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1972 Giro d'Italia

55th edition: May 21 - June 11

Results, map, stages with running GC, startlist, photos and history

1971 Giro | 1973 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1972 Giro Quick Facts | 1972 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | 1972 Giro starlist with backnumbers |The Story of the 1972 Giro d'Italia |

1972 route map


1972 Giro Quick Facts:

3,725 km raced at an average speed of 36.12 km/hr

100 starters and 69 classified finishers

Only Molteni finshed the 1972 Giro with their team intact.

Merckx was at the top of his game in the 1972 Giro. He attacked with many kilometers to go in the seventh stage and took the lead. From there, his superb time-trialing and climbing left the others fighting for scraps. José-Manuel Fuente put up a brave and relentless fight, but no one was going to beat Merckx in 1972.


1972 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification:

  1. Eddy Merckx (Molteni): 103hr 4min 4sec
  2. José-Manuel Fuente (KAS) @ 5min 30sec
  3. Francisco Galdós (KAS) @ 10min 39sec
  4. Vicente López-Carril (KAS) @ 11min 17sec
  5. Wladimiro Panizza (Zonca) @ 13min 0sec
  6. Gösta Petterson (Ferretti) @ 13min 9sec
  7. Roger de Vlaeminck (Dreher) @ 13min 52sec
  8. Felice Gimondi (Salvarani) @ 14min 5sec
  9. Miguel-María Lasa (KAS) @ 14min 19sec
  10. Santiago Lazcano (KAS) @ 17min 42sec
  11. Ole Ritter (Dreher) @ 18min 23sec
  12. Silvano Schiavon (G.B.C.-Sony) @ 18min 24sec
  13. Marcello Bergamo (Filotex) @ 19min 42sec
  14. José Pesarrondona (KAS) @ 21min 5sec
  15. Antoon Houbrechts (Salvarani) @ 23min 37sec
  16. Roger Swerts (Molteni) @ 32min 22sec
  17. Giovanni Cavalcanti (Filotex) @ 39min 0sec
  18. Donato Giuliani (Filotex) @ 40min 54sec
  19. Louis Pfenninger (Zonca) @ 40min 55sec
  20. Frans Mintjens (Molteni) @ 42min 48sec
  21. Jesus Manzaneque (KAS) @ 43min 13sec
  22. Giuseppe Perletto (Zonca) @ 43min 49sec
  23. Ugo Colombo (Filotex) @ 44min 1sec
  24. Silvano Ravagli (Magniflex) @ 56min 52sec
  25. Jozef Huysmans (Molteni) @ 47min 30sec
  26. Joseph de Schoenmacker (Molteni) @ 48min 17sec
  27. Victor van Schil (Molteni) @ 49min 30sec
  28. Vittorio Urbani (Magniflex) @ 49min 56sec
  29. Martin Vandenbossche (Molteni) @ 50min 0sec
  30. Josef Fuchs (Filotex) @ 50min 38sec
  31. Roberto Poggiali (Salvarani) @ 51min 49sec
  32. Arturo Pecchielan (Dreher) @ 54min 4sec
  33. Giancarlo Bellini (Molteni) @ 54min 19sec
  34. Fabrizio Fabbri (Magniflex) @ 55min 3sec
  35. Michele Dancelli (SCIC) @ 55min 22sec
  36. Lino Farisato (Feretti) @ 55min 30sec
  37. Georges Pintens (Magniflex) @ 57min 1sec
  38. Franco Balmamion (SCIC) @ 58min 1sec
  39. Enrico Paolini (SCIC) @ 59min 20sec
  40. André Poppe (Magniflex) @ 1hr 2min 25sec
  41. Tomas Pettersson (Ferretti) @ 1hr 3min 6sec
  42. Mario Lanzafame (G.B.C.-Sony) @ 1hr 4min 17sec
  43. Kurt Rub (Zonca) @ 1hr 6min 45sec
  44. Piero Dallai (Magniflex) @ 1hr 7min 41sec
  45. Ludo van Staeyen (Magniflex) @ 1hr 7min 41sec
  46. Jozef Spruyt (Molteni) @ 1hr 10min 17sec
  47. Emilio Casalini (Salvarani) @ 1hr 10min 40sec
  48. Giacinto Santambrogio (Salvarani) @ 1hr 12min 22sec
  49. Pierfranco Vianelli (Dreher) @ 1hr 12min 56sec
  50. Renato Laghi (Filotex) @ 1hr 13min 3sec
  51. Arnaldo Caversazi (Filotex) @ 1hr 13min 51sec
  52. Celestino Vercelli (SCIC) @ 1hr 13min 57sec
  53. Joseph Bruyere (Molteni) @ 1hr 14min 50sec
  54. Attilio Rota (Dreher) @ 1hr 14min 53sec
  55. Attilio Benfatto (SCIC) @ 1hr 14min 59sec
  56. Mario Anni (Ferretti) @ 1hr 17min 4sec
  57. Albert van Vlierberghe (Ferretti) @ 1hr 18min 10sec
  58. Giancarlo Polidori (SCIC) @ 1hr 18min 39sec
  59. Vittorio Cumino (Filotex) @ 1hr 19min 16sec
  60. Guerrino Tosello (Salvarani) @ 1hr 20min 39sec
  61. Mauro Vannucchi (Magniflex) @ 1hr 22min 38sec
  62. Claudio Michelotto (G.B.C.-Sony) @ 1hr 26min 9sec
  63. Franco Mori (SCIC) @ 1hr 26min 29sec
  64. Adriano Passuello (Dreher) @ 1hr 27min 35se
  65. Mauro Simonetti (Ferretti) @ 1hr 29min 44sec
  66. Wilmo Francioni (Ferretti) @ 1hr 32min 52sec
  67. Angelo Bassini (SCIC) @ 1hr 51min 34sec
  68. Alberto Tazzi (Magniflex) @ 1hr 56min 24sec
  69. Piero Spinelli (Filotex) @ 2hr 10min 16sec

Climbers' competition

  1. José-Manuel Fuente (KAS): 490 points
  2. Eddy Merckx (Molteni): 350
  3. Francisco Galdós (KAS): 260
  4. Wladimiro Panizza (Zonca): 150
  5. Vicente López-Carril (KAS): 100

Points competition:

  1. Roger de Vlaeminck (Dreher): 264 points
  2. Eddy Merckx (Molteni): 144
  3. Miguel-María Lasa (KAS): 182
  4. Felice Gimondi (Salvarani): 167
  5. Ole Ritter (Dreher): 176

Team classification:

  1. Molteni
  2. KAS
  3. Ferretti

1972 Giro stage results with running GC:

Sunday, May 21: Stage 1, Mestre - Ravenna, 196 km

  1. Marino Basso: 4hr 59min 0sec
  2. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  3. Miguel-Maria Lasa s.t.
  4. Michele Dancelli s.t.
  5. Dino Zandegù s.t.
  6. Patrick Sercu s.t.
  7. Kurt Rub s.t.
  8. Virginio Levati s.t.
  9. Ludo van Staeyen s.t.
  10. Georges Pintens s.t.

Monday, May 22: Stage 2, Ravenna - Fermo, 212 km

Major ascent: Fermo

  1. Gianni Motta: 5hr 26min 37sec
  2. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  3. Marino Basso s.t.
  4. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  5. Roger de Vlaeminck s.t.
  6. Albert van Vlierberghe s.t.
  7. Silvano Ravagli s.t.
  8. Felice Gimondi s.t.
  9. Davide Boifava s.t.
  10. Ole Ritter s.t.

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Marino Basso: 10hr 25min 37sec
  2. Franco Bitossi, Miguel-Maria Lasa, Michele Dancelli, Dino Zandegù, Kurt Rub, Ludo van Stayen, Georges Pintens, Albert van Vlierberghe, Eddy Merckx @ s.t.

Tuesday, May 23: Stage 3, Porto San Giorgio - Francavilla, 205 km

  1. Ugo Colombo: 5hr 48min 20sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 15sec
  3. Gianni Motta s.t.
  4. Michele Dancelli s.t.
  5. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  6. Roger de Vlaeminck s.t.
  7. Miguel-Maria Lasa s.t.
  8. Davide Boifava s.t.
  9. Felice Gimondi s.t.
  10. Georges Pintens s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Ugo Colombo: 16hr 13min 57sec
  2. Franco Bitossi, Gianni Motta, Albert van Vlierberghe, Miguel-Maria Lasa, Georges Pintens, Felice Gimondi, Davide Boifava, Michele Dancelli @ s.t.

Wednesday, May 24: Stage 4A, Francavilla - Block Haus, 48 km

Major ascent: Block Haus

  1. José-Manuel Fuente: 1hr 42min 18sec
  2. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 1min 35sec
  3. Gianni Motta @ 2min 36sec
  4. Marcello Bergamo s.t.
  5. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  6. Vicente López-Carril @ 2min 42sec
  7. Ole Ritter @ 2min 44sec
  8. Gösta Pettersson @ 2min 46sec
  9. Santiago Lazcano s.t.
  10. Francisco Galdós @ 2min 53sec

GC after Stage 4A:

  1. José-Manuel Fuente

Wednesday, May 24: Stage 4B, Block Haus - Foggia, 210 km

  1. Wilmo Francioni: 5hr 31min 1sec
  2. Enrico Paolini s.t.
  3. Giacinto Santambrogio s.t.
  4. Willy De Geest s.t.
  5. Roger Swerts s.t.
  6. Antoon Houbrechts s.t.
  7. Enrico Maggioni s.t.
  8. Frans Mintjens s.t.
  9. Mario Anni s.t.
  10. Attilio Benfatto @ 25sec

GC after Stage 4B:

  1. José-Manuel Fuente: 23hr 27min 58sec
  2. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 1min 35sec
  3. Gianni Motta, Eddy Merckx @ 2min 36sec
  4. Santiago Lazcano, Gösta Pettersson @ 2min 46sec
  5. Francisco Galdos @ 2min 53sec
  6. Silvano Schiavon @ 2min 57sec
  7. Marcello Bergamo @ 3min 0sec
  8. Italo Zilioli @ 3min 1sec

Thursday, May 25: Stage 5, Foggia - Montesano, 238 km

Major ascents: Satriano, Montesano Terme

  1. Fabrizio Fabbri: 6hr 53min 20sec
  2. Giancarlo Bellini @ 1sec
  3. Franco Bitossi @ 11sec
  4. Eddy Merckx @ 13sec
  5. Roger de Vlaeminck s.t.
  6. Wladimiro Panizza s.t.
  7. Gianni Motta s.t.
  8. Italo Zilioli s.t.
  9. Ole Ritter s.t.
  10. Felice Gimondi s.t.

GC after Stage 5:

  1. José-Manuel Fuente: 30hr 21min 31sec
  2. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 1min 35sec
  3. Gianni Motta, Eddy Merckx @ 2min 36sec
  4. Santiago Lazcano, Gösta Pettersson @ 2min 46sec
  5. Francisco Galdos @ 2min 53sec
  6. Silvano Schiavon @ 2min 57sec
  7. Marcello Bergamo @ 3min 2sec
  8. Italo Zilioli @ 3min 3sec

Friday, May 26: Stage 6, Montesano - Cosenza, 190 km

Major ascent: Campo Tenese

  1. Roger de Vlaeminck: 5hr 50min 24sec
  2. Enrico Paolini @ 2sec
  3. Erich Spahn s.t.
  4. Arnaldo Caversazi @ 4sec
  5. Ludo van Stayen s.t.
  6. Gianni Motta @ 8sec
  7. Roger Swerts s.t.
  8. Roberto Poggiali s.t.
  9. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  10. Giuseppe Perletto s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. José-Manuel Fuente: 36hr 12min 3sec
  2. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 1min 35sec
  3. Gianni Motta, Eddy Merckx @ 2min 36sec
  4. Santiago Lazcano, Gösta Pettersson @ 2min 46sec
  5. Francisco Galdos @ 2min 53sec
  6. Silvano Schiavon @ 2min 57sec
  7. Marcello Bergamo @ 3min 2sec
  8. Italo Zilioli @ 3min 3sec

Saturday, May 27: Stage 7: Cosenza - Cantanzaro, 151 km

Major ascents: Monte Scuro, Agnara

  1. Gösta Pettersson: 4hr 7min 28sec
  2. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  3. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 4min 13sec
  4. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  5. Jozef Spruyt s.t.
  6. Gianni Motta s.t.
  7. Felice Gimondi s.t.
  8. Giacarlo Polidori s.t.
  9. Italo Zilioli s.t.
  10. Vicente López-Carril s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 40hr 22min 7sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 10sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 1min 37sec
  4. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 3min 12sec
  5. Gianni Motta @ 4min 13sec
  6. Francisco Galdos @ 4min 30sec
  7. Italo Zilioli @ 4min 40sec
  8. Vicente López-Carril @ 4min 45sec
  9. Silvano Schiavon @ 5min 3sec
  10. Santiago Lazcano @ 5min 4sec

Sunday, May 28: Stage 8, Catanzaro - Reggio Calabria, 160 km

  1. Attilio Benfatto: 4hr 25min 6sec
  2. Felice Gimondi @ 2sec
  3. Erich Spahn s.t.
  4. Ottavio Crepaldi s.t.
  5. Guerrino Tosello s.t.
  6. Albert van Vlierberghe s.t.
  7. Miguel-Maria Lasa s.t.
  8. Michele Dancelli s.t.
  9. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  10. Arnaldo Caverzasi

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 44hr 47min 15sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 10sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 1min 37sec
  4. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 3min 12sec
  5. Gianni Motta @ 4min 13sec
  6. Francisco Galdós @ 4min 30sec
  7. Italo Zilioli @ 4min 40sec
  8. Vicente López-Carril @ 4min 45sec
  9. Silvano Schiavon @ 5min 3sec
  10. Santiago Lazcano @ 5min 4sec

Monday, May 29: Stage 9, Messina (Monte Peloritani circuit), 110 km

  1. Albert van Vlierberghe: 3hr 9min 9sec
  2. Vittorio Cumino s.t.
  3. Jurg Schneider s.t.
  4. Giancarlo Polidori s.t.
  5. Miguel-Maria Lasa s.t.
  6. Roger de Vlaeminck s.t.
  7. Michele Dancelli s.t.
  8. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  9. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  10. Ole Ritter s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 47hr 56min 24sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 10sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 1min 37sec
  4. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 3min 12sec
  5. Gianni Motta @ 4min 13sec
  6. Francisco Galdós @ 4min 30sec
  7. Italo Zilioli @ 4min 40sec
  8. Vicente López-Carril @ 4min 45sec
  9. Silvano Schiavon @ 5min 3sec
  10. Santiago Lazcano @ 5min 4sec

Tuesday, May 30: Rest Day

Wednesday, May 31: Stage 10, Roma - Monte Argentario, 166 km

  1. Italo Zilioli: 3hr 58min 31sec
  2. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 15sec
  3. Gianni Motta s.t.
  4. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  5. Michele Dancelli s.t.
  6. Roberto Poggiali s.t.
  7. Eddy Merckx s.t.
  8. Louis Pfenninger s.t.
  9. Felice Gimondi s.t.
  10. Willy De Geest s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 5hr 55min 10sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 10sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 1min 37sec
  4. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 3min 12sec
  5. Gianni Motta @ 4min 13sec
  6. Italo Zilioli @ 4min 28sec
  7. Francisco Galdós @ 4min 30sec
  8. Vicente López-Carril @ 4min 45sec
  9. Silvano Schiavon @ 5min 3sec
  10. Santiago Lazcano @ 5min 4sec

Thursday, June 1: Stage 11, Argentario - Forte dei Marmi, 242 km

  1. Miguel-Maria Lasa: 5hr 39hr 4sec
  2. Roger de Vlaeminck s.t.
  3. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  4. Willy de Geest s.t.
  5. Erich Spahn s.t.
  6. Gianni Motta s.t.
  7. Albert van Vlierberghe s.t.
  8. Michele Dancelli s.t.
  9. Ole Ritter s.t.
  10. Felice Gimondi s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 57hr 34min 14sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 10sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 1min 37sec
  4. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 3min 12sec
  5. Gianni Motta @ 4min 13sec
  6. Italo Zilioli @ 4min 25sec
  7. Francisco Galdós @ 4min 30sec
  8. Vicente López-Carril @ 4min 45sec
  9. Silvano Schiavon @ 5min 3sec
  10. Santiago Lazcano @ 5min 4sec

Friday, June 2: Stage 12, Forte dei Marmi 40 km individual time trial

1st leg (20 km):

  1. Eddy Merckx: 25min 4sec
  2. Felice Gimondi, Roger Swerts @ 11sec
  3. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 15sec
  4. Ole Ritter @ 25sec

2nd leg (20 km):

  1. Roger Swerts: 24min 39sec
  2. Eddy Merckx @ 11sec
  3. Felice Gimondi @ 50sec
  4. Gösta Pettersson @ 58sec
  5. José-Antonio Gonzales-Linares @ 1min 3sec

Consolidated Stage results:

  1. Eddy Merckx, Roger Swerts: 49min 54sec
  2. Felice Gimondi @ 50sec
  3. Ole Ritter @ 1min 14sec
  4. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 1min 17sec
  5. Gösta Pettersson @ 1min 22sec
  6. José-Antonio Gonzales-Linares @ 1min 32sec
  7. Mauro Simonetti @ 1min 48sec
  8. Francisco Galdos @ 2min 7sec
  9. José Pesarrondona @ 2min 13sec

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 58hr 24min 8sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 1min 32sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 3min 59sec
  4. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 5min 41sec
  5. Felice Gimondi @ 6min 26sec
  6. Francisco Galdós @ 6min 37sec
  7. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 6min 46sec
  8. Gianni Motta @ 6min 47sec
  9. Vicente López-Carril @ 7min 30sec
  10. Italo Zilioli @ 8min 2sec

Saturday, June 3: Stage 13, Forte dei Marmi - Savona, 200 km

Major ascent: Bracco

  1. Wilmo Francioni: 5hr 30min 46sec
  2. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 6sec
  3. Miguel-Maria Lasa s.t.
  4. Felice Gimondi s.t.
  5. Erich Spahn s.t.
  6. Roger Swerts s.t.
  7. Kurt Rub s.t.
  8. Gianni Motta s.t.
  9. Attilio Benfatto s.t.
  10. Ole Ritter s.t.

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 63hr 55min 0sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 1min 32sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 3min 59sec
  4. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 5min 42sec
  5. Felice Gimondi @ 6min 26sec
  6. Francisco Galdós @ 6min 37sec
  7. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 6min 46sec
  8. Gianni Motta @ 6min 47sec
  9. Vicente López-Carril @ 7min 50sec
  10. Italo Zilioli @ 8min 2sec

Sunday, June 4: Stage 14, Savona - Bardonecchia Jafferau, 256 km

Major ascents: Cadibona, Sestriere, Bardonecchia Jafferau

  1. Eddy Merckx: 8hr 8min 7sec
  2. Wladimiro Panizza @ 26sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 47sec
  4. Vicente López-Carril @ 49sec
  5. Josef Fuchs @ 1min 17sec
  6. Felice Gimondi @ 1min 29sec
  7. Ole Ritter @ 1min 38sec
  8. Italo Zilioli @ 1min 39sec
  9. Silvano Schiavon @ 1min 44sec
  10. Gösta Pettersson @ 1min 51sec

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 72hr 3min 7sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 3min 23sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 4min 46sec
  4. Felice Gimondi @ 7min 55sec
  5. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 8min 26sec
  6. Vicente López-Carril @ 8min 39sec
  7. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 9min 5sec
  8. Gianni Motta @ 9min 32sec
  9. Italo Zilioli @ 9min 41sec
  10. Francisco Galdós @ 10min 0sec

Monday, June 5: Rest Day

Tuesday, June 6: Stage 15, Parabiago circuit race, 168 km

  1. Roger de Vlaeminck: 3hr 53min 57sec
  2. Michele Dancelli s.t.
  3. Arnaldo Caverzasi s.t.
  4. Kurt Rub s.t.
  5. Attilio Benfatto s.t.
  6. Wilmo Francioni s.t.
  7. Guerrino Tosello s.t.
  8. Jozef Spruyt s.t.
  9. Roger Swerts s.t.
  10. Vittorio Cumino s.t.

GC after Stage 15:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 75hr 57min 4sec
  2. Gösta Pettersson @ 3min 23sec
  3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 4min 46sec
  4. Felice Gimondi @ 7min 55sec
  5. Vicente López-Carril @ 8min 39sec
  6. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 8min 56sec
  7. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 9min 5sec
  8. Francisco Galdós @ 10min 0sec
  9. Wladimiro Panizza @ 10min 19sec
  10. Silvano Schiavon @ 11min 6sec

Wednesday, June 7: Stage 16, Parabiago - Livigno, 256 km

Major ascents: Foscagno, Eira

  1. Eddy Merckx: 7hr 43min 59sec
  2. Francisco Galdós @ 18sec
  3. Marcello Bergamo @ 1min 0sec
  4. Wladimiro Panizza s.t.
  5. José-Manuel Fuente @ 1min 3sec
  6. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 1min 22sec
  7. Vicente López-Carril s.t.
  8. Ole Ritter @ 2min 4sec
  9. Santiago Lazcano s.t.
  10. José Pesarrondona s.t.

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 83hr 40min 23sec
  2. José-Manuel Fuente @ 5min 49sec
  3. Gösta Pettersson @ 5min 52sec
  4. Vicente López-Carril @ 10min 1sec
  5. Miguel-Maria Lasa, Francisco Galdos @ 10min 18sec
  6. Felice Gimondi @ 10min 24sec
  7. Wladimiro Panizza @ 11min 19sec
  8. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 11min 34sec
  9. Marcello Bergamo @ 13min 18sec

Thursday, June 8: Stage 17, Livigno - Passo dello Stelvio, 88 km

Major ascents: Fuorm, Passo dello Stelvio

  1. José-Manuel Fuente: 3hr 3min 14sec
  2. Francisco Galdós @ 32sec
  3. Eddy Merckx @ 2min 5sec
  4. Wladimiro Panizza @ 2min 5sec
  5. Vicente López-Carril s.t.
  6. Giuseppe Perletto @ 2min 14sec
  7. Santiago Lazcano @ 2min 19sec
  8. André Poppe @ 2min 41sec
  9. Josef Fuchs @ 2min 50sec
  10. Antoon Houbrechts @ 3min 26sec

GC after Stage 17:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 86hr 46min 22sec
  2. José-Manuel Fuente @ 3min 44sec
  3. Francisco Galdós @ 8min 51sec
  4. Vicente López-Carril @ 10min 2sec
  5. Wladimiro Panizza @ 11min 20sec
  6. Gösta Pettersson @ 11min 57sec
  7. Miguel Maria-Lasa @ 12min 44sec
  8. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 13min 7sec
  9. Felice Gimondi @ 13min 17sec
  10. Santiago Lazcano @ 14min 31sec

Friday, June 9: Stage 18, Solda - Asiago, 233 km

Major ascents: Fricca, Vezzana

  1. Roger de Vlaeminck: 6hr 8min 47sec
  2. Miguel-Maria Lasa s.t.
  3. Roger Swerts s.t.
  4. Marcello Bergamo @ 2sec
  5. Felice Gimondi s.t.
  6. Kurt Rub s.t.
  7. Albert van Vlierberghe s.t.
  8. Georges Pintens
  9. Victor van Schil s.t.
  10. Donato Giuliani s.t.

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 92hr 55min 11sec
  2. José-Manuel Fuente @ 3min 44sec
  3. Francisco Galdós @ 8min 51sec
  4. Vicente López-Carril @ 10min 2sec
  5. Wladimiro Panizza @ 11min 20sec
  6. Gösta Pettersson @ 11min 57sec
  7. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 12min 42sec
  8. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 13min 5sec
  9. Felice Gimondi @ 13min 17sec
  10. Santiago Lazcano @ 14min 31sec

Saturday, June 10: Stage 19A, Asiago - Arco, 163 km

Major ascents: Fugazze, Bondone

  1. Roger de Vlaeminck: 5hr 13min 51sec
  2. Michel Dancelli s.t.
  3. Miguel-Maria Lasa s.t.
  4. Arnaldo Caverzasi s.t.
  5. Ludo van Stayen s.t.
  6. Felice Gimondi s.t.
  7. Kurt Rub s.t.
  8. Vittorio Urbani s.t.
  9. Vittorio Cumino s.t.
  10. Celestino Vercelli s.t.

GC after Stage 19A

  1. Eddy Merckx

Saturday, June 10: Stage 19B, Arco 18 km individual time trial

  1. Eddy Merckx: 22min 42sec
  2. Roger Swerts @ 33sec
  3. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 47sec
  4. Felice Gimondi 2 48sec
  5. Ole Ritter @ 49sec
  6. Gösta Pettersson @ 1min 0sec
  7. Wladimiro Panizza @ 1min 13sec
  8. Vicente López-Carril @ 1min 15sec
  9. José-Manuel Fuente, Antoon Houbrechts @ 1min 19sec

GC after Stage 19B:

  1. Eddy Merckx: 98hr 31min 44sec
  2. José-Manuel Fuente @ 5min 30sec
  3. Francisco Galdós @ 10min 39sec
  4. Vicente López-Carril @ 11min 17sec
  5. Vladimiro Panizza @ 13min 0sec
  6. Gösta Pettersson @ 13min 9sec
  7. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 13min 52sec
  8. Felice Gimondi @ 14min 5sec
  9. Miguel-Maria Lasa @ 14min 19sec
  10. Santaigo Lazcano @ 17min 42sec

Sunday, June 11: 20th and Final Stage, Arco - Milano, 184 km

  1. Enrico Paolini: 4hr 31min 36sec
  2. Jozef Huysmans s.t.
  3. Ole Ritter s.t.
  4. Mauro Simonetti s.t.
  5. Ugo Colombo s.t.
  6. Giancarlo Bellini s.t.
  7. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 44sec
  8. Michele Dancelli s.t.
  9. Eddy MEerckx s.t.

Complete Final 1972 Giro d'Italia General Classification


1972 Giro d'Italia Startlist with backnumbers:

All Riders are Italian unless otherwise noted.

Ferretti
Director Sportif: Alfredo Martini

1. Pettersson, Gösta (Sweden)
2. Anni, Mario
3. Crepaldi, Ottavio
4. Farisato, Lino
5. Favaro, Giorgio
6. Franconi, Wilmo
7. Motta, Gianni
8. Pettersson, Thomas (Sweden)
9. Simonetti, Mauro
10. Van Vlierberghe, Albert (Belgium)

Dreher
Director Sportif: Franco Cribori

11. De Vlaeminck, Roger (Belgium)
12. Sercu, Patrick (Belgium)
13. Vianelli, Pierfranco
14. Maggioni, Enrico
15. Tumellero, Romano
16. Ritter, Ole (Denmark)
17. Passuello, Adriano
18. Rota, Atilio
19. Pecchielan, Arturo
20. Steven, Julien (Belgium)

Filotex
Director Sportif: Waldemaro Bartolozzi

21. Bitossi, Franco
22. Bergamo, Marcello
23. Cavalcanti, Giovanni
24. Caverzasi, Arnaldo
25. Columbo, Ugo
26. Cumino, Vittorio
27. Fuchs, Josef (Switzerland)
28. Giuliani, Donato
29. Laghi, Renato
30. Spinelli, Piero

G.B.C.-Sony
Director Sportif: Enzo Moser

31. Moser, Aldo
32. Michelotto, Claudio
33. Zandegu, Dino
34. Schiavon, Silvano
35. Moser, Diego
36. Davo, Silvano
37. Lanzafame, Mario
38. Spahn, Erich (Switzerland)
39. Schneider, Jurg (Switzerland)
40. Schneider, Edy (Switzerland)

KAS (All Kas team members are Spanish)
Director Sportif: Dalmacia Langarica

41. Fuente, Joe Manuel
42. Gonzales-Linares, Jose A.
43. Lasa, Miguel Maria
44. Lazcano, Santiago
45. Lopez-Carril, Vicente
46. Manzaneque, Jesus
47. Perurena, Domingo
48. Galdos, Francisco
49. Pesarrodona, José
50. Galdeano, Portillo Francisco

Magniflex
Director Sportif: Carlo Menicagli

51. Pintens, Georges (Belgium)
52. Fabbri, Fabrizio
53. Urbani, Vittorio
54. Dallai, Piero
55. Ravagli, Silvano
56. Vannucchi, Mauro
57. Tazzi, Alberto
58. Poppe, Andre (Belgium)
59. De Geest, Willy (Belgium)
60. Van Stayen, Ludo (Belgium)

Molteni
Director Sportif: Robert Lelangue

61. Merckx, Eddy (Belgium)
62. Bellini, Giancarlo
63. Bruyere, Josef (Belgium)
64. De Schoenmackaer (Belgium)
65. Huysmans, Jozef (Belgium)
66. Mintjens, Frans (Belgium)
67. Spruyt, Jozef (Belgium)
68. Swerts, Roger (Belgium)
69. Van Den Bossche, Martin (Belgium)
70. Van Schil, Victor (Belgium)

Salvarani
Director Sportif: Vittorio Adorni

71. Basso, Mariano
72. Campagnari, Pietro
73. Casalini, Emilio
74. Gimondi, Felice
75. Guerra, Pietri
76. Houbrechts, Toni (Belgium)
77. Poggiali, Roberto
78. Santambrogio, Giacinto
79. Tosello, Guerrino
80. Zilioli, Italo

SCIC
Director Sportif: Eraldo Giganti

81. Armani, Luciano
82. Balmamion, Franco
83. Bassani, Angelo
84. Benfatto, Attilio
85. Chiappano, Carlo
86. Dancelli, Michele
87. Mori, Franco
88. Paolini, Enrico
89. Polodori, Giancarlo
90. Vercelli, Celestino

Zonca
Director Sportif: Ettore Milano

91. Boifava, Davide
92. Cammilli, Sandro
93. Levati, Virginio
94. Panizza, Wladimiro
95. Perletto, Giuseppe
96. Sorlini, Roberto
97. Tamiazzo, Pietro
98. Varini, Giovanni
99. Pfenninger, Louis (Switzerland)
100. Rub, Kurt (Switzerland)

The Story of the 1972 Giro d'Italia

This excerpt is from "The Story of the Giro d'Italia", Volume 2. 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 returned to contest the 1972 Giro. He was the reigning World Road Champion and the winner of the previous year’s Tour. Giro director Vincenzo Torriani designed a mountainous race hoping to keep the man nicknamed the “Cannibal” from eating the rest of the competition alive.

The 100-man start list of riders would have to try to figure out some way to deal with the Merckx menace. This group included Gösta Pettersson, Italo Zilioli, Roger de Vlaeminck, Motta, Bitossi, Fuente and Gimondi. La Gazzetta thought de Vlaeminck, winner of that spring’s Paris–Roubaix as well as the week-long Tirreno–Adriatico stage race, might be able to give Merckx a real challenge. Merckx would find plenty of trouble in this Giro, but it would come from elsewhere.

The man who holds the record for Giro participations (eighteen starts and sixteen finishes) almost didn’t start the 1972 Giro: super climber Wladimiro Panizza was without a team until Zonca signed him at the last minute.
The Giro organizers had long wanted a Venice stage with the riders finishing in front of St. Mark’s Cathedral. The Venetians had continually rebuffed plans for the riders to cross the canals over a series of temporary wooden bridges. In 1972 the city relented and agreed to the proposal, but at the last minute Venice changed its mind and the prologue was cancelled. Several other cities offered to host the prologue, but Torriani wanted his Venetian start. He did the best he could with a bad situation and had the riders attend mass in Venice’s St. Mark’s. Since he was the 1971 winner, Gösta Pettersson was awarded the Pink Jersey to start the next day’s stage and the prize money that had been held for the prologue was distributed among the 100 riders.

The first stage left from Mestre, the mainland city across the lagoon from Venice, and traveled to Ravenna, onetime capital of the Roman Empire. The Giro settled into its normal rhythm of a piano pace in the stage’s early kilometers. As the race got closer to the finish, the speed increased until the final 20 kilometers were nearly non-stop attacks. It came together for a bunch sprint with Marino Basso winning the stage and taking the lead. This year time bonuses weren’t in play so the field was credited with same time as Basso.
The next day ended just inland from the Adriatic in Fermo, a hilltop city in Le Marche. The mild climb to the finish caused a selection that resulted in a sprint of champions. Gianni Motta won it from Bitossi, who was having gear troubles. Basso was third, followed by Merckx and de Vlaeminck. Basso kept his leadership in both points and the Overall.

The hilly third stage, still taking the riders through Le Marche, sparkled with hard attacks. Fuente, probably testing Merckx’s legs, jumped away on a climb, only to have Merckx easily mark him and then counter-attack, forcing Fuente to dig deep. The finish showed why Franco Bitossi had the reputation of being one of cycling’s finest tacticians. After another series of blistering attacks, the peloton regrouped, a time when the pack can become lazy while the riders hope for a chance to recuperate. Bitossi sent his teammate Ugo Colombo on a flier. Colombo made it stick, beating the Merckx-led pack by 15 seconds and becoming the new maglia rosa.

Now came the much anticipated stage four’s 48-kilometer morning half-stage with its hilltop finish at Block Haus. It was here in 1967 that Merckx had sent shock waves through the cycling world when he dropped Adorni, Zilioli, Anquetil and Gimondi in his first Giro.

The climbing started just before the little town of Pretoro, the pack splitting almost immediately. Fuente’s KAS team began probing and sending men up the road. Merckx didn’t take the bait, knowing that it was Fuente he had to watch. With fifteen kilometers left, Fuente rolled the dice and off he went, leaving Merckx protected by only one teammate and surrounded by six good-climbing KAS riders.

The day would not be a replay of stage three. Fuente flew to the top, not bothering to look back at the damage he had done. Merckx and Motta came in 2 minutes 36 seconds later, while Gimondi lost almost four minutes. Bitossi, who had won the climber’s crown three times (1964, ’65 and ’66) lost over seven minutes. Fuente had blitzed the mountain so fast that in those seventeen kilometers of climbing, twelve riders were eliminated because they had lost more than fifteen minutes, the time cutoff mandated by the rules. Because Basso, Patrick Sercu and Dino Zandegù were among the squalificati, the bunch sprints for the rest of the Giro would not be the same. Fuente was now the leader. Merckx said that Fuente was “virtually unbeatable on a short stage with a mountain finish.” He also warned, “The Giro isn’t over yet.”

The Giro continued to head straight for the toe of the Italian boot as Fuente held his lead. The biggest animator of the next few stages was Bitossi, who kept trying to escape. He came close several times, but was always hunted down and caught.

Stage seven went through the rugged Sila Mountains of Calabria. While Fuente and the KAS team spent the time before the stage’s start signing autographs, the Molteni squad did a hard warm-up. Merckx took off from the gun. Most of the peloton thought that with 151 difficult kilometers ahead, the Belgian was committing suicide. Fuente and his KAS teammate Santiago Lazcano were the only riders with Merckx after the first climb and they suffered horribly in the process. Over the top of Monte Scuro, Merckx descended like a fiend. The Spaniards, not having Merckx’s downhill skills, had to let him go. Pettersson, who had been staying reasonably close to the trio, took terrible chances and managed to close the gap to Merckx on the descent. Fuente tried to bridge up to Merckx and Pettersson but gave up and waited for the bunch. Merckx let Pettersson take the stage and the field came in 4 minutes 13 seconds later.

The General Classification after stage seven:
1. Eddy Merckx
2. Gösta Pettersson @ 10 seconds
3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 1 minute 37 seconds
4. Miguel María Lasa @ 3 minutes 12 seconds

Eddy Merckx

Eddy Merckx in pink

The Giro crossed the Strait of Messina for a Sicilian stage that made no change to the General Classification. The riders were given a rest day and transferred to Rome to head up the western side of the peninsula.

It wasn’t unusual for the Spanish riders of the 1970s and ’80s to sit in the back of the field during the piano sections of the race, but it is a tactic fraught with danger, and regularly the Iberians were caught napping. It happened to them during stage ten, going from Rome to Monte Argentario/Porto San Stefano. There was an intermediate sprint mid-way through the stage that caused a split in the pack. The Spaniards were forced to chase the Merckx-led front group, making contact just in time for the beginning of the climb up Monte Argentario. Italo Zilioli got away near the top and held his slender 15-second lead into Porto San Stefano.

Stage eleven, 242 kilometers up to Forte dei Marmi on the Tuscan coast, was a combative day with the Spaniards yet again playing catch-up. When Merckx saw Fuente wasn’t near the front, he launched an attack. Merckx always tried to keep speeds high on the flat and rolling stages, feeling this caused the smaller climbers—whom he believed had lesser energy reserves—to suffer and arrive at the mountains exhausted. Fuente was able to bridge, but during the closing kilometers he was hit with even more bad luck. His tire developed a slow leak as the speeds had been whipped up, forcing him to ride the last fifteen kilometers on a low tire. He didn’t dare stop to change his wheel and possibly never re-join the pack.

The ferocity of the racing in stage eleven had been a surprise, since a 40-kilometer time trial was the next day’s race. Again Torriani showed his creativity. Instead of a single 40-kilometer run, the day had two 20-kilometer races spaced a couple of hours apart. Merckx won the first one with his teammate Roger Swerts and Gimondi 11 seconds behind. Swerts turned the tables on the second ride, beating Merckx by 11 seconds. The judges awarded the overall stage to Merckx, who was 26/100 of a second faster.

If you have ever wondered what it would take to ride like the pros, writer Peter Fretwell recorded the gear ratios the best riders used that day. Try to stay on top of gears like these:
Eddy Merckx: 55 x 13 for the first ride, 54 x 14 for the second
Roger Swerts: 54 x 13
Roger de Vlaeminck: 54 x 13 & 14

After the time trial, the General Classification stood thus:
1. Eddy Merckx
2. Gösta Pettersson @ 1 minute 32 seconds
3. José-Manuel Fuente @ 3 minutes 59 seconds
4. Miguel-María Lasa @ 5 minutes 41 seconds
5. Felice Gimondi @ 6 minutes 26 seconds

Stage fourteen featured two climbs, Sestriere and a mountain new to the Giro, the Jafferau, topped by the town of Bardonecchia. As the climb to Sestriere started to bite, the Spaniards started to dish out some pain to the slow-moving peloton. Almost instantly a front group of fourteen containing most of the big names (but missing Bitossi and de Vlaeminck) formed. After three attacks, Fuente managed to extract himself from this group and meet up with two teammates who were already off the front, López-Carril and Galdós. López-Carril was unable to withstand the pace and soon dropped off.

Merckx, who had met Fuente’s first two attacks, decided to climb at his own pace and let Fuente go. Fuente crested the Sestriere climb with a 50-second lead on Merckx’s nine-man group. This was a slim lead, but Fuente and Galdós pressed on into the valley where they found themselves fighting a headwind. Still, they arrived at the base of the Jafferau climb with a lead of about one minute on Merckx, who had waited for help. Merckx’s group was now 28 men strong.

Once the climbing started, Galdós ran out of gas and Fuente was on his own. With four kilometers remaining of the ever-steepening climb he still had 1 minute 5 seconds. It wasn’t enough. Merckx was on fire and as Fuente cracked in the final kilometer, Merckx steamed right on by. Panizza, the last man to come off Merckx’s wheel, also went by the Spaniard.

Fuente said he had given everything, but Merckx had twice his strength. Merckx replied that Fuente was even stronger than Luis Ocaña. High praise indeed, Ocaña being the only rider who really challenged Merckx in stage races when the Belgian was at his peak.

Trusting that the Giro management would want to keep the stars in the race, several of the most famous riders blatantly hung onto cars or let themselves get pushed up the Jafferau. Their fame was an insufficient defense and Motta, Bitossi, Zilioli, Willy De Geest and Giovanni Varini were thrown out of the Giro. The day’s cheating was so widespread that most of the others still left in the race were given some form of penalty. The teams threatened to quit if the riders weren’t reinstated, but the race jury stood its ground and the teams stayed in.

The denouement of the Giro was at hand. Stage sixteen took the riders over two hard passes, the Foscagno and the Eira. The day’s drama was supplied in a water bottle filled at a roadside stream by one of Merckx’s gregari. As the racers began the Foscagno, Merckx began to suffer abdominal pains, thought to have been caused by the unclean water in his bottle.

Fuente attacked and was able to extract a slim lead that Merckx was able to erase on the descent. Merckx turned the day into another triumph when he came into Livigno 63 seconds ahead of the feisty Spaniard.

The General Classification at this point:
1. Eddy Merckx
2. José-Manuel Fuente @ 5 minutes 49 seconds
3. Gösta Pettersson @ 5 minutes 52 seconds
4. Vicente López-Carril @ 10 minutes 1 second

The next day was the Giro’s Cima Coppi (a Giro’s highest point), the Stelvio. The ascent was to be up the famous northern, or Trafoi side. Twelve kilometers from the summit Fuente launched his second attack and not even Merckx could resist. Fuente ascended the Stelvio using a mind-boggling 54 x 18 gear. It’s said that only Coppi had been able to use such a huge gear on the Stelvio. Fuente nearly cooked himself, slowing near the top as he passed between walls of snow. He crossed the finish line at the top of the Stelvio 32 seconds ahead of his teammate Galdós and 2 minutes 5 seconds ahead of Merckx and Panizza. Merckx was still the Pink Jersey.

Jose-Manuel Fuente

José-Manuel Fuente on the Stelvio. He's in the small ring here.

Eddy Merckx

Merckx chases Fuente, but can't close the gap.

That was it. Fuente had thrown everything he could at Merckx every time the road rose to the sky. It was never enough. There were still two stages with climbing, but the contest was over. Merckx won the penultimate stage, an 18-kilometer time trial, extending his final lead over Fuente to more than five minutes.

While Torriani had been denied his dream of a Venetian prologue, he was finally granted another wish, a finish in front of Milan’s giant white gingerbread cathedral, won by Paolini.

For the first time, the best-placed Italian rider was a lowly fifth. Merckx’s Molteni team was the only squad to finish intact. That made three Giro victories for Merckx.

Final 1972 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Eddy Merckx (Molteni) 103 hours 4 minutes 4 seconds
2. José Manuel Fuente (KAS) @ 5 minutes 30 seconds
3. Francisco Galdós (KAS) @ 10 minutes 39 seconds
4. Vicente López-Carril (KAS) @ 11 minutes 17 seconds
5. Wladimiro Panizza (Zonca) @ 13 minutes 0 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:
1. José-Manuel Fuente (KAS): 490 points
2. Eddy Merckx (Molteni): 350
3. Francisco Galdós (KAS): 270

Points Competition:
1. Roger de Vlaeminck (Dreher)
2. Eddy Merckx (Molteni)
3. Miguel-Maria Lasa (KAS)

Showing how far cycling and the Giro had fallen, Italian television had dispensed entirely with live broadcasts of the Giro stages and was showing only highlights in the evening.