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1959 Giro d'Italia

42nd edition: May 16 - June 7

Results, stages with running GC, photos, video and history

1958 Giro | 1960 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1959 Giro Quick Facts | 1959 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1959 Giro d'Italia | Video |


1959 Giro Quick Facts:

3,657 km raced at an average speed of 35.91 km/hr

130 starters and 86 classified finishers.

The 1959 Giro d'Italia was really a shootout between Jacques Anquetil, an all-rounder with fabulous time-trialing skills, and Charly Gaul, one of the finest climbers ever.

Anquetil looked to have the race locked up but in the penultimate stage, in the mountains, Anquetil failed to eat. He ran out of energy and lost nearly 10 minutes, giving the race to Gaul.


1959 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification:

  1. maglia rosaCharly Gaul (EMI): 101hr 50min 26sec
  2. Jacques Anquetil (Helyett-Pontin) @ 6min 12sec
  3. Diego Ronchini (Bianchi) 2 6min 16sec
  4. Rik van Looy (Faema) @ 7min 17sec
  5. Imerio Massignan (Legnano) @ 7min 31sec
  6. Miguel Poblet (Ignis) @ 10min 21sec
  7. Graziano Battistini (Legnano) @ 10min 47sec
  8. Guido Carlesi (Molteni) @ 13min 35sec
  9. Ernesto Bono (San Pellegrino) @ 13min 36sec
  10. Gastone Nencini (Carpano) @ 13min 49sec
  11. Hans Junkermann (Faema) @ 18min 12sec
  12. Adriano Zamboni (Torpado) @ 21min 30sec
  13. Hilaire Couvreur (Faema) @ 24min 13sec
  14. Angelo Conterno (Carpano) @ 28min 47sec
  15. Alfredo Sabbadin (Atala) @ 28min 48sec
  16. Michele Gismondi (Tricofilina-Coppi) @ 28min 55sec
  17. Ercole Baldini (Ignis) @ 33min 31sec
  18. Nino Defilippis (Carpano) @ 35min 15sec
  19. Alessandro Fantini (Atala) @ 36min 16sec
  20. Vito Favero (Atala) @ 37min 48sec
  21. Pasquale Fornara (EMI) @ 46min 54sec
  22. Guido Boni (Tricofilina-Coppi) @ 49min 10sec
  23. Rino Benedetti (Ghigi) @ 51min 27sec
  24. Giorgio Tinazzi (Torpado) @ 53min 4sec
  25. Nino Catalano (Bianchi) @ 53min 37sec
  26. Michel Vermeulin (Helyett-Pontin) @ 53min 38sec
  27. Noe Conti (Bianchi) @ 56min 56sec
  28. Gianantonio Ricco (Molteni) @ 57min 12sec
  29. Rolf Graf (Molteni) @ 57min 28sec
  30. Désiré Keteleer (Carpano) @ 57min 38sec
  31. Germano Barale (Bianchi) @ 58min 10sec
  32. Aurelio Cestari (Atala) @ 1hr 0min 59sec
  33. Giuseppe Fallarini (Ignis) @ 1hr 1min 19sec
  34. Edouard Delberghe (Helyett-Pontin) @ 1hr 2min 9sec
  35. Agostino Coletto (Tricofilina-Coppi) @ 1hr 5min 27sec
  36. Arturo Neri (Atala) @ 1hr 6min 59sec
  37. René Pavard (Helyett-Pontin) @ 1hr 9min 15sec
  38. Giuseppe Dante (Ignis) @ 1hr 10min 13sec
  39. Nello Fabbri (Bianchi) @ 1hr 14min 5sec
  40. Seamus Elliott (Helyett-Pontin) @ 1hr 15min 20sec
  41. Marcel Ernzer (EMI) @ 1hr 19min 42sec
  42. André Darrigade (Helyett-Pontin) @ 1hr 19min 48sec
  43. Giovanni Pettinati (Atala) @ 1hr 20min 23sec
  44. Aldo Kazianka (Tricofilina-Coppi) @ 1hr 24min 6sec
  45. Mario Tosato (Torpado) @ 1hr 23min 23sec
  46. Josef Theuns (Faema) @ 1hr 27min 29sec
  47. Lido Tamagni (Legnano) @ 1hr 30min 7sec
  48. Vittorio Casati (Legnano) @ 1hr 31min 8sec
  49. Bruno Monti (Atala) @ 1hr 31min 28sec
  50. Vinicio Marsili (Bianchi) @ 1hr 37min 30sec
  51. Luigi Tezza (Legnano) @ 1hr 41min 16sec
  52. Armando Pellegrini (EMI) @ 1hr 47min 2sec
  53. Pierino Baffi (Ignis) @ 1hr 47min 28sec
  54. Federico Galeaz (Torpado) @ 1hr 51min 7sec
  55. Edgard Sorgeloos (Faema) @ 1hr 53min 28sec
  56. Rizzardo Brenioli (Atala) @ 1hr 54min 17sec
  57. Idrio Bui (Ghigi) @ 1hr 57min 0sec
  58. Aldo Bolzan (EMI) @ 1hr 59min 35sec
  59. Giovanni Pintarelli (EMI) @ 2hr 0min 8sec
  60. Roberto Falaschi (Ignis) @ 2hr 0min 24sec
  61. Mario Zocca (Legnano) @ 2hr 3min 12sec
  62. Italo Mazzacurati (Ghigi) @ 2hr 4min 12sec
  63. Cleto Maule (Carpano) @ 2hr 5min 0sec
  64. Alfred Ruegg (Tricolfilina-Coppi) @ 2hr 5min 18sec
  65. Wlademaro Bartolozzi (Ignis) @ 2hr 13min 29sec
  66. Angiolino Piscaglia (Ghigi) @ 2hr 16min 19sec
  67. Nelo Velucchi (Atala) @ 2hr 19min 47sec
  68. Adolf Christian (Ignis) @ 2hr 21min 34sec
  69. Gianni Ferlenghi (Carpano) @ 2hr 26min 5sec
  70. Nunzio Pelliciari (San Pellegrino) @ 2hr 29min 12sec
  71. Gilberto Dall'Agata (Ghigi) @ 2hr 30min 30sec
  72. Jean Stablinski (Helyett-Pontin) @ 2hr 31min 59sec
  73. Colombo Cassano (Tricolfinila-Coppi) @ 2hr 34min 26sec
  74. Walter Martin (Carpano) @ 2hr 36min 37sec
  75. Carlo Guarguaglini (EMI) @ 2hr 36min 41sec
  76. Giovanni Michelon (Tricofilina-Coppi) @ 2hr 39min 35sec
  77. Giovanni Metra (EMI) @ 2hr 57min 25sec
  78. Giacomo Fini (Bianchi) @ 2hr 53min 30sec
  79. Gino Vignolo (San Pellegrino) @ 2hr 57min 25sec
  80. Silvano Ciampi (Bianchi) @ 3hr 7min 22sec
  81. Emilio Bottecchia (Molteni) @ 3hr 11min 19sec
  82. Giuliano Bernardelle (Torpado) @ 3hr 15min 51sec
  83. Bruno Costalunga (Molteni) @ 3hr 22min 32sec
  84. Arrigo Padovan (Atala) @ 3hr 23min 46sec
  85. Gino Guerrini (Tricofilina-Coppi) @ 3hr 25min 26sec
  86. Antonio Uliana (Molteni) @ 3hr 30min 53sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. green jerseyCharly Gaul (EMI): 560 points
  2. Imerio Massignan (Legnano): 320
  3. Hans Junkermann (Faema): 300
  4. Vito Favero (Atala): 250
  5. Graziano Battistini (Legnano): 110

Winning team: Atala


1959 Giro stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Saturday, May 16, Milano - Salsomaggiore, 135 km

  1. Rik van Looy: 2hr 58min 47sec
  2. Willy Vannitsen s.t.
  3. Miguel Poblet s.t.
  4. Alessandro Fantini s.t.
  5. Giorgio Albani s.t.
  6. Romain Van Wynsberghe s.t.
  7. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  8. Oreste Magni s.t.
  9. Walter Martin s.t.
  10. André Darrigade s.t.

Stage 2: Sunday, May 17, Salsomaggiore 22 km individual time trial

  1. Jacques Anquetil: 27min 46sec
  2. Rolf Graf @ 25sec
  3. Ercole Baldini @ 39sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 1min 17sec
  5. Gastone Nencini @ 1min 20sec
  6. Guido Carlesi @ 1min 24sec
  7. Nino Defilippis @ 1min 29sec
  8. Charly Gaul @ 1min 30sec
  9. Cleto Maule @ 1min 32sec
  10. Pasquale Fornara @ 1min 35sec

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Jaques Anquetil: 3hr 26min 33sec
  2. Rolf Graf @ 25sec
  3. Ercole Baldini @ 39sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 1min 17sec
  5. Gastone Nencini @ 1min 20sec
  6. Guido Carlesi @ 1min 24sec
  7. Nino Defilippis @ 1min 29sec
  8. Charly Gaul @ 1min 30sec
  9. Cleto Maule @ 1min 32sec
  10. Pasquale Fornara @ 1min 35sec

Stage 3: Monday, May 18, Salsomaggiore - Abetone, 180 km

climbAscent: Abetone

  1. Charly Gaul: 4hr 57min 9sec
  2. Joseph Hoevenaers @ 21sec
  3. Rik van Looy @ 42sec
  4. Carlo Azzini @ 1min 23sec
  5. Han Junkermann @ 1min 32sec
  6. Kurt Gimmi @ 1min 35sec
  7. Alfred Ruegg @ 1min 48sec
  8. Adriano Zamboni @ 2min 2sec
  9. Angelo Conterno @ 2min 4sec
  10. Giorgio Tinazzi s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Charly Gaul: 8hr 25min 12sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 1min 8sec
  3. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 27sec
  4. Alfred Ruegg @ 2min 3sec
  5. Joseph Hoevenaers @ 2min 12sec
  6. Hans Junkermann @ 2min 19sec
  7. Carlo Azzini @ 2min 20sec
  8. Angelo Conterno @ 2min 29sec
  9. Diego Ronchini @ 2min 50sec
  10. Adriano Zamboni @ 2min 57sec

Stage 4: Tuesday, May 19, Abetone - Arezzo, 178 km

climbsAscents: Oppio, Consuma

  1. Armando Pellegrini: 4hr 55min55sec
  2. Aurelio Cestari s.t.
  3. Gastone Nencini s.t.
  4. Arturo Neri @ 4sec
  5. Hilaire Couvreur @ 3min 8sec
  6. Seamus Elliot s.t.
  7. Giorgio Tinazzi @ 3min 13sec
  8. Rik van Looy s.t.
  9. Miguel Poblet s.t.
  10. Rino Benedetti s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Charly Gaul: 13hr 24min 20sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 1min 8sec
  3. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 27sec
  4. Arturo Neri @ 1min 28sec
  5. Joseph Joevenaers @ 2min 12sec
  6. Aurelio Cestari @ 2min 13sec
  7. Hans Junkermann @ 2min 19sec
  8. Carlo Azzini @ 2min 28sec
  9. Angelo Conterno @ 2min 29sec
  10. Diego Ronchini @ 2min 50sec

Stage 5: Wednesday, May 20, Arezzo - Roma, 243 km

climbAscent: Nibio

  1. Rik van Looy: 6hr 56min 21sec
  2. Joseph Hoevenaers s.t.
  3. Charly Gaul s.t.
  4. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 27sec
  5. Edouard Delberghe s.t.
  6. Adriano Zamboni @ 27sec
  7. Hilaire Couvreur @ 31sec
  8. Giacomo Grioni s.t.
  9. Nello Fabbri @ 37sec
  10. Noe Conti @ 3min 5sec

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Charly Gaul: 20hr 20min 41sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 1min 8sec
  3. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 27sec
  4. Joseph Hoevenaers @ 2min 12sec
  5. Adriano Zamboni @ 3min 24sec
  6. Hilaire Couvreur @ 4min 52sec
  7. Arturo Neri @ 6min 7sec
  8. Edouard Delberghe @ 6min 9sec
  9. Hans Junkermann @ 6min 58sec
  10. Carlo Azzini @ 6min 59sec

Stage 6: Thursday, May 21, Roma - Napoli, 213 km

  1. Miguel Poblet: 5hr 49min 33sec
  2. Guido Carlesi s.t.
  3. Oreste Magni s.t.
  4. Romain Van Wynsberghe s.t.
  5. Nino Defilippis s.t.
  6. Carlo Zorzoli s.t.
  7. Remo Tamagni s.t.
  8. Alfredo Sabbadin s.t.
  9. Colombo Cassano s.t.
  10. Seamus Elliot s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Charly Gaul: 26hr 14min 52sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 1min 8sec
  3. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 27sec
  4. Joseph Hoenevaers @ 2min 12sec
  5. Miguel Poblet @ 3min 19sec
  6. Adriano Zamboni @ 3min 24sec
  7. Nino Defilippis @ 3min 50sec
  8. Hilaire Couvreur @ 4min 52sec
  9. Arturo Neri @ 6min 7sec
  10. Edouard Delberghe @ 6min 9sec

Stage 7: Friday, May 22, Vesuvio 8km individual timed hill climb

climbAscent: Vesuvio

  1. Charly Gaul 22min 46sec
  2. Guido Boni @ 37sec
  3. Miguel Poblet @ 39sec
  4. Antonio Catalano @ 50sec
  5. Jacques Anquetil @ 52sec
  6. Hilaire Couvreur @ 1min 3sec
  7. Ercole Baldini @ 1min 8sec
  8. Adriano Zamboni @ 1min 11sec
  9. Imerio Massignan @ 1min 14sec
  10. Pasquale Fornara @ 1min 22sec

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Charly Gaul: 26hr 37min 38sec
  2. Jacques Anquetil @ 2min 19sec
  3. Rik van Looy @ 3min 15sec
  4. Miguel Poblet @ 3min 58sec
  5. Adriano Zamboni @ 4min 35sec
  6. Ninio Defilippis @ 5min 25sec
  7. Hilaire Couvreur @ 5min 55sec
  8. Joseph Hoevenaers @ 5min 59sec
  9. Arturo Neri @ 8min 45sec
  10. Edouard Delberghe @ 8min 49sec

Stage 8: Saturday, May 23, Isola d'Ischia 31km individual time trial

  1. Antonino Catalano: 52min 23sec
  2. Jacques Anquetil @ 52sec
  3. Rik van Looy @ 1min 7sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 1min 8sec
  5. Adriano Zamboni s.t.
  6. Charly Gaul @ 1min 14sec
  7. Guido Boni @ 1min 18sec
  8. Hilaire Couvreur @ 1min 25sec
  9. Miguel Poblet @ 1min 31sec
  10. Rolf Graf @ 1min 32sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Charly Gaul: 27hr 31min 15sec
  2. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 57sec
  3. Rik van Looy @ 3min 8sec
  4. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 15sec
  5. Adriano Zamboni @ 4min 29sec
  6. Hilaire Couvreur @ 6min 6sec
  7. Nino Defilippis @ 6min 10sec
  8. Diego Ronchini @ 9min 2sec
  9. Guido Carlesi @ 9min 31sec
  10. Joseph Hoenevaers @ 9min 36sec

Stage 9: Sunday, May 24, Napoli - Vasto, 206 km

  1. Gastone Nencini: 5hr 27min 11sec
  2. Graziano Battistini @ 6sec
  3. Imerio Massignan @ 12sec
  4. Guido Boni @ 19sec
  5. Hans Junkermann @ 3min 13sec
  6. Adriano Zamboni @ 3min 17sec
  7. Aldo Moser @ 3min 45sec
  8. Federico Galeaz @ 4min 43sec
  9. Antonio Dal Col @ 5min 12sec
  10. Miguel Poblet @ 6min 14sec

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Charly Gaul: 33hr 4min 40sec
  2. Adriano Zamboni @ 1min 32sec
  3. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 57sec
  4. Rik van Looy @ 3min 8sec
  5. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 15sec
  6. Imerio Massignan @ 5min 48sec
  7. Hilaire Couvreur @ 6min 6sec
  8. Nino Defilippis @ 6min 10sec
  9. Gastone Nencini @ 6min 48sec
  10. Hans Junkermann @ 7min 45sec

Stage 10: Monday, May 25, Vasto - Teramo, 148 km

  1. Rino Benedetti: 3hr 37min 0sec
  2. Arrigo Padovan s.t.
  3. Guido Carlesi s.t.
  4. Jean Graczyk s.t.
  5. Bruno Monti s.t.
  6. Diego Ronchini s.t.
  7. Alessandro Fantini s.t.
  8. Mario Zocca s.t.
  9. Cleto Maule s.t.
  10. Joseph Hoenevaers s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Charly Gaul: 36hr 46min 28sec
  2. Adriano Zamboni @ 1min 32saec
  3. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 57sec
  4. Rik van Looy @ 3min 8sec
  5. Diego Ronchini @ 4min 14sec
  6. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 15sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 43sec
  8. Joseph Hoenevaers @ 4min 50sec
  9. Imerio Massignan @ 5min 48sec
  10. Hilaire Couvreur @ 6min 7sec

Stage 11: Tuesday, May 26, Ascoli Piceno - Rimini, 245 km

  1. Rik van Looy: 6hr 29min 16sec
  2. Martin van Geneugden s.t.
  3. Gastone Nencini s.t.
  4. Ercole Baldini @ 11sec
  5. Miguel Poblet s.t.
  6. Romain van Wynsberghe s.t.
  7. Tranquillo Scudellaro s.t.
  8. Cleto Maule s.t.
  9. Alfred Ruegg s.t.
  10. Remo Tamagni s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Charly Gaul: 43hr 15min 55sec
  2. Adriano Zamboni @ 1min 32sec
  3. Jacques Anquetil @ 1min 57sec
  4. Rik van Looy @ 2min 57sec
  5. Diego Ronchini @ 4min 14sec
  6. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 15sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 43sec
  8. Joseph Hoenvenaers @ 4min 50sec
  9. Imerio Massignan @ 5min 48sec
  10. Hilaire Couvreur @ 6min 6sec

Stage 12: Thursday, May 28, Rimini - San Marino, 141 km

climbsAscents: Eremo, San Marino

  1. Nino Defilippis: 3hr 48min 5sec
  2. Angelo Conterno @ 3sec
  3. Jacques Anquetil s.t.
  4. Guido Carlesi @ 21sec
  5. Imerio Massignan @ 28sec
  6. Ernesto Bono @ 47sec
  7. Graziano Battistini @ 57sec
  8. Alfredo Sabbadin @ 1min 10sec
  9. Giuseppe Pardini @ 1min 26sec
  10. René Pavard s.t.

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Charly Gaul: 47hr 5min 26sec
  2. Jacques Anquetil @ 34sec
  3. Adriano Zamboni @ 2min 33sec
  4. Rik van Looy @ 2min 57sec
  5. Guido Carlesi @ 3min 28sec
  6. Diego Ronchini @ 3min 54sec
  7. Miguel Poblet @ 3min 55sec
  8. Nino Defilippis @ 4min 44sec
  9. Imerio Massignan @ 4min 52sec
  10. Joseph Hoevenars @ 5min 53sec

Stage 13: Friday, May 29, Rimini - Verona, 233 km

  1. Miguel Poblet: 5hr 56min 12sec
  2. Rik van Looy s.t.
  3. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  4. Alessandro Fantini s.t.
  5. Martin van Geneugden s.t.
  6. Bruno Monti s.t.
  7. André Darrigade s.t.
  8. Gastone Nencini s.t.
  9. Vinicio Marsili s.t.
  10. Romain van Wynsberghe s.t.

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Charly Gaul: 53hr 1min 38sec
  2. Jacques Anquetil @ 34sec
  3. Andrian Zamboni @ 2min 33sec
  4. Rik van Looy @ 2min 57sec
  5. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 6sec
  6. Diego Ronchini @ 4min 28sec
  7. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 29sec
  8. Nino Defilippis @ 5min 12sec
  9. Imerio Massignan @ 5min 15sec
  10. Joseph Hoenevaers @ 5min 51sec

Stage 14: Saturday, May 30, Verona - Rovereto, 143 km

climbAscent: Fugazze

  1. Rik van Looy: 4hr 7min 30sec
  2. Vito Favero s.t.
  3. Diego Ronchini s.t.
  4. Imerio Massignan @ 4sec
  5. Cleto Maule @ 22sec
  6. Alessandro Fantini @ 27sec
  7. Gastone Nencini s.t.
  8. Guido Carlesi s.t.
  9. Charly Gaul @ 30sec
  10. Jacques Anquetil @ 41sec

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Charly Gaul: 57hr 9min 38sec
  2. Jacques Anquetil @ 45sec
  3. Rik van Looy @ 2min 27sec
  4. Adriano Zamboni @ 2min 57sec
  5. Diego Ronchini @ 3min 58sec
  6. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 3sec
  7. Imerio Massignan @ 4min 49sec
  8. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 53sec
  9. Nino Defilippis @ 5min 28sec
  10. Hilaire Couvreur @ 6min 30sec

Stage 15: Sunday, May 31, Verona - Bolzano, 198 km

climbsAscents: Brocon, Rolle, Costalunga

  1. Miguel Poblet: 6hr 41min 9sec
  2. Rik van Looy s.t.
  3. Vito Favero s.t.
  4. Graziano Battistini s.t.
  5. Imerio Massignan s.t.
  6. Aurelio Cestari s.t.
  7. Jacques Anquetil s.t.
  8. Diego Ronchini s.t.
  9. Angelo Conterno @ 1min 1sec
  10. Michele Gismondi s.t.

GC after Stage 15:

  1. Jacques Anquetil: 63hr 51min 32sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 1min 37sec
  3. Charly Gaul @ 1min 48sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 3min 13sec
  5. Imerio Massignan @ 4min 1sec
  6. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 8sec
  7. Adriano Zamboni @ 5min 58sec
  8. Guido Carlesi @ 6min 44sec
  9. Hilaire Couvreur @ Defilippis @ 8min 29sec

Stage 16: Monday, June 1, Bolzano - San Pellegrino, 245 km

climbsAscents: Mendola, Tonale

  1. Alessandro Fantini: 6hr 58min 39sec
  2. Armando Pellegrini s.t.
  3. Arnaldo Pambianco @ 3sec
  4. Ernesto Bono @ 15sec
  5. Pierino Baffi @ 5min 41sec
  6. Rino Benedetti @ 5min 44sec
  7. Bruno Monti s.t.
  8. André Darrigade s.t.
  9. Adriano Zamboni s.t.
  10. Angelo Conterno s.t.

GC after stage 16:

  1. Jacques Anquetil: 70hr 55min 55sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 1min 37sec
  3. Charly Gaul @ 1min 48sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 3min 13sec
  5. Imerio Massignan @ 4min 1sec
  6. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 8sec
  7. Ernesto Bono @ 5min 7sec
  8. Adriano Zamboni @ 5min 58sec
  9. Guido Carlesi @ 6min 44sec
  10. Hilaire Couvreur @ 6min 46sec

Stage 17: Tuesday, June 2, San Pellegrino - Genova, 241 km

  1. Arrigo Padovan: 6hr 49min 52sec
  2. André Darrigade s.t.
  3. Armando Pellegrini s.t.
  4. Martin Van Geneugden s.t.
  5. Nello Velucchi s.t.
  6. Guido Boni s.t.
  7. Silvano Ciampi s.t.
  8. Angelo Conterno s.t.
  9. Cleto Maule s.t.
  10. Pierino Baffi s.t.

GC after stage 17:

  1. Jacques Anquetil: 77hr 46min 24sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 1min 37sec
  3. Charly Gaul @ 1min 48sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 3min 13sec
  5. Imerio Massignan @ 4min 1sec
  6. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 8sec
  7. Ernesto Bono @ 5min 7sec
  8. Adriano Zamboni @ 5min 58sec
  9. Guido Carlesi @ 6min 44sec
  10. Hilaire Couvreur @ 6min 46sec

Stage 18: Wednesday, June 3, Genova - Torino, 180 km

climbAscent: Cadinova

  1. Vito Favero: 4hr 47min 6sec
  2. Arturo Neri s.t.
  3. Giuseppe Fallarini s.t.
  4. Michele Gismondi s.t.
  5. Graziano Battistini @ 3min 57sec
  6. Giovanni Pettinati s.t.
  7. Nino Defilippis s.t.
  8. Alessandro Fantini s.t.
  9. Cleto Maule s.t.
  10. Miguel Poblet s.t.

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Jacques Anquetil: 82hr 37min 27sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 1min 37sec
  3. Charly Gaul @ 1min 48sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 3min 13sec
  5. Imerio Massignan @ 4min 1sec
  6. Miguel Poblet @ 4min 1sec
  7. Ernesto Bono @ 5min 7sec
  8. Graziano Battistini @ 5min 15sec
  9. Adriano Zamboni @ 5min 58sec
  10. Guido Carlesi @ 6min 44sec

Stage 19: Thursday, June 4, Torino - Susa 51 km individual time trial

  1. Jacques Anquetil: 1hr 4min 8sec
  2. Ercole Baldini @ 1min 20sec
  3. Diego Ronchini @ 1min 49sec
  4. Charly Gaul @ 2min 1sec
  5. Rolf Graf @ 2min 4sec
  6. Antonio Catalano @ 3min 19sec
  7. Miguel Poblet @ 3min 21sec
  8. Ernesto Bono @ 3min 30sec
  9. Nino Defilippis @ 3min 32sec
  10. Guido Carlesi @ 3min 58sec
  11. Rik van Looy @ 4min 11sec
  12. Gastone Nencini @ 4min 15sec

GC after Stage 19:

  1. Jacques Anquetil: 85hr 41min 35sec
  2. Charly Gaul @ 3min 49sec
  3. Diego Ronchini @ 5min 22sec
  4. Rik van Looy @ 5min 48sec
  5. Miguel Poblet @ 7min 29sec
  6. Ernesto Bono @ 8min 37sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 10min 42sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 10min 44sec
  9. Graziano Battistini @ 10min 53sec
  10. Hilaire Couvreur @ 12min 16sec

Stage 20: Friday, June 5, Torino - St. Vincent, 100 km

  1. Alfredo Sabbadin: 2hr 15min 1sec
  2. Diego Ronchini @ 1min 10sec
  3. Mario Tosato @ 1min 19sec
  4. André Darrigade @ 1min 25sec
  5. Miguel Poblet s.t.
  6. Rik van Looy s.t.
  7. Vito Favero s.t.
  8. Graziano Battistini s.t.
  9. Martin Van Geneugden s.t.
  10. Imerio Massignan s.t.

GC after Stage 20:

  1. Jacques Anquetil: 85hr 58min 14sec
  2. Charly Gaul @ 3min 36sec
  3. Diego Ronchini @ 4min 34sec
  4. Rik van Looy @ 5min 35sec
  5. Miguel Poblet @ 7min 16sec
  6. Ernesto Bono @ 8min 24sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 10min 29sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 10min 31sec
  9. Graziano Battistini @ 10min 40sec
  10. Hilaire Couvreur @ 12min 16sec

Stage 21: Saturday, June 6, Aosta - Courmayeur, 296 km

climbsAscents: Grand St. Bernard, Forclaz, Petit St. Bernard

  1. Charly Gaul: 9hr 32min 50sec
  2. Imerio Massignan @ 36sec
  3. Graziano Battistini @ 3min 43sec
  4. Gastone Nencini @ 3min 57sec
  5. Rik van Looy @ 5min 18sec
  6. Giorgio Tinazzi s.t.
  7. Hans Junkermann s.t.
  8. Diego Ronchini s.t.
  9. Nino Defilippis @ 6min 5sec
  10. Miguel Poblet @ 6min 41sec
  11. Jacques Anquetil @ 9min 48sec

GC after Stage 21:

  1. Charly Gaul: 95hr 34min 40sec
  2. Jacques Anquetil @ 6min 12sec
  3. Diego Ronchini @ 6min 16sec
  4. Rik van Looy @ 7min 17sec
  5. Imerio Massignan @ 7min 31sec
  6. Miguel Poblet @ 10min 21sec
  7. Graziano Battistini @ 10min 47sec
  8. Guido Carlesi @ 13min 38sec
  9. Ernesto Bono @ 13min 56sec
  10. Gastone Nencini @ 15min 49sec

22nd and Final Stage: Sunday, June 7, Courmayeur - Milano, 220 km

  1. Rolf Graf: 6hr 15min 38sec
  2. Rik van Looy @ 8sec
  3. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  4. Arrigo Padovan s.t.
  5. Italo Mazzacurati s.t.
  6. Gino Guerrini s.t.
  7. Aldo Kazianka s.t.
  8. Vito Favero s.t.
  9. Bruno Monti s.t.
  10. Miguel Poblet s.t.

Complete Final 1969 Giro d'Italia General Classificaton


The Story of the 1959 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.

Despite the entries of Gaul, Nencini, Baldini, Defilippis and Fornara, two fine young Italian climbers, Imerio Massignan and Graziano Battistini, and a quickly maturing Diego Ronchini, the real attention would be on two foreign riders.

Of these two, the extravagantly talented Jacques Anquetil is the most important. By the time he was 22 in 1956, he had earned an Olympic bronze medal, beat Koblet and Bobet in the Grand Prix des Nations time trial and held the World Hour Record.

In 1957 he won the Tour de France in his first attempt. Anquetil was a superb time-trialist, probably the best who ever raced, and a more than good climber. We’ll never really know how good Anquetil could have been in the mountains because he raced above all with his head, never wasting a watt. He rode with an extraordinary economy of effort. He would do just what he had to in order to maintain a competitive place, but no more, always being careful not to lose time. He would then overpower the peloton in the time trial.

He was said to be a rider who could not be dropped, but who could drop no one. He rarely tried; he didn’t need to. If the coldly rational Anquetil didn’t need to do something, then he simply didn’t do it.

Anquetil was always acutely conscious of his reputation as well as his market value to race promoters. After dropping out of the 1958 Tour with a chest infection so severe he had thought he might not race again, he felt he would have to do something astounding. He chose an attempt to equal Fausto Coppi’s Giro-Tour double.

There was some feeling in the Anquetil camp that winning the Giro would be particularly difficult because they felt there was an entrenched bias against foreign riders. But in the 1950s (the 1970s and ’80s are a different case) it wasn’t really so clear-cut that this bias existed, the pulls and pushes of the tifosi notwithstanding. Of the nine editions so far, the 1950s had seen three foreign Giro winners: two Swiss and one from Luxembourg. If Bobet and Gaul had not been at crossed daggers Bobet would probably have made it four. The Tour could boast of four foreign winners over the same time period.

The other rider meriting attention was Rik van Looy, who desperately wanted to add a Grand Tour to his victory list. His first attempt at the Giro was in 1955 when he was a second-year pro; he was eliminated in the eighth stage. He showed no particular talent for stage racing after that. His next Grand Tour attempt was the 1958 Vuelta, which he abandoned after the twelfth stage. But then in 1959 things started to click for van Looy. In February he won the Tours of Sardinia, Levante (Spain) and came in third in the Vuelta in early May while winning the points competition. He not unreasonably felt he could do something in Italy.

Van Looy’s Faema team, famously called the “Red Guard” for their jersey color, was strong and capable and run roughly along the lines Coppi had pioneered at Bianchi, but with an inconsiderate barbarity. Though van Looy often treated his riders badly, they were all tough Belgian professionals (except Hans Junkerman, who was a tough German professional) and ably did their job of aiding one of the greatest one-day riders in the history of cycling. While credit for creating the first sprinter’s lead-out train is often given to modern sprinter Mario Cipollini, nearly forty years earlier the Red Guard were already masters of the tactic.

Faema

Rik van Looy's Faema squad. I'm pretty sure that's van Looy on the far left.

Of the thirteen teams of ten men, all were predominantly Italian except Anquetil’s Helyett and van Looy’s Faema. Gaul was on the Italian EMI squad with Pasquale Fornara.

Anquetil’s most difficult opponent had to be Charly Gaul. Gaul had performed a spectacular exploit in the 1958 Tour where he had taken his revenge on Bobet. Before the start of the Tour’s mountainous stage twenty-one, Gaul told Bobet exactly which switchback on the Luitel climb he would attack, knowing that Bobet could easily fall prey to self-doubts and uncertainty.

While Anquetil was suffering from a chest infection during the cold, rainy stage, Gaul sped away from the entire peloton exactly as he had predicted, inflicting an extraordinary defeat on them all. Bobet was left a shattered wreck. Raphael Géminiani, the General Classification leader, lost the Yellow Jersey when he came in almost fifteen minutes after the pedal-twiddling Gaul. The defeat was so complete Géminiani was reduced to tears at the end of the stage. This stage became one of the most famous in cycling history, on par with Gaul’s day in 1956 on Monte Bondone. Gaul not only was one of the three foreign Giro winners, he was the reigning Tour champion. Trouble, indeed, for young Anquetil.

The first three stages were almost metaphors for each rider’s abilities. Van Looy won the first stage out of Milan. Anquetil took the second stage 22-kilometer time trial (riding at a blistering 47.5 kilometers per hour) and the lead. The third stage was a hilltop finish at Abetone in Tuscany where Gaul arrived at the top alone and became the new owner of the maglia rosa. Nencini was suffering from a “physical indisposition” and lost the Giro that day when he gave up eight minutes.

Gaul was still in the lead with van Looy and Anquetil a little more than a minute behind when the race arrived at the foot of Mount Vesuvius for a timed eight-kilometer hill climb. Of course Gaul won it, beating Anquetil by almost a minute and van Looy by more than two minutes. At this point Gaul was in charge:
1. Charly Gaul
2. Jacques Anquetil @ 2 minutes 19 seconds
3. Rik van Looy @ 3 minutes 15 seconds
4. Miguel Poblet @ 3 minutes 58 seconds
5. Adriano Zamboni @ 4 minutes 35 seconds

The next day the Giro did something interesting, scheduling another time trial, this time on Íschia, one of the islands off the coast of Naples. Bianchi rider Antonio Catalano delivered one of those career rides that one would never expect from a rider whose best accomplishment was third in the 1958 Tour of Switzerland. He beat Anquetil by almost a minute over the 31-kilometer course. Underlining Gaul’s formidable arsenal when he chose to wield it, Anquetil beat Gaul, who was sixth that day, but by only 22 seconds. The standings were little changed.

Looking for an opening, Anquetil took advantage of the hard course in stage twelve with its three ascents of Mount Titano at San Marino. Gaul crashed but was able to remount and regain the field before the first time up the mountain. Anquetil, Defilippis and Conterno escaped the pack, leaving van Looy and Gaul almost a minute and a half behind. Defilippis won the stage (I’m guessing that the usually generous Anquetil let him have the win in return for his help in gaining time on Gaul) and the Frenchman was within 34 seconds of Gaul.

Gaul and Anquetil

Charly Gaul leads Edouard Delberghe, Jacques Anquetil and Rik van Looy in a break

Stage fifteen with its Brocon, Rolle and Costalunga climbs in the Dolomites had been expected to help Gaul ice his ownership of the lead, but he wasn’t able to stay with the leaders on one of the descents. Poblet led in an eight-man group with Anquetil, van Looy, Ronchini and Massignan two and a half minutes ahead of Gaul. Anquetil was back in pink.

Anquetil, being the leader in the General Classification, was the final starter in the stage nineteen time trial. His speed was such that he soon caught Gaul, who then managed to match Anquetil’s pace the rest of the way, minimizing his time loss. Anquetil rode a scorching 47.7 kilometers per hour, taking another two minutes away from Gaul.

At this point Anquetil had a firm grasp on the lead:
1. Jacques Anquetil
2. Charly Gaul @ 3 minutes 49 seconds
3. Diego Ronchini @ 5 minutes 22 seconds
4. Rik van Looy @ 5 minutes 48 seconds
5. Miguel Poblet @ 7 minutes 29 seconds

Going into stage 21, the penultimate stage, Anquetil was still leading. The 296-kilometer day had three climbs, the Gran San Bernardo, the Forclaz in France and the Piccolo San Bernardo on the return to Italy. Until the final climb, Anquetil was able to stay with Gaul. This is not surprising since Gaul had already announced his intention to attack on the steepest slopes of the Piccolo San Bernardo and leave Anquetil far behind. A gap of five minutes was Gaul’s prediction.

A few kilometers from the summit, Gaul was off the front with Imerio Massignan, spinning his cranks like a little motor. Anquetil could do nothing. Not only could he not stay with Gaul; Nencini, Defilippis, van Looy and several others also dropped him. He eventually lost 9 minutes 48 seconds, almost double Gaul’s intent. Even though he flatted twice, Gaul won the stage. Young Massignan had suffered his own puncture shortly before the finish, yet ended only 36 seconds back. To have been a neo-pro riding with the most accomplished climber of the age in a stage of extraordinary difficulty at the end of an exhausting Giro was a fabulous accomplishment.

Anquetil attributed his défaillance to a simple bonk. It’s amazing how months of preparation and weeks of racing can go up in smoke for the lack of a simple sandwich. Gaul was now the new leader and with only the stage into Milan left to ride, Gaul had won the 1959 Giro d’Italia.

If Anquetil had suffered that day, so had Gaul. He went straight to his team car, looking dreadful. He said he was as tired as he had ever been in his life, too tired even to go to the stand and accept his Pink Jersey.

Gaul became the first foreigner to win two Giri. Anquetil could not blame Italian nativism for his loss. Gaul won fair and square.

This was surely the worst ever Giro for the Italians. The Sarti Fynsec distillery had offered 100,000 lire as a prize for each day an Italian was in pink. At the end of the Giro they hadn’t paid out even a centesimo in prizes. That’s right, no Italian had spent even a single day in the maglia rosa.

Anquetil also failed that year to win the Tour amid complex rivalries that are beyond the scope of this book. Anquetil and another fine French racer, Roger Rivière, rode to prevent another Frenchman from winning and aided the Spaniard Federico Bahamontes, who won the 1959 Tour. It was all a big, complicated, sordid mess that reflected badly on nearly all who were involved.

Final 1959 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Charly Gaul (EMI-Guerra) 101 hours 50 minutes 26 seconds
2. Jacques Anquetil (Helyett-Leroux) @ 6 minutes 12 seconds
3. Diego Ronchini (Bianchi) @ 6 minutes 16 seconds
4. Rik van Looy (Faema) @ 7 minutes 17 seconds
5. Imerio Massignan (Legnano) @ 7 minutes 31 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:
1. Charly Gaul (EMI-Guerra)
2. Imerio Massignan (Legnano)
3. Hans Junkermann (Faema)


Italian Video of the finish of Stage 4 finishing in Arezzo