# 1969 Giro d'Italia

### 52nd edition: May 16 - June 8

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

1968 Giro | 1970 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1969 Giro Quick Facts | 1969 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1969 Giro d'Italia | Video |

3,731 km raced at an average speed of 34.942 km/hr

130 starters and 81 classified finishers

Eddy Merckx executed a purposeful, careful ride, not taking the lead until stage nine. From there, keeping the *maglia rosa* seemed to be easy for Merckx and he was surely cruising to victory when he was positive for a banned stimulant at Savona. To this day Merckx insists he had taken no dope and had been framed

The lead migrated to Felice Gimondi, who remained leader to the end.

**1969 Giro d'Italia Final General Classification:**

- Felice Gimondi (Salvarani) 106hr 47min 3sec
- Claudio Michelotto (Max Meyer) @ 3min 35sec
- Italo Zilioli (Filotex) @ 4min 48sec
- Silvano Schiavon (Sanson) @ 7min 1sec
- Ugo Colombo (Filotex) @ 11min 54sec
- Michele Dancelli (Molteni) @ 14min 5sec
- Aldo Moser (G.B.C.) @ 20min 5sec
- Primo Mori (Max Meyer) @ 20min 25sec
- Rudi Altig (Salvarani) @ 23min 45sec
- Franco Bitossi (Filotex) @ 31min 36sec
- Adriano Passuello (Filotex) @ 34min 17sec
- Vittorio Adorni (SCIC) @ 39min 26sec
- Vito Taccone (Germanvox) @ 41min 24sec
- Roberto Poggiali (Salvarani) @ 47min 1sec
- Davide Boifava (Molteni) @ 47min 22sec
- Wladimiro Panizza (Salvarani) @ 49min 19sec
- Enrico Maggioni (Molteni) @ 53min 33sec
- Mario Anni (Molteni) @ 54min 9sec
- Lino Carletto (Salvarani) @ 56min 6sec
- Bernard Vifian (Eliolona) @ 1hr 0min 47sec
- Giovanni Cavalcanti (Gris 2000) @ 1hr 1min 20sec
- Matteo Cravero (Sanson) @ 1hr 7min 7sec
- Marcello Bergamo (Filotex) @ 1hr 8min 26sec
- Flaviano Vicentini (Filotex) @ 1hr 9min 19sec
- Attilio Benfatto (SCIC) @ 1hr 9min 27sec
- Oliviero Morotti (Sagit) @ 1hr 21min 19sec
- Dino Zandegù (Salvarani) @ 1hr 30min 43sec
- Luigi Sgarbozza (Max Meyer) @ 1hr 33min 12sec
- Guerrino Tosello (Molteni) @ 1hr 43min 52sec
- Edy Schutz (Molteni) @ 1hr 45min 48sec
- Giancarlo Polidori (Molteni) @ 1hr @ 45min 58sec
- Carlo Chiappano (Sanson) @ 1hr 46min 6sec
- Giuseppe Scopel (Max Meyer) @ 1hr 46min 11sec
- Imerio Massignan (G.B.C.) @ 1hr 46min 49sec
- Luciano Armani (SCIC) @ 1hr 48min 14sec
- Julio Jiménez (Eliolona) @ 1hr 50min 2sec
- Arturo Pecchielan (Molteni) @ 1hr 52min 1sec
- Albert van Vlierberghe (Ferretti) @ 1hr 55min 38sec
- Franco Bodrero (Salvarani) @ 1hr 57min 24sec
- Giovanni De Franceschi (Eliolona) @ 1hr 59min 13sec
- Attilio Rota (Sanson) @ 1hr 59min 49sec
- Giuseppe Fezzardi (Sanson) @ 2hr 3min 16sec
- Enrico Paolini (SCIC) @ 2hr 7min 7sec
- Julien van Lint (Ferretti) @ 2hr 11min 3sec
- Guido Neri (Max Meyer) @ 2hr 17min 8sec
- Angelo Corti (Gris 2000) @ 2hr 20min 56sec
- Marino Basso (Molteni) @ 2hr 21min 14sec
- Willy Spuhler (G.B.C.) @ 2hr 23min 3sec
- Pietro Campagnari (Sanson) @ 2hr 25min 37sec
- Giancarlo Ferretti (Salvarani) @ 2hr 26min 40sec
- Giampaolo Cucchietti (Max Meyer) @ 2hr 26min 46sec
- Ottavio Crepaldi (Sanson) @ 2hr 31min 42sec
- Emilio Casalini (SCIC) @ 2hr 32min 13sec
- Alberto Della Torre (Filotex) @ 2hr 34min 58sec
- Luciano Dalla Bona (Salvarani) @ 2hr 35min 13sec
- Lucillo Lievore (Eliolona) @ 2hr 35min 22sec
- Giuseppe Milioli (Germanvox) @ 2hr 37min 15sec
- Alfio Poli (Filotex) @ 2hr 40min 8sec
- Celestino Vercelli (Sanson) @ 2hr 40min 21sec
- Giacinto Santambrogio (Molteni) @ 2hr 42min 11sec
- Renato Rota (Ferretti) @ 2hr 42min 47sec
- Silvano Davo (Ferretti) @ 2hr 45min 29sec
- Renato Baldan (G.B.C.) @ 2hr 45min 36sec
- Vittorio Marcelli (Sanson) @ 2hr 52min 15sec
- Primo Franchini (Germanvox) @ 2hr 52min 35sec
- Pietro Tamiazzo (Max Meyer) @ 2hr 56min 39sec
- Felice Salina (Max Meyer) @ 2hr 58min 39sec
- Giorgio Destro (G.B.C.) @ 2hr 59min 36sec
- Ercole Gualazzini (Max Meyer) @ 2hr 59min 36sec
- Giorgio Mantovani (Eliolona) @ 3hr 3min 33sec
- Gianfranco Bianchin (Gris 2000) @ 3hr 9min 43sec
- Tommaso De Prà (Salvarani) @ 3hr 11min 5sec
- Roberto Ballini (G.B.C.) @ 3hr 11min 54sec
- Virginio Levati (Sagit) s.t.
- Ambrogio Portalupi (SCIC) @ 3hr 15min 4sec
- Giorgio Favaro (Filotex) @ 3hr 15min 5sec
- Giuseppe Grassi (Filotex) @ 3hr 21min 24sec
- Romano Tumellero (Ferretti) @ 3hr 42min 4sec
- Giancarlo Toschi (Germanvox) @ 3hr 49min 57sec
- Sandro Quintarelli (Gris 2000) @ 3hr 57min 26sec
- Mario Bettazzoli (Eliolona) @ 4hr 10min 43sec

**Climbers' Competition:**

- Claudio Michelotto (Max Meyer): 330 points
- Italo Zilioli (Filotex): 250
- Felice Gimondi (Salvarani): 230

**Points Competition:**

- Franco Bitossi (Filotex): 182 points
- Marino Basso (Molteni): 166
- Michele Dancelli (Molteni): 129

**Team Classification: **

- Molteni: 4,871 points
- Filotex: 3,663
- Salvarani: 3,332

**1969 Giro stage results with running GC:**

**Friday, May 16:** Stage 1, Garda - Brescia. 142 km

- Giancarlo Polidori: 3hr 17min 4sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 13sec
- Luigi Sgarbozza @ 19sec
- Giovanni Cavalcanti s.t.
- Vito Taccone s.t.
- Guido Neri s.t.
- Carlo Chiappano s.t.
- Davide Boifava s.t.
- Tommaso De Prà
- Luciano Dalla Bona s.t.

**Saturday, May 17:** Stage 2, Brescia - Mirandola, 180 km

- Davide Boifava: 4hr 18min 0sec
- Albert van Vlierberghe @ 23sec
- Mario Anni s.t.
- Franco Bitossi s.t.
- Enrico Paolini s.t.
- Ole Ritter s.t.
- Guido De Rosso s.t.
- Giancarlo Polidori s.t.
- Celestino Vercelli s.t.
- Michele Dancelli @ 1min 15sec

GC after stage 2:

- Davide Boifava: 7hr 35min 23sec
- Giancarlo Polidori @ 4sec
- Guido De Rosso @ 23sec
- Mario Anni, Franco Bitossi, Ole Ritter, Albert van Vlierberghe, Celestino Vercelli @ 47sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 1min 16sec

**Sunday, May 18:** Stage 3, Mirandola - Montecatini Terme, 188 km

Major ascent: Abetone

- Eddy Merckx: 5hr 30min 20sec
- Felice Gimondi s.t.
- Italo Zilioli s.t.
- Michele Dancelli s.t.
- Claudio Michelotto s.t.
- Vittorio Adorni s.t.
- Giancarlo Polidori s.t.
- Mario Anni s.t.
- Primo Mori @ 5sec
- Attilio Benfatto s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

- Giancarlo Polidori: 13hr 5min 47sec
- Mario Anni @ 43sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 1min 17sec
- Michele Dancelli, Felice Gimondi, Claudio Michelotto, Eddy Merckx @ 1min 35sec
- Italo Zilioli, Vittorio Adorni @ 1min 42sec
- Primo Mori @ 1min 47sec

**Monday, May 19:** Stage 4, Montecatini Terme 21 km individual time trial

- Eddy Merckx: 27min 3sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 23sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 26sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 33sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 34sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 35sec
- Giacarlo Polidori @ 36sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 43sec
- Celestino Vercelli @ 49sec
- Ole Ritter @ 50sec

GC after Stage 4:

- Giancarlo Polidori: 13hr 33min 26sec
- Eddy Merckx @ 59sec
- Mario Anni @ 1min 2sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 1min 16sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 1min 32sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 33sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 1min 39sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 50sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 2min 51sec
- Primo Mori @ 3min 5sec

**Tuesday, May 20: **Stage 5, Montecatini Terme - Fallonica, 194 km

- Albert van Vlierberghe: 4hr 22min 54sec
- Alberto Della Torre s.t.
- Lucillo Lievore s.t.
- Enrico Paolini s.t.
- Gianfranco Bianchin s.t.
- Roberto Poggiali s.t.
- Franco Mori s.t.
- Carlo Chiappano s.t.
- Felice Salina s.t.
- Guido Neri s.t.

GC after Stage 5:

- Giancarlo Polidori: 17hr 56min 36sec
- Eddy Merckx @ 59sec
- Mario Anni @ 1min 2sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 1min 16sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 1min 32sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 33sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 1min 39sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 50sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 2min 51sec
- Primo Mori @ 3min 5sec

**Wednesday, May 21:** Stage 6, Follonica - Viterbo, 198 km

- Franco Cortinovis: 5hr 0min 14sec
- Giacinto Samtambrogio s.t.
- Luciano Armani s.t.
- Lucillo Lievore s.t.
- Renzo Baldan s.t.
- Ugo Colombo s.t.
- Guido Neri s.t.
- Silvano Schiavon s.t.
- Constantino Conti s.t.
- Oliviero Morotti s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

- Giancarlo Polidori: 22hr 58min 48sec
- Eddy Merckx @ 59sec
- Mario Anni @ 1min 2sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 1min 16sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 1min 32sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 33sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 1min 39sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 50sec
- Silvano Sciavon @ 2min 14sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 2min 30sec

**Thursday, May 22:** Stage 7, Viterbo - Terracina, 206 km

- Eddy Merckx: 5hr 13min 43sec
- Guido Reybrouck s.t.
- Luigi Sgarbozza s.t.
- Giorgio Destro s.t.
- Marino Basso s.t.
- Giuseppe Grassi s.t.
- Romano Tumellero s.t.
- Virgilio Levati s.t.
- Wladimiro Panizza s.t.
- Franco Vanzin s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

- Giancarlo Polidori: 28hr 12min 31sec
- Eddy Merckx @ 59sec
- Mario Anni @ 1min 2sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 1min 16sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 1min 32sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 33sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 1min 39sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 50sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 2min 51sec
- Primo Mori @ 3min 5sec

**Friday, May 23:** Stage 8, Terracina - Napoli, 133 km

- Marino Basso: 2hr 51min 13sec
- Dino Zandegù s.t.
- Guido Reybrouck s.t.
- Michele Dancelli s.t.
- Franco Cortinovis s.t.
- Vito Taccone s.t.
- Guido Neri s.t.
- Franco Bitossi s.t.
- Luigi Sgarbozza s.t.
- Franco Vanzin s.t.

GC after Stage 8:

- Giancarlo Polidori: 3hr 3min 44sec
- Eddy Merckx @ 59sec
- Mario Anni @ 1min 2sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 1min 16sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 1min 32sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 33sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 1min 39sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 50sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 2min 51sec
- Primo Mori @ 3min 5sec

**Saturday, May 24:** Stage 9, Napoli - Potenza, 173 km

- Michele Dancelli: 4hr 50min 40sec
- Constantino Conti s.t.
- Wladimiro Panizza s.t.
- Ugo Colombo s.t.
- Maurizio Malagutti s.t.
- Lino Carletto s.t.
- Carlo Chiappano s.t.
- Luigi Sgarbozza @ 10sec
- Franco Bitossi s.t.
- Luciano Armani s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

- Eddy Merckx: 35hr 55min 33sec
- Mario Anni @ 3sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 17sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 33sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 34sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 40sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 51sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 1min 32sec
- Constantino Conti, Giancarlo Polidori, Primo Mori @ 2min 6sec

**Sunday, May 25:** Stage 10, Potenza - Campitello Matese, 254 km

Major ascent: Capitello Matese

- Carlo Chiappano: 7hr 57min 16sec
- Ugo Colombo s.t.
- Silvano Schiavon @ 1min 13sec
- Wladimiro Panizza s.t.
- Guido Neri @ 1min 28sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 1min 38sec
- Eddy Merckx @ 1min 51sec
- Feice Gimondi s.t.
- Italo Zilioli s.t.
- Vittorio Adorni s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

- Eddy Merckx: 43hr 54min 40sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 30sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 33sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 34sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 40sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 0sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 1min 29sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 1min 37sec
- Attilio Benfatto @ 2min 1sec
- Franco Bitossi, Constantino Conti @ 2min 10sec

**Monday, May 26:** Stage 11, Campobasso - Scanno, 165 km

Major ascents: Roccaraso, Scanno

- Franco Bitossi: 5hr 10min 51sec
- Wladimiro Panizza s.t.
- Davide Boifava s.t.
- Pietro Di Caterina s.t.
- Vito Taccone s.t.
- Aldo Moser s.t.
- Silvano Schiavon s.t.
- Eddy Merckx @ 1min 33sec
- Dino Zandegù s.t.
- Felice Gimondi s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

- Eddy Merckx: 49hr 7min 4sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 4sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 30sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 33sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 34sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 37sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 40sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 0sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 1min 29sec
- Primo Mori @ 2min 19sec

**Tuesday, May 27:** Stage 12, Scanno - Silvi Marina, 180 km

Major ascent: La Majeletta

- Ugo Colombo: 5hr 9min 38sec
- Vito Taccone s.t.
- Italo Zilioli s.t.
- Silvano Schiavon s.t.
- Michele Dancelli @ 9sec
- Eddy Merckx s.t.
- Franco Bitossi s.t.
- Adriano Passuello s.t.
- Primo Mori s.t.
- Claudio Michelotto s.t.

GC after Stage 12:

- Silvano Schiavon: 54hr 16min 46sec
- Eddy Merckx @ 5sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 26sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 36sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 39sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 42sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 5sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 1min 34sec
- Primo Mori @ 2min 24sec
- Aldo Moser @ 3min 4sec

**Wednesday, May 28:** Stage 13, Silvi Marina - Senigallia, 166km

- Marino Basso: 3hr 57min 1sec
- Guido Reybrouck s.t.
- Luigi Sgarbozza s.t.
- Alberto Morellini s.t.
- Virgilio Levati s.t.
- Franco Bitossi s.t.
- Dino Zandegù s.t.
- Adriano Durante s.t.
- Lucillo Lievore s.t.
- Rudi Altig s.t.

GC after Stage 13:

- Silvano Schiavon: 58hr 13min 47sec
- Eddy Merckx @ 5sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 26sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 36sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 39sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 42sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 5sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 1min 34sec
- Primo Mori @ 2min 24sec
- Aldo Moser @ 3min 4sec

**Thursday, May 29:** Stage 14, Senigallia - San Marino, 185 km

Major Ascents: Carpegna, San Marino

- Franco Bitossi: 5hr 33min 22sec
- Guido Neri @ 8sec
- Rudi Altig s.t.
- Ernesto Jotti @ 13sec
- Marino Basso @ 15sec
- Luigi Sgarbozza s.t.
- Dino Zandegù s.t.
- Primo Mori s.t.
- Vittorio Adorni s.t.
- Giuseppe Scopel s.t.

GC after Stage 14:

- Eddy Merckx: 63hr 47min 29sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 21sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 22sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 31sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 34sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 52sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 0sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 1min 29sec
- Primo Mori @ 2min 19sec
- Aldo Moser @ 3min 56sec

**Friday, May 30:** Stage 15, Cesenatico - San Marino 49.3 km Individual Time Trial

Major Ascent: San Marino

- Eddy Merckx: 1hr 14min 15sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 7sec
- Ole Ritter @ 2min 56sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 3min 23sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 3min 40sec
- Rudi Altig @ 3min 45sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 4min 6sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 4min 32sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 4min 55sec
- Bernard Vifian @ 6min 16sec

GC after Stage 15:

- Eddy Merckx: 65hr 1min 44sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 41sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 3min 54sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 4min 32sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 4min 54sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 5min 6sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 5min 16sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 8min 6sec
- Primo Mori @ 9min 19sec
- Aldo Moser @ 11min 40sec

**Saturday, May 31:** Rest Day

**Sunday, June 1:** Stage 16, Parma - Savona, 220 km

Major Ascent: Cento Croci

- Roberto Ballini: 6hr 35min 48sec
- Marin Basso s.t.
- Guido Reybrouck s.t.
- Rudi Altig s.t.
- Alberto Morellini s.t.
- Dino Zandegù s.t.
- Vito Taccone s.t.
- Virgilio Levati s.t.
- Giorgio Destro s.t.
- Ercole Gualazzini s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

- Eddy Merckx: 71hr 37min 32sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 41sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 3min 54sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 4min 32sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 4min 34sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 5min 6sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 5min 16sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 8min 6sec
- Primo Mori @ 9min 19sec
- Aldo Moser @ 11min 40sec

**Monday, June 2: **Stage 17, Savona - Pavia, 182 km

Eddy Merckx is booted from the Giro after he is positive for dope. His teams follows him. Felice Gimondi becomes the new leader.

- Ole Ritter: 4hr 48min 38sec
- Ottavio Crepaldi @ 32sec
- Luigi Sgarbozza @ 36sec
- Felice Salina s.t.
- Adriano Durante s.t.
- Marcello Bergamo s.t.
- Giancarlo Polidori s.t.
- Giacinto Santambrogio s.t.
- Lucillo Lievore s.t.
- Tommaso De Prà s.t.

GC after Stage 17:

- Felice Gimondi: 76hr 35min 2sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 2min 13sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 2min 51sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 3min 13sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 3min 25sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 3min 35sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 6min 25sec
- Primo Mori @ 7min 38sec
- Aldo Moser @ 9min 59sec
- Lino Carletto @ 14min 52sec

**Tuesday, June 3: **Stage 18A, Pavia - Zingonia, 115 km

- Marino Basso: 2hr 51min 28sec
- Dino Zandegù s.t.
- Adriano Durante s.t.
- Franco Bitossi s.t.
- Luigi Sgarbozza s.t.
- Alberto Morellini s.t.
- Matteo Cravero s.t.
- Michele Dancelli s.t.
- Roberto Ballini s.t.
- Guido Neri s.t.

GC after Stage 18A

- Felice Gimondi

**Tuesday, June 3:** Stage 18B, Zingonia - San Pellegrino, 100 km

Major ascent: Selvino

- Marino Basso: 2hr 46min 7sec
- Enrico Paolini s.t.
- Attilio Benfatto @ 2sec
- Angelo Corti @ 17sec
- Carlo Chiappano @ 18sec
- Felice Salina @ 33sec
- Rudi Altig s.t.
- Franco Bitossi @ 3min 21sec
- Michele Dancelli s.t.
- Guido Neri s.t.

GC after Stage 18B

- Felice Gimondi: 82hr 16min 1sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 2min 13sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 2min 51sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 3min 10sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 3min 25sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 3min 35sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 6min 22sec
- Primo Mori @ 7min 38sec
- Aldo Moser @ 9min 59sec
- Rudi Altig @ 14min 48sec

**Wednesday, June 4:** Stage 19, San Pellegrino - Folgaria, 218 km

Major ascents: Polsa, Folgaria

- Italo Zilioli: 8hr 44min 38sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 6sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 1min 48sec
- Enrico Maggioni @ 3min 8sec
- Vito Taccone s.t.
- Silvano Schiavano @ 3min 11sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 3min 57sec
- Rudi Altig @ 5min 9sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 5min 10sec
- Roberto Poggiali @ 5min 12sec

GC after Stage 19:

- Felice Gimondi: 91hr 0min 42sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 2min 10sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 5min 10sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 5min 59sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 8min 42sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 9min 22sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 10min 16sec
- Aldo Moser @ 15min 12sec
- Vito Taccone @ 18min 23sec
- Primo Mori @ 19min 30sec

**Thursday, June 5:** Stage 20, Trento - Marmolada

Stage 20 canceled because of bad weather

**Friday, June 6:** Stage 21, Rocco Pietore - Cavalese, 131 km

Major ascents: Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Costalunga, Lavazze

- Claudio Michelotto: 4hr 0min 22sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 1min 55sec
- Primo Mori @ 2min 6sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 3min 4sec
- Vittorio Adorni @ 3min 43sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 4min 16sec
- Marcello Bergamo s.t.
- Giovanni Cavalcanti @ 4min 27sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 4min 47sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 5min 20sec

GC after Stage 21:

- Felice Gimondi: 95hr 2min 59sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 3min 15sec
- Italo Zilioli @ 4min 32sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 7min 8sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 11min 34sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 13min 41sec
- Aldo Moser @ 18min 59sec
- Primo Mori @ 20min 1sec
- Adriano Passuello @ 24min 55sec
- Rudi Altig @ 26min 5sec

**Saturday, June 7:** Stage 22, Cavalese - Folgarida, 150 km

Major ascents: Mendola, Folgarida

- Vittorio Adorni: 4hr 15min 27sec
- Wladimiro Panniza @ 42sec
- Rudi Altig @ 45sec
- Davide Boifava @ 2min 26sec
- Vittorio Marcelli @ 2min 31sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 2min 46sec
- Felice Gimondi @ 2min 53sec
- Giovanni De Franceschi @ 2min 57sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 3min 4sec
- Julien van Lint @ 3min 8sec

GC after Stage 22:

- Felice Gimondi: 99hr 21min 19sec
- Claudio Michelotto @ 3min 35sec
- Italo Zilioli 2 4min 48sec
- Silvano Schiavon @ 7min 1sec
- Ugo Colombo @ 11min 54sec
- Michele Dancelli @ 14min 1sec
- Aldo Moser @ 10min 15sec
- Primo Mori @ 20min 25sec
- Rudi Altig @ 24min 57sec
- Franco Bitossi @ 31min 36sec

**Sunday, June 8:** 23rd and Final Stage, Folgarida - Milano, 257km

Major ascents: Tonale

- Attilio Benfatto: 7hr 25min 39sec
- Ercole Gualazzini @ 5sec
- Franco Bitossi s.t.
- Marino Basso s.t.
- Alberto Della Torre s.t.
- Dino Zandegù s.t.
- Roberto Ballini s.t.
- Luigi Sgarbozza s.t.
- Vittorio Adorni s.t.
- Giuseppe Milioli s.t.

Complete Final 1969 Giro d'Italia General Classification

**The Story of the 1969 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.*

Eddy Merckx entered the golden era of his career. In 1969 he contested 129 races, as he did in 1968. But in ’69 he won 43 of them, exactly one-third, compared to 32 in 1968. His winning percentage would improve until at his peak in 1972 he won 54 out of the 120 races he entered, an incredible 45 percent! While this includes a lot of local criteriums, his spring 1969 wins include Paris–Nice, Milan–San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. No one was more favored to win the 1969 Giro d’Italia than Eddy Merckx.

Merckx’s relentless hunger for victory caused the daughter of racer Christian Raymond to call him a “cannibal”, a nickname that has stuck to this day.

Merckx did leave a few titles for others. Gimondi won the Tour of Romandie and was second to Merckx at Flanders. Zilioli won Catalonian week. Adorni, in his rainbow jersey, left Faema for SCIC but had no notable wins that spring.

The 1969 Giro peloton was mostly Italian with a single Spanish team and a scattering of Belgian (Merckx’s Faema squad had five of his countrymen) and Swiss riders tossed into the mix of the other teams. Not a single French rider was entered.

I asked Celestino Vercelli—then a young pro riding his first Giro on Silvano Schiavon’s Sanson squad—what the start at Lake Garda was like for him in his first Grand Tour. He said he was thrilled and excited but dreaded the exhausting work the coming three weeks would bring.

Giancarlo Polidori escaped the hounds in the first stage and in Bréscia donned the Pink Jersey. The next day Polidori (and Vercelli, who marked the riders but did no work in the break) again got into the day’s big break. Davide Boifava, who would go on to win greater fame as a team manager than he earned as a racer, managed to squirt off the front of that escape a few moments before the finish, allowing him to spend a day in pink.

The next day with its crossing of the Abetone pass put Polidori back into the lead. As a sign of what was to come, Merckx won the stage with Gimondi, Zilioli, Dancelli, Adorni and Claudio Michelotto finishing with him, all with the same time.

Indeed, the next day Merckx won again, this time a 21-kilometer time trial at Montecatini, avenging his 1968 San Marino time trial loss to Gimondi. Polidori was still the leader with a relentless Merckx only 59 seconds back.

Vercelli’s ninth place in the time trial opens an interesting window into rider management. He looked back on that day with pleasure, saying that normally the *gregari* had to ride time trials easily and save their energy to be fresh and rested for the next stage. Sanson director Vendramino Bariviera understood he had a young and hopeful rider filled with ambition and let him race the time trial full gas.

The gap remained at 59 seconds until stage nine, the Naples–Potenza stage. Over the previous half-century the hills of Basilicata had broken the hopes of several pretenders to the Pink Jersey. And it was here that Polidori had to relinquish his lead to Merckx after losing more than three minutes.

The General Classification now stood thus:

1. Eddy Merckx

2. Mario Anni @ 3 seconds

3. Attilio Benfatto @ 17 seconds

4. Vittorio Adorni @ 33 seconds

5. Felice Gimondi @ 34 seconds

6. Italo Zilioli @ 40 seconds

Anni and Benfatto had moved up the Classification by getting in breaks during the early stages and had so far conserved their time gains with skillful riding. This would not last for long.

The stages taking the race north up the eastern side of the peninsula were relentlessly hilly. Sanson rider Silvano Schiavon had been in the front groups for several stages, each day gaining a little more time. Schiavon made it into the stage eleven winning break with Bitossi, Taccone and Panizza, which beat the Merckx group by a minute and a half. Schiavon’s deficit to Merckx was now only four seconds. Vercelli said that the whole team was working like dogs to get Schiavon in pink and felt this was the best time to do it.

Following the twelfth stage, Schiavon took the *maglia rosa* by five seconds after getting into a break that beat Merckx by nine seconds. Normally Merckx was angry when he lost, but Vercelli said the Belgian was calm because he knew he was the strongest rider in the race and was confident he could reclaim the lead in the coming stages. The Sanson riders would be in for a difficult struggle to keep Schiavon in pink against the coming onslaught from Merckx and Gimondi.

Meanwhile, Merckx bided his time. His moment came in stage fifteen and the San Marino 49.3-kilometer time trial. Gimondi was able to come within 67 seconds, but Schiavon lost close to four minutes. Even though the Dolomite stages were still to come, *La Gazzetta* already thought Merckx had the 1969 Giro “in his fist”.

1. Eddy Merckx

2. Felice Gimondi @ 1 minute 41 seconds

3. Italo Zilioli @ 3 minutes 54 seconds

4. Silvano Schiavon @ 4 minutes 32 seconds

5. Franco Bitossi @ 4 minutes 54 seconds

There was a rest day before stage sixteen, which went from Parma to Savona on the Italian Riviera. Setting the tone for the days to come, the stage start was blocked by striking workers. Rudi Altig made his way through them by swinging his bicycle pump. It was a *piano* day, raced at a leisurely 37 kilometers per hour. Even with an ascent of the Passo di Cento Croci, it was easy enough that 95 of the remaining 100 riders in the peloton finished together. Robert Ballini had escaped and only in the final kilometers was a chase mounted because Merckx wanted to win the stage. Ballini just beat speedsters Marino Basso and Guido Reybrouck for the stage win. Even without the stage win, Merckx went to bed comfortable in the knowledge that he had a lead of 101 seconds over Gimondi.

While Merckx slept, the urine samples given by the riders were tested for forbidden drugs. The man doing the test, a Doctor Cavalli, found one of the samples to be positive. A second test (using a gas chromatograph for the detail minded) was made on the sample the following morning to make sure the first test had been performed correctly. It had. The urine sample showed that the rider it came from had taken fencamfamine, ironically the same drug that had triggered Gimondi’s 1968 drug troubles. In 1968 the drug was not on the banned list, in 1969 it was.

Records showed that urine sample had been given by Eddy Merckx, the owner of the *maglia rosa*.

Word leaked out, first to other race officials, then to riders and even some journalists. Everyone seemed to know except the man who was eating his breakfast and getting ready for another day leading the Giro d’Italia.

Finally Nino Defilippis, the head of the race jury, informed a stunned Faema boss Giacotto. It was Giacotto’s sad duty to tell Merckx the news. Accompanied by Torriani, he told Merckx, “No point in going to the start. You’ve been disqualified. Traces of fencamfamine.” The fact that Giacotto could give Merckx the chemical name of the stimulant and believe it would be meaningful to Merckx speaks volumes about the racers and drugs of the era.

Merckx, realizing that he was out of the race, broke down in tears. Martin van den Bossche, Merckx’s roommate, was there when Giacotto delivered the terrible news. “When Eddy heard that he had been found positive and had been thrown out of the Giro, it was as though he had been struck down by the hand of God.” The press poured into Merckx’s hotel room.

Merckx pleaded innocence, saying that he had never tested positive for drugs. Then he hinted at dark shadows, of a plot to remove him from the Giro. Faema, scared stiff by the potential bad publicity, initially considered sacking Merckx, but relented.

Torriani had a mess on his hands. Looking to temporize, he postponed the start of stage seventeen while he tried to get permission to let Merckx start the stage. The boss of the UCI, Adriano Rodoni, turned up missing. Torriani had no choice. Merckx couldn’t start and Gimondi was the new leader. Gimondi refused to put on the Pink Jersey to ride the day’s stage. I can hardly blame him after his own troubles with the gas chromatograph the year before; wearing the Pink Jersey that day would have looked silly.

Meanwhile, folks in Belgium smelled a rat and erupted in outrage. The royal airplane was sent to bring the Belgian national hero home. The Belgian parliament got involved, demanding that Italy rectify an obvious injustice. Things were so crazy that a Swiss newspaper reported that Belgian paratroopers were being prepared to bring Merckx home! Eventually a compromise was reached. Italy stuck by its guns that it had found a banned drug in Merckx’s sample but Merckx’s punishment, a month-long racing suspension was lifted. This would allow him to contest the Tour, which was scheduled to start on June 28.

To this day Merckx bristles at the mention of Savona. He protests that he had no representative present when the second confirming test was performed and somehow the offending sample has mysteriously vanished. Merckx suggests that his urine sample was replaced on the sly with one containing fencamfamine. Furthermore, he argues that the stage was an easy one, certainly one not requiring “preparation”. Knowing that as the *maglia rosa* he would be tested, he would have to have been an idiot to dope for the stage.

He gave new samples (about sixteen hours after he produced the Savona samples) to be tested. They came up clean. Merckx says that given the high concentration the Savona tests showed, there should have still been traces of the fencamfamine in his system for the second set.

Making the Belgians even more sure that something was afoot was Merckx’s assertion that two days before Savona, a representative from Gimondi’s Salvarani team offered Merckx a “suitcase of money” if he would throw the Giro.

Italians have a term for something sinister: they call it a “yellow”. Perhaps confirming Merckx’s feeling that all was not completely right that day in Savona, all stories about the 1969 Giro written by Italian journalists that I have read invoke the term *giallo*.

I asked Vercelli, who is always frank and honest about even cycling’s most difficult subjects, his opinion on the Savona affair. He said the positive was a shock to all of the riders and that there has never been a satisfactory explanation for the day’s events. He said Merckx “was one step above the rest”, so much stronger than the others that he wouldn’t have needed to take dope. “Up to now we all believe he was a victim of a conspiracy.”

Merckx would be positive for drugs two more times in his career, in 1973 after the Tour of Lombardy (his doctor took the blame, saying he had prescribed a cough medicine containing a banned drug) and in 1977 after the Flèche Wallonne.

With King Merckx gone there was no rider capable of challenging Prince Gimondi, who did consent to wear the *maglia rosa* in Pavia after stage seventeen. Zilioli was back in his familiar position, second, now at 2 minutes 13 seconds.

Marino Basso wins stage 18B in San Pellegrino

Bad weather forced Torriani to cancel one of the year’s planned showcase stages, the twentieth, finishing atop the Marmolada (also called the Passo Fedaia). That left the twenty-first stage with the Campolongo, Gardena, Sella, Costalunga and Lavazè passes to provide the year’s anti-climax. Max Meyer Paints team rider Claudio Michelotto did the ride of his life, being first over the final three passes, leaving Gimondi two minutes behind. He also torpedoed Zilioli. The eternal second lost more than four minutes as well as his second place.

Gimondi had won his second Giro. In Gimondi the good God still had not sent Italy another Coppi. But I think he sent a rather fine consolation prize, another Girardengo.

Felice Gimondi in triumph

Final 1969 Giro d’Italia General Classification:

1. Felice Gimondi (Salvarani) 106 hours 47 minutes 3 seconds

2. Claudio Michelotto (Max Meyer) @ 3 minutes 35 seconds

3. Italo Zilioli (Filotex) @ 4 minutes 48 seconds

4. Silvano Schiavon (Sanson) @ 7 minutes 1 second

5. Ugo Colombo (Filotex) @ 11 minutes 54 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:

1. Claudio Michelotto (Max Meyer): 330 points

2. Italo Zilioli (Filotex): 250

3. Felice Gimondi (Salvarani): 230

Points Competition

1. Franco Bitossi (Filotex): 182 points

2. Marino Basso (Molteni): 166

3. Michele Dancelli (Molteni): 129

Cleared to contest the Tour de France, Merckx did one of the great rides in cycling history, winning the Tour with startling ease. His margin of 17 minutes 54 seconds was the Tour’s largest since Fausto Coppi had crushed Stan Ockers by 28 minutes in 1952.

**Video: Marino Basso wins stage 18A in Zingonia**