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1954 Giro d'Italia

37th edition: May 21 - June 13

Results, stages with running GC, photos and history

1953 Giro | 1955 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1954 Giro Quick Facts | 1954 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1954 Giro d'Italia |


1954 Giro Quick Facts:

4,337 km raced at an average speed of 33.563 km/hr. Longest edition in Giro history.

105 starters and 67 classified finishers.

A sullen peloton unhappy with racing conditions in the 1954 Giro refused to race with conviction. Winner Carlo Clerici escaped from a disinterested pack in stage six and gained enough time to become the race leader. He was never seriously challenged the rest of the race and became the 1954 Giro champion.

Because the pack took nine and a half hours to ride the 222 kilometers of the 21st stage with its crossing of the Bernina Pass, the 1954 Giro is called the race of the "Bernina Strike".


1954 Giro d'Italia Final General Classification:

  1. maglia rosaCarlo Clerici (Switzerland-Guerra) 129hr 13min 7sec
  2. Hugo Koblet (Switzerland-Guerra) @ 24min 16sec
  3. Nino Assirelli (Arbos) @ 26min 28sec
  4. Fausto Coppi (Bianchi) @ 31min 17sec
  5. Giancarlo Astrua (Atala) @ 33min 9sec
  6. Fiorenzo Magni (Nivea-Fuchs) @ 34min 1sec
  7. Gerrit Voorting (Holland-Locomotief) @ 35min 5sec
  8. Pasquale Fornara (Bottecchia) @ 36min 21sec
  9. Fritz Schaer (Switzerland-Guerra) @ 40min 51sec
  10. Angelo Conterno (Fréjus) @ 41min 7sec
  11. Agostino Coletto (Fréjus) @ 43min 47sec
  12. Giorgio Albani (Legnano) @ 44min 46sec
  13. Gino Bartali (Bartali) @ 50min 11sec
  14. Wout Wagtmans (Holland-Locomotief) @ 50min 45sec
  15. Nino Defilippis (Torpado) @ 52min 47sec
  16. Gastone Nencini (Legnano) @ 53min 29sec
  17. Bruno Monti (Arbos) @ 54min 13sec
  18. Danilo Barozzi (Atala) @ 56min 35sec
  19. Wim Van Est (Holland-Locomotief) @ 56min 41sec
  20. Michele Gismondi (Bianchi) @ 1hr 0min 52sec
  21. Primo Volpi (Arbos) @ 1hr 4min 37sec
  22. Adolfo Grosso (Atala) @ 1hr 6min 59sec
  23. Franco Franchi (Bottecchia) @ 1he 11min 54sec
  24. Jesus Lorono (Spain-Ideor) @ 1hr 13min 18sec
  25. Donato Zampini (Bartali) @ 1hr 13min 26sec
  26. Andrea Carrea (Bianchi) @ 1hr 13min 37sec
  27. Renzo Soldani (Doniselli-Lansetina) @ 1hr 16min 33sec
  28. Pietro Giudici (Bottecchia) @ 1hr 16min 44sec
  29. Martin Metzger (Germany-Clement) @ 1hr 17min 14sec
  30. Hilaire Couvreur (Belgium-Girardengo) @ 1hr 18min 38sec
  31. Rik Van Steenbergen (Belgium-Girardengo) @ 1hr 19min 25sec
  32. André Rosseel (Belgium-Girardengo) @ 1hr 25min 58sec
  33. Giovanni Corrieri (Bartali) @ 1hr 26min 33sec
  34. Rino Benedetti (Legnano) @ 1hr 28min 13sec
  35. Armando Barducci (Fréjus) @ 1hr 29min 57sec
  36. Marcel Huber (Switzerland-Guerra) @ 1hr 30min 41sec
  37. Silvio Pedroni (Nivea-Fuchs) @ 1hr 31min 29sec
  38. Bernardo Ruiz (Spain-Ideor) @ 1hr 33min 42sec
  39. Francisco Massip (Spain-Ideor) @ 1hr 34min 58sec
  40. Vincenzo Rossello (Nivea-Fuchs) @ 1hr 35min 22sec
  41. Ettore Milano (Bianchi) @ 1hr 36min 37sec
  42. Aldo Zuliani (Torpado) @ 1hr 37min 25sec
  43. Mauro Gianneschi (Arbos) @ 1hr 39min 34sec
  44. Serafino Biagioni (Doniselli-Lansetina) @ 1hr 40min 21sec
  45. Salvador Botella (Spain-Ideor) @ 1hr 42min 58sec
  46. Alfredo Martini (Atala) @ 1hr 43min 46sec
  47. Giovanni Pettinati (Torpado) @ 1hr 44min 48sec
  48. Ugo Massocco (Doniselli-Lansetina) @ 1hr 45min 11sec
  49. Stefano Gaggero (Bianchi) @ 1hr 45min 50sec
  50. José Perez (Spain-Ideor) @ 1hr 46min 47sec
  51. Remo Bartalini (Fréjus) @ 1hr 47min 15sec
  52. Luciano Pezzi (Arbos) @ 1hr 51min 40sec
  53. Franco Aureggi (Legnano) @ 1hr 51min 53sec
  54. Renato Ponzini (Arbos) @ 1hr 52min 27sec
  55. Walter Serena (Bottecchia) @ 2hr 2min 38sec
  56. Guido De Santi (Bottecchia) @ 2hr 5min 59sec
  57. Marcello Ciolli (Fréjus) @ 2hr 7min 45sec
  58. Annibale Brasola (Torpado) @ 2hr 18min 50sec
  59. Hein Van Breenen (Holland-Locomotief) @ 2hr 33min 18sec
  60. Giuseppe Favero (Bianchi) @ 2hr 42min 54sec
  61. Luciano Ciancola (Legnano) @ 2hr 42min 57sec
  62. Ivo Baronti (Bartali) @ 2hr 43min 35sec
  63. Emilio Croci-Torti (Switzerland-Guerra) @ 2hr 45min 8sec
  64. Gilberto Dall'Agata (Fréjus) @ 2hr 52min 34sec
  65. Remo Pianezzi (Switzerland-Guerra) @ 2hr 55min 31sec
  66. Giuseppe Doni (Torpado) @ 3hr 23min 53sec
  67. Hortensio Vidauretta (Spain-Ideor) @ 3hr 38min 41sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. green jerseyFausto Coppi (Bianchi)
  2. Giancarlo Astrua (Atala)
  3. Primo Volpi (Arbos), Mauro Gianneschi (Arbos), Vincenzo Rossello (Nivea-Fuchs), Angelo Conterno (Fréjus) tied for third place.

Team Classification winner: Girardengo


1954 Giro stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Friday, May 21, Palermo 36 km team time trial (Monte Pellegrino circuit)

  1. Bianchi (Coppi, Gismondi, Filippi) 2hr 30min 54sec
  2. Switzerland-Guerra (Koblet, Schaer, Clerici) @ 4min 17sec
  3. Belgium-Girardengo (Van Steenbergen, Couvreur, Peeters) @ 4min 36sec
  4. Legnano (Albani, Aureggi, Scudellaro) @ 4min 44sec
  5. Fréjus (Messina, Coletto, Conterno) @ 5min 51sec
  6. Bartali (Bartali, Corrieri, Zampini) @ 6min 42sec
  7. Bottecchia (Fornara, Conte De Santi) @ 6min 45sec
  8. Holland-Locomotief (Van Est, Nolten, Roks) @ 7min 0sec
  9. Nivea-Fuchs (Magni, Baffi, Isotti) @ 7min 3sec
  10. Torpado (Pettinati, Defilippis, Zuliani) @ 7min 6sec

GC after Stage 1:

  1. Fausto Coppi: 50min 18sec
  2. Michele Gismondi s.t.
  3. Riccardo Filippi s.t.
  4. Stefano Gaggero s.t.
  5. Ettore Milano @ 24sec
  6. Hugo Koblet @ 1min 25sec
  7. Fritz Schaer s.t.
  8. Carlo Clerici @ 1min 27sec
  9. Rik Van Steenbergen @ 1min 32sec
  10. Raymond Impanis s.t.

Stage 2: Saturday, May 22, Palermo - Taormina, 274 km

climbMajor Ascent: Mandrazzi

  1. Giuseppe Minardi: 8hr 8min 19sec
  2. Fiorenzo Magni @ 4min 27sec
  3. Fritz Schaer @ 4min 30sec
  4. Carlo Clerici @ 5min 12sec
  5. Marcel Huber s.t.
  6. Hugo Koblet s.t.
  7. Gerrit Voorting @ 6min 11sec
  8. Giancarlo Astrua @ 6min 16sec
  9. Pasquale Fornara @ 6min 40sec
  10. Alfredo Martini @ 10min 54sec

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Giuseppe Minardi: 9hr 0min 11sec
  2. Fritz Schaer @ 4min 21sec
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 4min 58sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 5min 3sec
  5. Carlo Clerici @ 5min 5sec
  6. Gerrit Voorting @ 6min 57sec
  7. Giancarlo Astrua @ 7min 12sec
  8. Pasquale Fornara @ 7min 21sec
  9. Fausto Coppi @ 9min 55sec
  10. Marcel Huber @ 10min 0sec

Stage 3: Sunday, May 23, Reggio Calabria - Catanzaro, 172 km

  1. Nino Defilippis: 5hr 20min 4sec
  2. Ettore Milano @ 2sec
  3. Marcello Pellegrini @ 3sec
  4. Guido De Santi @ 5sec
  5. Serafino Biagioni s.t.
  6. Tranquillo Scudellaro s.t.
  7. Hortensio Vidauretta @ 14sec
  8. Angelo Conterno @ 3min 33sec
  9. Alfredo Martini s.t.
  10. Nino Assirelli @ 3min 35sec

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Giuseppe Minardi @ 14hr 27min 16sec
  2. Fritz Schaer @ 3min 51sec
  3. Hugo Koblet @ 4min 27sec
  4. Firoenzo Magni @ 4min 28sec
  5. Carlo Clerici @ 4min 35sec
  6. Nino Defilippis @ 5min 2sec
  7. Gerrit Voorting @ 6min 21sec
  8. Giancarlo Astrua @ 6min 36sec
  9. Pasquale Fornara @ 6min 45sec
  10. Alfredo Martini @ 8min 54sec

Stage 4: Monday, May 24, Catanzaro - Bari, 352 km

  1. Angelo Conterno: 11hr 30min 7sec
  2. Danilo Barozzi s.t.
  3. Agostino Coletto s.t.
  4. Renato Ponzini s.t.
  5. Wim Van Est s.t.
  6. Vincenzo Rossello @ 1min 31sec
  7. Silvio Pedroni s.t.
  8. Franco Aureggi s.t.
  9. Primo Volpi s.t.
  10. Jan Nolten s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Giuseppe Minardi: 26hr 1min 7sec
  2. Fritz Schaer @ 3min 51sec
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 4min 22sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 4min 27sec
  5. Carlo Clerici @ 4min 35sec
  6. Nino Defilippis @ 5min 2sec
  7. Gerrit Voorting @ 6min 21sec
  8. Giancarlo Astrua @ 6min 36sec
  9. Pasquale Fornara @ 6min 45sec
  10. Alfredo Martini @ 8min 54sec

Stage 5: Tuesday, May 25, Bari - Napoli, 279 km

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 7hr 45min 29sec
  2. Michele Gismondi s.t.
  3. Gerrit Voorting s.t.
  4. Giovanni Corrieri @ 5min 22sec
  5. Mario Baroni s.t.
  6. Agostino Coletto @ 21min 23sec
  7. Adolfo Grosso s.t.
  8. Nino Assirelli s.t.
  9. Nino Defilippis @ 21min 31sec
  10. Rino Benedetti s.t.

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Gerrit Voorting: 33hr 58min 57sec
  2. Giuseppe Minardi @ 15min 4sec
  3. Fritz Schaer @ 18min 55sec
  4. Fiorenzo Magni @ 19min 32sec
  5. Hugo Koblet @ 19min 37sec
  6. Carlo Clerici @ 19min 39sec
  7. Nino Defilippis @ 20min 12sec
  8. Michele Gismondi @ 21min 34sec
  9. Giancarlo Astrua @ 21min 52sec
  10. Pasquale Fornara @ 21min 55sec

Stage 6: Wednesday, May 26, Napoli - L'Aquila, 252 km

  1. Carlo Clerici: 7hr 3min 50sec
  2. Nino Assirelli s.t.
  3. Edward Peeters @ 11min 20sec
  4. Martin Metzger @ 13min 3sec
  5. Thijs Roks @ 15min 28sec
  6. Gastone Nencini @ 24min 17sec
  7. Angelo Conterno s.t.
  8. Marcello Pellegrini @ 24min 29sec
  9. Adolfo Grosso s.t.
  10. Guido De Santi @ 25min 44sec

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 41hr 16min 26sec
  2. Nino Assirelli @ 13min 43sec
  3. Gerrit Voorting @ 14min 37sec
  4. Edward Peeters @ 21min 48sec
  5. Thijs Roks @ 29min 1sec
  6. Giuseppe Minardi @ 29min 41sec
  7. Angelo Conterno @ 21min 13sec
  8. Marcello Pellegrini @ 32min 26sec
  9. Fritz Schaer @ 33min 32sec
  10. Fiorenzo Magni @ 34min 19sec

Stage 7: Thursday, May 27, L'Aquila - Roma, 150 km

  1. Giorgio Albani: 3hr 40min 40sec
  2. Hugo Koblet s.t.
  3. Fausto Coppi s.t.
  4. Fritz Schaer s.t.
  5. Bruno Monti s.t.
  6. Nino Defilippis s.t.
  7. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  8. Adolfo Grosso s.t.
  9. Rik Van Steenbergen s.t.
  10. Agostino Coletto s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 44hr 59min 56sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 11min 47sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 13min 43sec
  4. Giuseppe Minardi @ 29min 41sec
  5. FFritz Schaer @ 30min 42sec
  6. Angelo Conterno @ 31min 13sec
  7. Fiorenzo Magni @ 31min 19sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 31min 24sec
  9. Nino Defilippis @ 31min 59sec
  10. Marcello Pellegrini @ 32min 26sec

Stage 8: Friday, May 28, Roma - Chianciano Terme, 195 km

  1. Giovanni Pettinati: 5hr 56min 18sec
  2. Wout Wagtmans @ 2min 21sec
  3. Walter Serena @ 2min 25sec
  4. Rudy Thiessen s.t.
  5. Lido Sartini @ 2min 32sec
  6. Salvador Botella @ 3min 33sec
  7. Danilo Barossi s.t.
  8. Bernardo Ruiz @ 4min 17sec
  9. Marcello Ciolli @ 4min 35sec
  10. Pietro Giudici @ 4min 54sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 51hr 3min 24sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 11min 47sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 13min 43sec
  4. Giuseppe Minardi @ 29min 41sec
  5. Fritz Schaer @ 30min 42sec
  6. Angelo Conterno @ 31min 13sec
  7. Fiorenzo Magni @ 31min 19sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 31min 24sec
  9. Nino Defilippis @ 31min 59sec
  10. Marcello Pellegrini @ 32min 26sec

Stage 9: Saturday, May 29, Chianciano Terme - Firenze, 180 km

  1. Giovanni Corrieri: 5hr 6min 56sec
  2. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  3. Mario Baroni s.t.
  4. Wim Van Est s.t.
  5. Pierino Baffi s.t.
  6. André Rosseel s.t.
  7. Marcello Pellegrini and 11 other riders @ s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 56hr 46min 48sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 11min 47sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 13min 43sec
  4. Marcello Pellegrini @ 26min 57sec
  5. Giuseppe Minardi @ 29min 41sec
  6. Fritz Schaer @ 30min 42sec
  7. Angelo Conterno @ 31min 13sec
  8. Fiorenzo Magni @ 31min 19sec
  9. Hugo Koblet @ 31min 24sec
  10. Nino Defilippis @ 31min 59sec

Stage 10: Sunday, May 30, Stage 10, Firenze - Cesenatico, 211 km

climbMajor ascent: Perticara

  1. Pietro Giudici: 6hr 15min 25sec
  2. Danilo Barozzi s.t.
  3. Pasquale Fornara s.t.
  4. Bruno Monti @ 12sec
  5. Donato Zampini s.t.
  6. Fritz Schaer s.t.
  7. Hilaire Couvreur s.t.
  8. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  9. 23 riders at same time and placing

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 62hr 31min 26sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 11min 47sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 13min 43sec
  4. Giuseppe Minardi @ 29min 41sec
  5. Fritz Schaer @ 30min 42sec
  6. Angelo Conterno @ 31min 13sec
  7. Fiorenzo Magni @ 31min 19sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 31min 24sec
  9. Nino Defilippis @ 31min 59sec
  10. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 20sec

Stage 11: Tuesday, June 1, Cesenatico - Abetone, 230 km

climbMajor ascent: Abetone

  1. Mauro Gianneschi: 7hr 4min 10sec
  2. Adolfo Grosso @ 2sec
  3. Franco Franchi s.t.
  4. Giancarlo Astrua @ 57sec
  5. Fausto Coppi @ 1min 2sec
  6. Gastone Nencini @ 1min 8sec
  7. Nino Defilippis @ 1min 12sec
  8. Hugo Koblet @ 1min 15sec
  9. Marcello Ciolli @ 1min 51sec
  10. Francisco Massip @ 2min 1sec
  11. Fiorenzo Magni s.t.
  12. Carlo Clerici s.t.
  13. Gino Bartali @ 2min 12sec
  14. Raymond Impanis s.t.
  15. Agostino Coletto s.t.
  16. Pasquale Fornara s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 69hr 37min 37sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 12min 53sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 14min 49sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 20min 38sec
  5. Nino Defilippis @ 31min 10sec
  6. Fiorenzo Magni @ 31min 19sec
  7. Fritz Schaer @ 31min 24sec
  8. Angelo Conterno @ 32min 15sec
  9. Giuseppe Minardi @ 32min 28sec
  10. Giancarlo Astrua @ 32min 29sec

Stage 12: Wednesday, June 2, Abetone - Genova, 251 km

  1. Hilaire Couvreur: 6hr 54min 15sec
  2. Renzo Soldani @ 4min 59sec
  3. Renato Ponzini s.t.
  4. Marcello Ciolli @ 6min 5sec
  5. Bruno Monti @ 9min 51sec
  6. Hugo Koblet s.t.
  7. Giancarlo Astrua @ 11min 58sec
  8. Gastone Nencini s.t.
  9. Gerrit Voorting s.t.
  10. Fritz Schaer s.t.

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 76hr 43min 50sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting: 12hr 53min
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 18min 4sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 28min 31sec
  5. Nino Defilippis @ 31min 10sec
  6. Fiorenzo Magni @ 31min 19sec
  7. Fritz Schaer @ 31min 54sec
  8. Angelo Conterno @ 32min 29sec
  9. Giancarlo Astrua s.t.
  10. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 41sec

Stage 13: Thursday, June 3, Genova - Torino, 211 km

  1. Wout Wagtmans: 5hr 33min 58sec
  2. Giorgio Albani s.t.
  3. Giuseppe Favero s.t.
  4. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  5. Salvador Botella s.t.
  6. Martin Metzger s.t.
  7. Francisco Massip s.t.
  8. Agostino Coletto s.t.
  9. Danilo Barozzi s.t.
  10. Armando Barducci @ 31sec

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 82hr 12min 24sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 12min 53sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 18min 4sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 28min 31sec
  5. Nino Defilippis @ 31min 10sec
  6. Fiorenzo Magni @ 31min 19sec
  7. Fritz Schaer @ 31min 52sec
  8. Angelo Conterno @ 32min 15sec
  9. Giancarlo Astrua @ 32min 29sec
  10. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 41sec

Stage 14: Friday, June 4, Torino - Brescia, 240 km

  1. Annibale Brasola: 6hr 33min 45sec
  2. Pierino Baffi s.t.
  3. Wim Van Est s.t.
  4. Luciano Pezzi s.t.
  5. Giovanni Pettinati s.t.
  6. Serafino Biagioni s.t.
  7. Rino Benedetti @ 49sec
  8. Tranquillo Scudellaro @ 6min 6sec
  9. Walter Serena @ 6min 21sec
  10. Adolfo Grosso s.t.

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 89hr 4min 54sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 12min 33sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 13min 4sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 28min 31sec
  5. Nino Defilippis @ 31min 10sec
  6. Fiorenzo Magni @ 31min 19sec
  7. Fritz Schaer @ 31min 52sec
  8. Angelo Conterno @ 32min 15sec
  9. Giancarlo Astrua @ 32min 29sec
  10. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 41sec

Stage 15: Sunday, June 6, Gardone - Riva del Garda 42 km individual time trial

  1. Hugo Koblet: 55min 10sec
  2. Fausto Coppi @ 27sec
  3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 1min 58sec
  4. Pasquale Fornara @ 1min 59sec
  5. Nino Defilippis @ 2min 8sec
  6. Giorgio Albani @ 2min 28sec
  7. Carlo Clerici @ 2min 32sec
  8. Giancarlo Astrua @ 3min 14sec
  9. Wim Van Est @ 3min 18sec
  10. Franco Aureggi @ 3min 28sec

GC after stage 15:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 90hr 2min 36sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 14min 18sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 20min 25sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 25min 59sec
  5. Fiorenzo Magni @ 30min 45sec
  6. Nino Defilippis @ 30min 48sec
  7. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 8sec
  8. Giancarlo Astrua @ 33min 11sec
  9. Fausto Coppi @ 33min 12sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 33min 28sec

Stage 16: Monday, June 7, Riva del Garda - Abano Terme, 131 km

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 3hr 40min 51sec
  2. Renzo Soldani s.t.
  3. Wim Van Est s.t.
  4. Adolfo Grosso s.t.
  5. Michele Gismondi s.t.
  6. Serafino Biagioni s.t.
  7. Bernardo Ruiz s.t.
  8. Silvio Pedroni s.t.
  9. Aldo Zuliani s.t.
  10. Hilaire Couvreur s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 93hr 49min 11sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 13min 18sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 20min 23sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 25min 59sec
  5. Fiorenzo Magni @ 30min 45sec
  6. Nino Defilippis @ 30min 46sec
  7. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 8sec
  8. Giancarlo Astrua @ 33min 11sec
  9. Fausto Coppi @ 33min 12sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 33min 35sec

Stage 17: Tuesday, June 8, Abano Terme - Padova, 105 km

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 2hr 40min 18sec
  2. ASnnibale Brasola s.t.
  3. Giovanni Corrieri s.t.
  4. Bruno Monti s.t.
  5. Adolfo Grosso s.t.
  6. Franco Aureggi s.t.
  7. Gilberto Dall'Agata s.t.
  8. Alfredo Pasotti s.t.
  9. André Rosseel s.t.
  10. Gerrit Voorting s.t.

GC after Stage 17:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 96hr 29min 29sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 14min 18sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 20min 23sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 25min 59sec
  5. Fiorenzo Magni @ 30min 45sec
  6. Nino Defilippis @ 30min 46sec
  7. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 8sec
  8. Giancarlo Astrua @ 33min 11sec
  9. Fausto Coppi @ 33min 12sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 33min 35sec

Stage 18: Wednesday, June 9, Padova - Grado, 177 km

  1. Adolfo Grosso: 4hr 38min 20sec
  2. Guido De Santi s.t.
  3. Aldo Zuliani @ 11min 26sec
  4. Wim Van Est s.t.
  5. Pierino Baffi s.t.
  6. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  7. Stefano Gaggero s.t.
  8. Giuseppe Doni s.t.
  9. Emile Severyns s.t.
  10. Renzo Soldani @ 12min 18sec

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 101hr 20min 7sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 14min 18sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 20min 23sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 25min 59sec
  5. Fiorenzo Magni @ 30min 45sec
  6. Nino Defilippis @ 30min 46sec
  7. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 8sec
  8. Giancarlo Astrua @ 33min 11sec
  9. Fausto Coppi @ 33min 12sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 33min 35sec

Stage 19: Wednesday, June 9, Grado - San Martino di Castrozza, 247 km

  1. Wout Wagtmans: 7hr 22min 40sec
  2. Primo Volpi @ 5sec
  3. Hortensio Vidauretta @ 1min 16sec
  4. Ettore Milano @ 2min 46sec
  5. Jesus Lorono @ 3min 27sec
  6. Nino Defilippis @ 3min 33sec
  7. Agostino Coletto @ 3min 43sec
  8. Fausto Coppi @ 3min 50sec
  9. Giancarlo Astrua @ 3min 51sec
  10. Carlo Clerici @ 3min 53sec

GC after Stage 19:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 108hr 46min 40sec
  2. Gerrit Voorting @ 14min 28sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 20min 28sec
  4. Hugo Koblet @ 26min 4sec
  5. Nino Defilippis @ 30min 26sec
  6. Fiorenzo Magni @ 30min 50sec
  7. Giancarlo Astrua @ 33min 9sec
  8. Fausto Coppi @ 33min 9sec
  9. Pasquale Fornara @ 33min 10sec
  10. Fritz Schaer @ 33min 40sec

Stage 20: Thursday, June 10, San Martino di Castrozza - Bolzano, 152 km

climbMajor ascents: Rolle, Pordoi, Gardena

  1. Fausto Coppi: 4hr 44min 56sec
  2. Giancarlo Astrua @ 1min 52sec
  3. Hugo Koblet s.t.
  4. Carlo Clerici s.t.
  5. Fiorenzo Magni @ 4min 53sec
  6. Pasquale Fornara s.t.
  7. Agostino Coletto s.t.
  8. Giorgio Albani @ 7min 42sec
  9. Danilo Barozzi s.t.
  10. Bruno Monti s.t.

GC after Stage 20:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 113hr 33min 28sec
  2. Hugo Koblet @ 26min 4sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 25min 18sec
  4. FaustoCoppi @ 31min 17sec
  5. Gerrit Voorting @ 32min 52sec
  6. Giancarlo Astrua @ 33min 9sec
  7. Fiorenzo Magni @ 33min 51sec
  8. Pasquale Fornara @ 36min 11saec
  9. Fritz Schaer @ 39min 30sec
  10. Angelo Conterno @ 41min 7sec

Stage 21: Saturday, June 12, Bolzano - St. Moritz, 222 km

climbMajor ascents: Tonale, Bernina

  1. Hugo Koblet: 9hr 24min 57sec
  2. Gino Bartali @ 1min 46sec
  3. Renato Ponzini @ 1min 48sec
  4. Hilaire Couvreur s.t.
  5. Fritz Schaer s.t.
  6. Bruno Monti s.t.
  7. Martin Metzger s.t.
  8. Angelo Conterno s.t.
  9. Giancarlo Astrua s.t.
  10. Fausto Coppi s.t.
  11. Carlo Clerici s.t.
  12. Primo Volpi s.t.

GC after Stage 21:

  1. Carlo Clerici: 123hr 0min 13sec
  2. Hugo Koblet @ 24min 16sec
  3. Nino Assirelli @ 26min 28sec
  4. Fausto Coppi @ 31min 17sec
  5. Gerrit Voorting @ 33min 2sec
  6. Giancarlo Astrua @ 33min 9sec
  7. Fiorenzo Magni @ 34min 1sec
  8. Pasquale Fornara @ 36min 21sec
  9. Fritz Schaer @ 39min 30sec
  10. Angelo Conterno @ 41min 7sec

22nd and Final Stage: Sunday, June 13, St. Moritz - Milano, 222 km

  1. Rik Van Steenbergen: 6hr 12min 54sec
  2. Giorgio Albani s.t.
  3. Fausto Coppi s.t.
  4. Hugo Koblet s.t.
  5. Bruno Monti s.t.
  6. Angelo Conterno s.t.
  7. Gino Bartali s.t.
  8. Pasquale Fornara s.t.
  9. Pietro Giudici s.t.
  10. Gastone Nencini s.t.

Final Complete 1954 Giro d'Italia General Classification


The Story of the 1954 Giro d'Italia

This excerpt is from "The Story of the Giro d'Italia", Volume 1. If you enjoy it we hope you will consider purchasing the book, either print or electronic. The Amazon link here will make either purchase easy.

The professional cycling world was on the cusp of an upheaval that would dramatically change bike racing. Europe was still absolutely nuts about bike racing but was less enthusiastic about actually owning and riding bikes. In the immediate post-war years a bicycle was a valuable and vital tool of transport and bike companies got rich supplying the huge demand for their products. Their solid profits allowed them to invest heavily in the sport. But by the mid-1950s many Italians were traveling on Vespa scooters or in Fiat Topolinos and bike companies all over Europe saw that they would have trouble funding their professional teams at the same level. During the late 1940s the French bought 1.3 million bikes a year, a third again more than the previous best year, 1938. But in 1952 the number sold fell to 750,000 and 1957’s sales were only 534,000 units. This trend was mimicked all over Europe.

One of the first to crack was the Ganna bicycle company, whose team was run by Pino Ganna, son of Luigi Ganna, winner of the first Giro. Late in 1953 he told his top rider Fiorenzo Magni that the Ganna bicycle company would be unable to meet its obligations to the team in 1954. Magni told us that at this time Atala, Bianchi, Gloria and Legnano were also in difficulty.

Magni understood the critical nature of the sea-change that was occurring and contacted the German Nivea face cream company, whose management he already knew because he and other riders used the cream to soften the chamois (at that time real leather) in their riding shorts. Magni persuaded Nivea and the Italian bike company Fuchs to sponsor his team for 1954. Nivea ponied up to the tune of 20 million Italian lire (about $260,000 in 2010). The idea of the bald, rough-hewn tough guy racing for a ladies’ face cream struck some as amusing, but it worked. Nivea was pleased with the result and continued to sponsor Magni until he retired.

But oh my, the furor it caused! Until now bike teams were sponsored by bike companies and they weren’t going to let their monopoly on the sport slip away. If rich industrialists could enter the bidding for the riders’ services, the bike companies would be priced out of the sport. Over the next three decades, that’s exactly what happened. But in the meantime Magni had to fight with the officials who wanted to forbid his wearing a Nivea jersey. The riders understood that Magni’s move meant better paychecks for their profession. Coppi told the Paris–Roubaix organizers that if Magni couldn’t wear his Nivea jersey they would have to do without having Fausto Coppi in their race. That settled it.

There were more difficulties for what are now called extra-sportif sponsors, but the force of history was against the bike companies, the UCI and the cycling press who were all dead-set against the change. Now bike companies only supply the bikes and if the team is a top-ranked outfit, then some extra cash is added to the pot.

The most important protagonist in the 1954 Giro was a plate of bad oysters. From a sporting point of view, the 1954 Giro is a bit of a disappointment, but as a window into human motivation and action it is fascinating.

The 1954 edition was viewed by the organizers as a potentially glorious rematch between Koblet and the rainbow jersey-clad Fausto Coppi looking for a sixth Giro victory. The race started in Palermo and leapfrogged its way up to Turin and then headed east for the year’s major climbing in the Dolomites. La corsa rosa was again a mix of foreign national teams sponsored by Italian firms and domestic trade squads. Partly copying the Tour, this Italian trade team/foreign national team formulation would last through 1957. The best Italians (including an evergreen 40-year old Bartali), Spaniards, Swiss (less Kübler), Germans, Belgians and Dutchmen were all there. Only the French were missing.

It was important to the Giro organizers that Fausto Coppi ride their race. He was the biggest star and his presence was deemed essential. To induce Coppi to ride they paid the campionissimo a large sum of appearance money. This was no secret. The other riders knew of the payoff and were deeply resentful that the Giro’s largesse was not spread more widely. Thus, the seeds of trouble were sown before the first pedal had been turned.

Things started off well enough in Palermo. The first stage was a team time trial in which Coppi’s Bianchi squad crushed the competition, beating Koblet’s Swiss team over the 36 kilometers by more than four minutes. Coppi started 1954 where he left off in 1953, in pink. That evening Coppi feasted on a plate of what Italians call frutti di mare or seafood. Oysters to be exact. Bad oysters to be even more correct. The dinner made him sick, so sick that he was still in very bad way at the start of stage two to Taormina. He lost eleven and a half minutes that day while Giuseppe Minardi was romping off more than four minutes in front of the peloton. Minardi was the Giro’s new leader while Coppi had lost enough time to be reasonably considered out of the running to overall victory

So now there was an angry peloton and the Giro was stuck with an expensive Coppi who was no longer a potential Giro winner. The Giro director, Giuseppe Ambrosini, begged the riders to save the race by actively and aggressively competing. Fiorenzo Magni and several others wanted to help. When the race reached the mainland they fought hard and tried to make a brilliant race of it. As a professional and one of the greatest riders of the age, Magni expected to be recompensed in a generous way for his service. Ambrosini gravely disappointed Magni and the others with what they considered an insufficient monetary repayment for their efforts. The riders then deadened their efforts.

With this cloud of malaise hanging over the race, the Giro riders sullenly made their way north. In stage six, taking the pack over the mountains from Naples to L’Aquila, Arbos rider Nino Assirelli took off and had ridden more than one hundred kilometers alone when Swiss team domestique Carlo Clerici was able to bridge the gap. The two worked together with Clerici promising Assirelli the stage win if he would continue to work. Assirelli assented and the two riders proceeded to carve out a half-hour lead from the indifferent pack.

When it came time for the final sprint Clerici forgot his promise and wound it out, beating a dumbfounded Assirelli for the stage victory. Defilippis led in the main peloton thirty-four minutes later. Clerici, who had just become a naturalized Swiss citizen two months earlier, was a capable rider and the new leader. Why had this fuga di bidone occurred? The year before, when Clerici was an Italian and rode the Giro for the Welter team with Martini, he had defied his director’s orders and had worked for his friend Koblet. Now on the Swiss team, there would certainly be no chase from a grateful Koblet. It’s speculated that Coppi was still weak from his food poisoning and had no desire for a hard chase through the difficult Abruzzi countryside and probably used his power as the patron of the peloton to just let these no-hope riders have their day in the sun.

The General Classification at this point stood thus:
1. Carlo Clerici
2. Nino Assirelli @ 13 minutes 43 seconds
3. Gerrit Voorting @ 14 minutes 37 seconds
4. Edward Peeters @ 21 minutes 48 seconds
5. Thijs Roks @ 29 minutes 1 second
10. Fiorenzo Magni @ 34 minutes 19 seconds

Carlo Clerici in pink

Carlo Clerici in pink

Most observers and riders thought even this large lead would collapse under the weight of a Coppi assault once the time trial and Dolomite stages arrived. But as the race progressed, it turned out that Clerici was a good enough rider to defend his Pink Jersey, especially against a slow-moving and surly peloton. As the race headed north, over the next thirteen stages there was no real change in the classification. Clerici held on to his gigantic lead, fending off the few serious challenges.

Koblet won the only individual time trial, 42 kilometers at Riva del Garda, but Clerici acquitted himself well, losing only two and a half minutes. The time trial stage results show that while the aces had plenty of good form, they just had no intention of showing it during road stages:
1. Hugo Koblet
2. Fausto Coppi @ 27 seconds
3. Fiorenzo Magni @ 1 minute 58 seconds
4. Pasquale Fornara @ 1 minute 59 seconds
5. Nino Defilippis @ 2 minutes 8 seconds
6. Giorgio Albani @ 2 minutes 28 seconds
7. Carlo Clerici @ 2 minutes 32 seconds

That yielded the following standings:
1. Carlo Clerici
2. Gerrit Voorting @ 14 minutes 18 seconds
3. Nino Assirelli @ 20 minutes 25 seconds
4. Hugo Koblet @ 25 minutes 59 seconds

Coppi had more than bad oysters on his mind during this Giro. He had continued his affair with Giulia Locatelli and both of them had told their spouses that they wanted separations. During the Giro, the press finally tumbled upon Coppi’s disordered private life and the ensuing headlines made the reticent racer cringe. Italy was a deeply Catholic and more than slightly puritanical country in the 1950s. Italian writer and humorist Beppe Severgnini insists that for all the billboards of naked women strewn about Italy, this remains true today. The public reaction to Coppi’s affair was extremely negative. Yet, Giulia Locatelli was adamant about her desire to be with Coppi, even during the Giro. At this time racers were supposed to lead a monkish life and during races they were not officially allowed to have their wives or girlfriends around. In point of fact, the riders were quietly awash in women who were attracted to these famous athletes, just as today. Locatelli brazenly (considering the mores of the time, this word is really too mild) followed Coppi in a car as he rode the time trial. Observers thought they saw signs of stress in Coppi’s manner. Not only was the campionissimo not really racing, a stupid running argument he had with Swiss rider Emilio Croci-Torti finally broke out into a fight.

Coppi and Bartali

Fausto Coppi in his rainbow jersey with Gino Bartali

During stage twenty, the third to the last stage with the Rolle, Pordoi and Gardena passes, Coppi actually raced, being first over the last two climbs and finishing alone, two minutes in front of Astrua, Koblet and Clerici.

OK, thought the press and the tifosi, the riders had finally decided to get back to racing a hard Giro. It was expected that bellicose and hard-driving competition would now be restored to the race. Surely Coppi would deliver the coup de grace to this upstart gregario the next day over the Tonale and Bernina climbs. The organizers had thought of the difficult Bernina pass on the penultimate day as a way to make the 1954 edition comparable to the year before. When the organizers were planning the 1954 Giro, they were sure Koblet would want to avenge his 1953 defeat. He didn’t, of course. His teammate was in pink. Instead, Coppi and the peloton, still on strike, rode easily over the Bernina pass, taking nine and a half hours to cover the day’s 222 kilometers, allowing Clerici to cement his victory. Hence, 1954’s Giro is referred to as the year of the Bernina Strike. Furious at the day’s slow tempo, the race jury refused to award any prizes for the stage.

When the peloton entered the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan, the derisive whistles from the crowd were so loud that the riders couldn’t hear the bell signaling the final lap. The Italian Federation was incensed and handed Coppi a two-month suspension. Additionally, they refused to send a team to the Tour. Perhaps the Italians would not have been allowed to come to the Tour anyway because of their new extra-sportif sponsors. At 4,337 kilometers, the 1954 Giro was the longest in history.

That Pink Jersey Fausto Coppi wore after the first stage team time trial was the last the great rider would ever wear.

Koblet and Clerici

Carlo Clerici (far right) and Hugo Koblet (far left).

Final 1954 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Carlo Clerici (Switzerland-Guerra) 129 hours 13 minutes 7 seconds
2. Hugo Koblet (Switzerland-Guerra) @ 24 minutes 16 seconds
3. Nino Assirelli (Arbos) @ 26 minutes 28 seconds
4. Fausto Coppi (Bianchi) @ 31 minutes 17 seconds
5. Giancarlo Astrua (Atala) @ 33 minutes 9 seconds
13. Gino Bartali (Bartali) @ 50 minutes 11 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:
1. Fausto Coppi (Bianchi)
2. Giancarlo Astrua (Atala)
3. Tie between Primo Volpi (Arbos), Vincenzo Rossello (Nivea-Fuchs) and Angelo Conterno (Frejus)

This was Gino Bartali’s last Giro. He would officially retire in February of 1955. The pious, grumpy, gifted and courageous athlete whose most famous saying was, “Gli è tutto sbagliato, gli è tutto da rifare” (everything’s wrong and it all has to be changed) was finally a spent force. He had three Giro and two Tour victories and a nearly endless list of other important wins acquired over a magnificent twenty-year long professional career. Both he and Coppi knew that their rivalry, which was sincere and powerfully felt by both riders, was an updraft that lifted both of their careers and fed their popularity. While the actual level of their friendship while they competed remains a question the tifosi continue to debate, they clearly became friends after Bartali retired. Bartali was the first person to whom Coppi showed a picture of his new baby Faustino.

Coppi’s life took yet another strange turn. He continued his affair with Giulia, even traveling to the Tour to watch an Alpine stage with her. Giulia’s husband was incensed and complained to the police who in August visited the couple at 1:00 AM to see if they were sharing a bed. By now Coppi’s private business was the constant topic of magazines and papers. Even the Pope and the Italian Cycling Federation weighed in on how Coppi should live his life.

It all culminated in the spring of 1955 with the pair (Giulia was pregnant with Faustino at the time) being put on trial for leaving their spouses. Both were convicted and received suspended sentences. Here people who were close to Coppi are adamant. If Serse had been alive the affair would not have progressed this far and certainly Coppi would not have ended up standing trial for adultery. Serse would have advised and diverted Fausto along the way and kept him from pursuing his self-destructive course.