage 3: Monday, May 21, Alassio - Genova, 252 km

climbMajor ascent: Turchino

  1. Rodolfo Falzoni: 7hr 38min 5sec
  2. Luciano Pezzi s.t.
  3. Antonio Bevilacqua @ 2min 16sec
  4. Rik Van Steenbergen s.t.
  5. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  6. Loretto Petrucci s.t.
  7. Rinaldi Moresco s.t.
  8. Giorgio Albani s.t.
  9. Renzo Soldani s.t.
  10. Gino Bartali s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 18hr 17min 52sec
  2. Renzo Soldani, Giulio Bresci, Giancarlo Astrua, Raymond Impanis s.t.
  3. Luciano Pezzi @ 30sec
  4. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 50sec
  5. Ferdy Kübler, Silvio Pedroni @ 1min 15sec
  6. Ettore Milano @ 2min 22sec

Stage 4: Tuesday, May 22, Genova - Firenze, 252 km

climbMajor ascent: Bracco

  1. Guido De Santi: 7hr 45min 35sec
  2. Dino Rossi s.t.
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 3min 8sec
  4. Renzo Zanazzi s.t.
  5. Loretto Petrucci s.t.
  6. Arrigo Padovan s.t.
  7. Luigi Casola s.t.
  8. Gino Bartali s.t.
  9. Oreste Conte s.t.
  10. 73 riders at same time and placing

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 26hr 6min 35sec
  2. Renzo Soldani, Giulio Bresci, Giancarlo Astrua s.t.
  3. Luciano Pezzi @ 30sec
  4. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 55sec
  5. Ferdy Kübler, Silvio Pedroni @ 1min 15sec
  6. Ettore Milano @ 2min 22sec
  7. Loretto Petrucci @ 3min 46sec

Stage 5: Wednesday, May 23, Firenze - Perugia, 192 km

  1. Pietro Giudici: 5hr 37min 7sec
  2. Elio Brasola @ 5sec
  3. Fritz Schaer s.t.
  4. Antonio Bevilacqua s.t.
  5. Bruno Pasquini @ 25sec
  6. Renato Barbiero s.t.
  7. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  8. Vincenzo Rossello s.t.
  9. Renzo Zanazzi @ 3min 10sec
  10. Umberto Drei s.t.

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Fritz Schaer: 31hr 46min 33sec
  2. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 1min 14sec
  3. Antonio Bevilacqua @ 5min 39sec
  4. Fiorenzo Magni, Renzo Soldani, Giulio Bresci, Giancarlo Astrua @ 5min 57sec
  5. Pasquale Fornara @ 6min 11sec
  6. Luciano Pezzi @ 6min 27sec
  7. Ferdy Kübler @ 7min 12sec

Stage 6: Friday, May 25, Perugia - Terni 83 km individual time trial

  1. Fausto Coppi: 2hr 4min 15sec
  2. Louison Bobet @ 1min 7sec
  3. Hugo Koblet @ 1min 24sec
  4. Ferdy Kübler @ 2min 10sec
  5. Fiorenzo Magni @ 2min 16sec
  6. Giancarlo Astrua @ 3min 5sec
  7. Fritz Schaer @ 3min 48sec
  8. Elio Brasola @ 4min 5sec
  9. Arrigo Padovan @ 4min 5sec
  10. Dino Rossi @ 4min 17sec

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Fritz Schaer: 33hr 54min 36sec
  2. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 2min 42sec
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 4min 25sec
  4. Fausto Coppi s.t.
  5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 5min 12sec
  6. Ferdy Kübler @ 5min 34sec
  7. Louison Bobet @ 6min 2sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 6min 19sec
  9. Renzo Soldani @ 7min 33sec
  10. Luciano Pezzi @ 7min 40sec

Stage 7: Saturday, May 26, Terni - Roma, 273 km

climbMajor ascent: Bove

  1. Angelo Menon: 8hr 50min 4sec
  2. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  3. Luciano Maggini s.t.
  4. Rinaldi Moresco s.t.
  5. Vittorio Rossello s.t.
  6. Sergio Vitali s.t.
  7. Virgilio Salimbeni s.t.
  8. Arrigo Padovan @ 11min 35sec
  9. Gino Bartali @ 11min 46sec
  10. 23 riders including Koblet, Van Steenbergen, Bobet, Coppi, Kübler and Magni at same time and placing

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 42hr 59min 4sec
  2. Fritz Schaer @ 1min 37sec
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 1min 47sec
  4. Fausto Coppi @ 2min 17sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 2min 34sec
  6. Ferdy Kübler @ 2min 56sec
  7. Louison Bobet @ 3min 24sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 3min 41sec
  9. Elio Brasola @ 5min 26sec
  10. Dino Rossi @ 7min 22sec

Stage 8: Sunday, May 27, Roma - Napoli, 234 km

  1. Luigi Casola: 7hr 2min 51sec
  2. Antonio Bevilacqua s.t.
  3. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  4. Ferdy Kübler s.t.
  5. Giorgio Albani s.t.
  6. Giuseppe Minardi s.t.
  7. Virgilio Salimbeni s.t.
  8. Arrigo Padovan s.t.
  9. Tranquillo Scudellaro s.t.
  10. Luciano Cremonese s.t.

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 50hr 3min 42sec
  2. Giancarlo Astrua @ 47sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler @ 1min 9sec
  4. Louison Bobet @ 1min 37sec
  5. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 2min 1sec
  6. Fritz Schaer @ 3min 38sec
  7. Fausto Coppi @ 4min 10sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 5min 42sec
  9. Donato Zampini @ 6min 37sec
  10. Elio Brasola @ 7min 27sec

Stage 9: Monday, May 28, Napoli - Foggia, 181 km

climbMajor ascent: Ariano Irpino

  1. Giovanni Corrieri: 5hr 5min 16sec
  2. Gino Bartali s.t.
  3. Angelo Menon s.t.
  4. Guido De Santi s.t.
  5. Fritz Schaer @ 5min 0sec
  6. Armando Barducci s.t.
  7. Arrigo Padovan @ 5min 4sec
  8. Oreste Conte s.t.
  9. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  10. Giorgio Albani s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 55hr 14min 2sec
  2. Giancarlo Astrua @ 47sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler @ 1min 9sec
  4. Louison Bobet @ 1min 37sec
  5. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 2min 1sec
  6. Fritz Schaer @ 3min 34sec
  7. Fausto Coppi @ 4min 18sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 5min 42sec
  9. Donato Zampini @ 6min 37sec
  10. Elio Brasola @ 7min 27sec

Stage 10: Tuesday, May 29, Foggia - Pescara, 311 km

climbMajor ascent: Macerone, Cinque Miglia

  1. Giuseppe Minardi: 10hr 56min 10sec
  2. Arrigo Padovan s.t.
  3. Armando Barducci s.t.
  4. Olimpio Bizzi s.t.
  5. Franco Franchi s.t.
  6. Danilo Barozzi s.t.
  7. Luigi Casola @ 2min 9sec
  8. Giorgio Albani s.t.
  9. Oreste Conte s.t.
  10. Nedo Logli s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 66hr 12min 21sec
  2. Giancarlo Astrua @ 47sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler @ 1min 9sec
  4. Louison Bobet @ 1min 37sec
  5. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 2min 1sec
  6. Fritz Schaer @ 3min 34sec
  7. Fausto Coppi @ 4min 18sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 5min 42sec
  9. Donato Zampini @ 6min 37sec
  10. Elio Brasola @ 7min 27sec

Stage 11: Thursday, May 31, Pescara - Rimini, 246 km

  1. Serafino Biagioni: 6hr 28min 24sec
  2. Dante Rivola s.t.
  3. Giovanni Roma s.t.
  4. Giovanni Pettinati s.t.
  5. Giacomo Zampieri s.t.
  6. Mario Gestri s.t.
  7. Luciano Pezzi @ 1min 31sec
  8. Armando Barducci s.t.
  9. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 1min 51sec
  10. Giovanni Corrieri s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 72hr 42min 36sec
  2. Giancarlo Astrua @ 47sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler@ 1min 19sec
  4. Louison Bobet @ 1min 37sec
  5. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 2min 1sec
  6. Fritz Schaer @ 3min 34sec
  7. Fausto Coppi @ 4min 18sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 5min 42sec
  9. Donato Zampini @ 6min 37sec
  10. Elio Brasola @ 7min 27sec

Stage 12: Friday, June 1, Rimini - San Marino 24 km individual time trial (timed hill climb or cronoscatala)

climbMajor Ascent: San Marino (Monte Titano)

  1. Giancarlo Astrua: 45min 5sec
  2. Fausto Coppi @ 20sec
  3. Louison Bobet @ 40sec
  4. Giovanni Roma s.t.
  5. Ferdy Kübler @ 1min 5sec
  6. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  7. Pasquale Fornara @ 1min 14sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 1min 27sec
  9. Bartolo Bof @ 1min 28sec
  10. Orfeo Ponsin @ 1min 35sec

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Giancarlo Astrua: 73hr 28min 22sec
  2. Fiorenzo Magni @ 18sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler @ 1min 27sec
  4. Louison Bobet @ 1min 30sec
  5. Fausto Coppi @ 3min 51sec
  6. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 4min 15sec
  7. Fritz Schaer @ 4min 28sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 6min 22sec
  9. Donato Zampini @ 8min 41sec
  10. Arrigo Padovan @ 10min 3sec

Stage 13: Saturday, June 2, Rimini - Bologna, 249 km

  1. Luciano Maggini: 6hr 28min 52sec
  2. Luigi Casola s.t.
  3. Antonio Bevilacqua s.t.
  4. Rik Van Steenbergen s.t.
  5. Luciano Pezzi s.t.
  6. Jacques Marinelli s.t.
  7. Dante Rivola s.t.
  8. Giulio Bresci s.t.
  9. Vincenzo Rossello @ 5min 11sec
  10. Attilio Lambertini s.t.

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 80hr 1min 35sec
  2. Giancarlo Astrua @ 4min 6sec
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 4min 23sec
  4. Ferdy Kübler @ 5min 32sec
  5. Louison Bobet @ 5min 55sec
  6. Fausto Coppi @ 7min 56sec
  7. Fritz Schaer @ 8min 33sec
  8. Luciano Pezzi @ ?
  9. Hugo Koblet @ 10min 27sec
  10. Donato Zampini @ 12min 40sec

Stage 14: Sunday, June 3, Bologna - Brescia, 220 km

  1. Adolfo Leoni: 5hr 43min 13sec
  2. Oreste Conte s.t.
  3. Annibale Brasola s.t.
  4. Renzo Zanazzi s.t.
  5. Luigi Casola s.t.
  6. Adolfo Grosso s.t.
  7. Luigi Maggini s.t.
  8. Hugo Koblet s.t.
  9. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  10. Rinaldi Moresco s.t.

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 85hr 44min 48sec
  2. Giancarlo Astrua @ 4min 5sec
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 5min 23sec
  4. Ferdy Kübler @ 5min 32sec
  5. Louison Bobet @ 5min 35sec
  6. Fausto Coppi @ 7min 56sec
  7. Fritz Schaer @ 8min 33sec
  8. Luciano Pezzi @ 9min 59sec
  9. Hugo Koblet @ 10min 27sec
  10. Donato Zampini @ 12min 40sec

Stage 15: Monday, June 4, Brescia - Venezia, 188 km

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 5hr 7min 48sec
  2. Antonio Beveilacqua s.t.
  3. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  4. Oreste Conte s.t.
  5. Annibale Brasola s.t.
  6. Angelo Menon s.t.
  7. Giovanni Pinarello s.t.
  8. Adolfo Grosso s.t.
  9. Giovanni Corrieri s.t.
  10. Luciano Frosini s.t.

GC after Stage 15:

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 90hr 52min 36sec
  2. Fiorenzo Magni @ 4min 5sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler @ 5min 32sec
  4. Louison Bobet s.t.
  5. Fausto Coppi @ 7min 56sec
  6. Luciano Pezzi @ 9min 56sec
  7. Hugo koblet @ 10min 27sec
  8. Donato Zampini @ 12min 40sec
  9. Elio Brasola @ ?
  10. Arrigo Padovan @ 14min 8sec

Stage 16: Tuesday, June 5, Venezia - Trieste, 176 km

  1. Luciano Frosini: 4hr 32min 10sec
  2. Ferdy Kübler @ 9sec
  3. Arrigo Padovan s.t.
  4. Adolfo Grosso s.t.
  5. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  6. Giorgio Albani s.t.
  7. Pasquale Fornara s.t.
  8. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  9. Renato Barbiero s.t.
  10. Adolfo Leoni s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 95hr 26min 21sec
  2. Fiorenzo Magni @ 2min 57sec
  3. Giancarlo Astrua @ 4min 5sec
  4. Ferdy Kübler @ 4min 6sec
  5. Fausto Coppi @ 7min 36sec
  6. Luciano Pezzi @ 9min 39sec
  7. Hugo Koblet @ 10min 7sec
  8. Louison Bobet @ 10min 35sec
  9. Elio Brasola @ 12min 35sec
  10. Arrigo Padovan @ 12min 42sec

Stage 17: Thursday, June 7, Trieste - Cortina d'Ampezzo

climbMajor ascent: Mauria, Misurina

  1. Louison Bobet: 7hr 24min 3sec
  2. Fausto Coppi s.t.
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 35sec
  4. Gino Bartali @ 1min 37sec
  5. Giovanni Roma s.t.
  6. Ferdy Kübler @ 2min 2sec
  7. Rik Van Steenbergen s.t.
  8. Pasquale Fornara s.t.
  9. Antonio Bevilacqua @ 2min 41sec
  10. Alfredo Martini s.t.

GC after Stage 17:

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 102hr 52min 26sec
  2. Fiorenzo Magni @ 1min 30sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler @ 4min 6sec
  4. Giancarlo Astrua @ 4min 44sec
  5. Fausto Coppi @ 5min 34sec
  6. Louison Bobet @ 8min 33sec
  7. Hugo Koblet @ 12min 15sec
  8. PAsquale Fornara @ 12min 44sec
  9. Arrigo Padovan @ 13min 21sec
  10. Elio Brasola @ 13min 34sec

Stage 18: Friday, June 8, Cortina d'Ampezzo - Bolzano, 244 km

climbMajor ascents: Costalunga, San Lugano

  1. Fausto Coppi: 7hr 22min 18sec
  2. Ferdy Kübler s.t.
  3. Hugo Koblet s.t.
  4. Vincenzo Rossello s.t.
  5. Virgilio Salimbeni s.t.
  6. Giancarlo Astrua s.t.
  7. Armando Barducci s.t.
  8. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  9. Vittorio Rossello @ 45sec
  10. Adolfo Grosso s.t.

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 110hr 16min 14sec
  2. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 1min 46sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler @ 2min 36sec
  4. Giancarlo Astrua @ 3min 14sec
  5. Fausto Coppi @ 4min 4sec
  6. Louison Bobet @ 9min 5sec
  7. Hugo Koblet @ 10min 45sec
  8. Elio Brasola @ 12min 49sec
  9. Pasquale Fornara @ 13min 6sec
  10. Arrigo Padovan @ 13min 53sec

Stage 19: Saturday, June 9, Bolzano - St. Moritz, 165 km

climbMajor ascent: Fuorn Pass

  1. Hugo Koblet: 5hr 39min 9sec
  2. Ferdy Kübler @ 4min 40sec
  3. Gino Bartali s.t.
  4. Rik Van Steenbergen s.t.
  5. Vincenzo Rossello s.t.
  6. Fausto Coppi s.t.
  7. Louison Bobet s.t.
  8. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  9. Bruno Pasquini s.t.
  10. Arrigo Padovan @ 4min 58sec

GC after Stage 19:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni: 116hr 0min 3sec
  2. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 1min 46sec
  3. Ferdy Kübler @ 2min 35sec
  4. Fausto Coppi @ 4min 4sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 4min 7sec
  6. Hugo Koblet @ 6min 5sec
  7. Louison Bobet @ 9min 5sec
  8. Arrigo Padovan @ 14min 11sec
  9. Vincenzo Rossello @ 14min 49sec
  10. Gino Bartali @ 21min 12sec

20th and Final Stage: Sunday, June 10, St. Moritz - Milano, 172 km

  1. Antonio Bevilacqua: 5hr 11min 34sec
  2. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  3. Oreste Conte s.t.
  4. Adolfo Leoni s.t.
  5. Nedo Logli s.t.
  6. Giovanni Corrieri s.t.
  7. Giovanni Pinarello s.t.
  8. Virgilio Salimbeni s.t.
  9. Giono Bartali s.t.
  10. Rest of peloton as same time and placing

1951 Giro d'Italia complete final General Classification


The Story of the 1951 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.

If the 1950 peloton burned brightly with star riders, the 1951 roster was a nova. In addition to Coppi, Bartali, Kübler, Koblet and Martini, the Bottecchia bicycle company hired French rider Louison Bobet to ride the Giro, and Girardengo brought a group of hard-as-nails Belgians to race for his own bike brand.

A quick note about Bobet. In 1950 he was French Champion and came in third in the Tour. In 1951 he took that most precious of all Italian single-day races, Milan–San Remo.

And Girardengo’s flahutes? The best of the seven-man team were Rik van Steenbergen, Briek Schotte, Raymond Impanis and Marcel Kint. Van Steenbergen, who turned pro during the war, was probably then the best living single-day racer. Since the war’s end he had won the Tour of Flanders, Paris–Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne, Paris–Brussels and the 1949 World Road Championship, and his career was just getting warmed up.

“Iron Briek” Schotte was the 1948 and 1950 World Champion and had won the Tour of Flanders twice. It was Schotte who was second to Bartali in that incredible 1948 Tour de France. Marcel “The Black Eagle” Kint was in the twilight of a career that included winning the 1938 World Championship, Gent–Wevelgem and three consecutive editions of the Flèche Wallonne during the war.

After this Giro, Raymond Impanis would go on to win Gent–Wevelgem, Paris–Roubaix, Tour of Flanders, Paris–Nice, and the Flèche Wallonne. For all that success, he was, in the words of Raphaël Géminiani, “the despair of Belgium” because his lack of application to his trade kept him from fulfilling the promise of his extraordinary talent.

Koblet didn’t have a big spring but Kübler nailed Liège–Bastogne–Liège and the Flèche Wallonne.

What about the Italians, who could arguably be considered the finest racers of the era? Coppi was back racing in time to contest but not win the 1950 Tour of Lombardy. He broke his collarbone in early March of 1951 while racing Milan–Turin and was lacking the needed kilometers for ideal Giro form.

Bartali rode some of the northern spring classics and came home with a second in the Flèche Wallonne. By 1951 he was suffering from his long career with its many crashes and was forced to walk with a limp. But Magni was on a tear, winning his third successive Tour of Flanders, earning the nickname “The Lion of Flanders”. He also won the Milan–Turin race where Coppi broke his collarbone.
The start list for the 1951 Giro d’Italia has to be considered the race’s finest so far, and perhaps the best ever. It was deep, with superb talent from all over Europe.

The organizers went back went back to a more conventional route: twenty stages, 4,147 kilometers in length, beginning and ending in Milan with the first stage finishing in Turin.

Van Steenbergen brought his classic-winning form to Italy. He finished alone in Turin, 28 seconds ahead of a seven-man chase group containing Magni, Astrua, Impanis and Kint while Kübler finished with another small group about two minutes back. The main field was another three minutes adrift. Yet again Italy had to watch a foreigner don the maglia rosa. The news was worse for the Bartaliani. Their hero crashed, costing him fifteen minutes and any reasonable chance of winning the Giro.

Stage 1 start

The Giro departs from Milan with the gingerbread Milan cathedral in the background.

Magni’s stage one ride turned out to be an adept move. The next day’s race went over the Alps to the Ligurian coastal resort city of Alassio. The main body of contenders let Bevilacqua take a solo win but van Steenbergen finished more than three minutes behind the main peloton, making Magni the leader.

Moving south to Umbria, it was Magni who lost time in stage five when a shattered peloton arrived in Perugia. Bevilacqua, who had a reputation as a sprinter, was good at breakaways, and in this stage he was part of a small group of escapees that also contained Schaer. Schaer was now leading with van Steenbergen about a minute back.

The first real test of fitness was the stage six 81-kilometer time trial in Terni. The stage results are fascinating with the champions showing their true colors.
1. Fausto Coppi
2. Louison Bobet @ 1 minute 7 seconds
3. Hugo Koblet @ 1 minute 24 seconds
4. Ferdy Kübler @ 2 minutes 10 seconds
5. Fiorenzo Magni @ 2 minutes 16 seconds
6. Giancarlo Astrua @ 3 minutes 5 seconds
7. Fritz Schaer @ 3 minutes 48 seconds
13. Rik van Steenbergen @ 5 minutes 12 seconds
14. Gino Bartali @ 5 minutes 13 seconds

Which gave the following overall standings:
1. Fritz Schaer
2. Rik van Steenbergen @ 2 minutes 42 seconds
3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 4 minutes 25 seconds
4. Fausto Coppi @ same time
5. Giancarlo Astrua @ 5 minutes 12 seconds
6. Ferdy Kübler @ 5 minutes 34 seconds
7. Louison Bobet @ 6 minutes 2 seconds
8. Hugo Koblet @ 6 minutes 19 seconds

The race went over the Apennines to Rome and nearly all the important riders were in the front chase group. The only one missing was the maglia rosa, Schaer. His failure let van Steenbergen regain the lead. For a day. Another mountainous stage to Naples moved Magni to the top of the leaderboard after van Steenbergen rode in to the finish with the gregari.

Magni, a tenacious and intelligent rider kept his maglia rosa as the race went north to Le Marche for another time trial, this one a 24-kilometer hill-climb to San Marino. Giancarlo Astrua won it with Coppi twenty seconds slower and Bobet third at thirty seconds. Again surrendering the lead, Magni was sixth with a time 65 seconds slower than Astrua.

Here’s the General Classification after the stage twelve cronoscalata:
1. Giancarlo Astrua
2. Fiorenzo Magni @ 18 seconds
3. Ferdy Kübler @ 1 minute 27 seconds
4. Louison Bobet @ 1 minute 30 seconds
5. Fausto Coppi @ 3 minutes 51 seconds
6. Rik van Steenbergen @ 4 minutes 15 seconds

The powerful Belgian set out to cure his shortage of pink cycle clothing the next day. A nine-man break with van Steenbergen, Bevilacqua and Maggini rolled into Bologna more than five minutes ahead of its closest chasers. Van Steenbergen now had a four-minute lead on Astrua. The Belgian won again in Venice, but didn’t extend his lead, he merely changed pursuers. Magni moved up to second, four minutes behind van Steenbergen.

Bobet took a hard blow in stage sixteen, a route of 182 kilometers going from Venice to Trieste. When he flatted on a descent because of a crash—one account says his wheel was broken—his follow car was delayed. He took teammate Giovanni Roma’s wheel rather than lose more time changing the tire. The judges said that the rules forbade wheel changes for flat tires and penalized the French rider five minutes. This ruling was the subject of no small amount of polemiche, especially since the rules gave the race jury the option of suspending the regulation. Bobet, surely a victim of home-towning, dropped from fourth to eighth place, more than ten minutes behind van Steenbergen.

Now came the real test, the Dolomites, and van Steenbergen was racing against some of the best climbers ever. Stage seventeen to Cortina d’Ampezzo crossed the Mauria and Misurina passes. Coppi was finding his legs and was first over the Mauria while Bobet took the honors over the second pass. The two finished together with Bobet taking the stage win. Magni was only 35 seconds behind, but the big surprise was van Steenbergen’s finish, only two minutes slower. He had survived his first big challenge, but he must have felt Magni’s hot breath on his neck. The Italian was only 90 seconds back in the Overall.

Coppi, Kübler and Bobet

Fausto Coppi in the Bianchi jersey has Ferdy Kübler on his wheel. Louison Bobet, wearing a Bottecchia cap, is to the right.

Without a rest day the riders tackled another long, hard stage. This one was 242 kilometers long with the Costalunga and San Lugano climbs. It was supposed to have been the tappone but snow prevented the planned ascents of the Rolle, Falzarego and Pordoi passes. Coppi’s form must have been returning but his attack on the Costalunga didn’t have enough punch to create his trademark solo break. He ended up with Astrua, Koblet, Kübler and a few others for company. Who knows how this Giro would have turned out had they worked together and pressed hard to extend their advantage because the chase group with van Steenbergen and Magni was not far behind. For all the horsepower in their group, they were unable to unite to create an unbridgeable gap.

On the final descent Magni rocketed down the mountain with van Steenbergen in hot pursuit. Magni took crazy chances on the curves, clipping a pedal and nearly crashing when his tires lost their grip on a bridge. That fright nearly ended his chase and perhaps his life. Van Steenbergen was following closely enough to see Magni’s near catastrophe, and feeling a deep fondness for this world, he braked rather than pedaled. Magni pressed on, completely unafraid and absolutely determined to catch the Coppi group. On the muddy, pot-holed road to Bolzano he made contact with the leaders, but van Steenbergen never did. Coppi won the sprint but Magni couldn’t have felt too bad about coming in last of the eight-man break, with van Steenbergen more than three minutes back. Magni had taken over the lead, 1 minute 46 seconds ahead of the Belgian.

The next day the Giro went into Switzerland, finishing at St. Moritz. Koblet did one of his splendid solo breaks, beating the pack by more than four minutes in his home country. Despite the terrific scare van Steenbergen had given the tifosi, the Giro had an Italian champion again when it finished in Milan, albeit one who had failed to win a single stage.

Fiorenzo Magni

Fiorenzo Magni wins the 1951 Giro d'Italia

Final 1951 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Fiorenzo Magni (Ganna) 121 hours 11 minutes 37 seconds
2. Rik van Steenbergen (Girardengo) @ 1 minute 46 seconds
3. Ferdy Kübler (Frejus) @ 2 minutes 36 seconds
4. Fausto Coppi (Bianchi) @ 4 minutes 4 seconds
5. Giancarlo Astrua (Taurea) @ 4 minutes 7 seconds
Climbers’ Competition:
1. Louison Bobet (Bottecchia)
2. Fausto Coppi (Bianchi)
3. Alfredo Pasotti (Wilier Triestina)

Attrition rates were not as bad as in earlier Giri. Of the 98 riders who left Milan on May 24, 75 made back on June 13.

Earlier I wrote that this edition was blessed with a peloton rich with champions. La Gazzetta concluded that yes, there were great riders, but only a few of them were in top shape. Coppi, as we know, was just getting his legs back. Bartali did well enough, considering his time loss after crashing. Kübler, van Steenbergen and Magni were superb. Magni’s ability to regularly infiltrate the winning breaks, which takes both tactical savvy and strength, was crucial to his victory and with this second win, there were no second-guessers. The man had clearly won the Giro through grit, intellect, courage and power.

Koblet seems to have ridden into shape, getting his form perfectly timed for a Tour de France win, one that is still spoken about in hushed whispers. Bobet, having won the climbing competition was also excellent. But none of van Steenbergen’s famous Belgian teammates finished. That makes his accomplishment all the more admirable; he did it without a team.

At 34.217 kilometers per hour, this was the first Giro since 1939 (Valetti) to have an average speed over 34 kilometers per hour.

Some racers began adopting an advance in bicycle component design that had been around since the 1930s, the aluminum cotterless crankset. The French firm Stronglight had been making both steel and aluminum cotterless cranks perhaps as early as 1933, but the racing peloton largely remained tied to the ancient system of cottered steel cranks. Bobet, who was one of the first racers to adopt the superior system, had his 1951 Giro bike from Bottecchia equipped with the lighter cranks, and the Campagnolo Corsa gear system. Coppi and Koblet used steel cranks for a couple more years. This was an unusual failure on Coppi’s part as he was almost always on the forefront of any bicycle design advance. It was a slow change. Luxembourg climber Charly Gaul used steel cranks well into the late 1950s. Campagnolo’s new Gran Sport derailleur was in use by some riders in the 1951 Giro.

There was one other advance that has to be mentioned. The RAI broadcasting network set up the “Radiocorsa” system whereby the press could get regular radioed reports of what was occurring within the peloton. Much has changed over the years but Radiocorsa is still the name of the real-time service used to keep the world abreast of the Giro as it happens.

Four days before the start of the 1951 Tour de France, Fausto Coppi’s younger brother Serse died in Turin after crashing during the Tour of Piedmont. One cannot overestimate the terrible sense of loss Coppi felt with Serse’s passing. Fausto was always troubled by a powerful melancholy and a morale that was easily broken. His less-talented but brightly cheerful brother was the one man who could bring the great rider around when depression would seize him.

Fausto knew how important it was to have Serse at his side, having been the one who convinced Serse to join him in competitive cycling. Now he was both struck with the guilt over his brother’s having been killed while racing and sick over the loss of a deeply beloved brother. Like Bartali when he lost his brother while racing, Fausto seriously contemplated quitting the sport. Coppi’s wife Bruna and his mother, both tired of the danger and the injuries, begged him to retire. Bartali and Fausto’s Bianchi teammates (desperate for a solid payday after the long drought of good results caused by Coppi’s broken bones) convinced him to ride the 1951 Tour, but his heart wasn’t in it. At one point during a stage in the Tour he had to stop and vomit, so sick was he with sorrow. Coppi finished tenth in the Tour, 47 minutes behind a still magnificent Koblet. The rest of Coppi’s season was unremarkable, the best result being a third to Bobet in the Tour of Lombardy

Serse Coppi’s death remains one of the most important events in Italian cycling history. With the loss of the vital psychological crutch that Serse provided, Fausto’s personal life began a slow downward spiral. Fausto’s first cousin Piero says this was the turning point in the campionissimo’s life and what followed can be explained only by that fateful crash near Turin.

During the 1950s Italy embarked on what is now called the “economic miracle”. Over a twenty-year period Italy was transformed from what was, by western standards, a relatively backward nation into a modern industrialized country whose products were in demand around the world.

Italy started with a couple of advantages. As brutal as the war destruction suffered by Italy was, it wasn’t nearly as bad as what many other European countries had endured. Specifically, her hydro-electric dams were still working, giving Italy’s factories a leg up in restarting. Through the fifties Italy secured relatively cheap energy from other sources, solidifying her ability to produce goods at low cost. Also, Italy’s production was the least regulated of the major European economies, freeing the factories to decide what their markets wanted. Cheap labor from the south flooded the major industrial cities of the north, creating an abundant pool of desperate workers. Italian design genius flowered at both the major industrial and artisanal levels. Olivetti typewriters and Pininfarina-designed cars became coveted symbols of modernity throughout the world and Italian exports soared.

While parts of the north became successful and prosperous, to a large degree the south remained untouched by Italy’s new-found wealth.