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1979 Giro d'Italia

62nd edition: May 17 - June 6

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

1978 Giro | 1980 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1979 Giro Quick Facts | 1979 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1979 Giro d'Italia | Video |


1979 Giro Quick Facts:

3,301 km raced at an average speed of 36.887 km/hr

130 starters and 111 classified finishers

This was the first Giro featuring Italy's last great cycling rivalry, that of Giuseppe Saronni and Francesco Moser.

Smarting from a string of foreign winners, the Giro organization built the 1979 edition to favor Saronni and Moser. There were five time trials and climbing was kept to a minimum. Saronni was having a very good year and beat Moser at almost every step.


1979 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni (SCIC) 89hr 29min 18sec
  2. Francesco Moser (Sanson) @ 2min 9sec
  3. Bernt Johansson (Magniflex) @ 3min 13sec
  4. Michel Laurent (Peugeot) @ 5min 31sec
  5. Silvano Contini (Bianchi) @ 7min 33sec
  6. Mario Beccia (Mecap) @ 7min 50sec
  7. Fausto Bertoglio (San Giacomo) @ 11min 27sec
  8. Joseph Fuchs (SCIC) @ 13min 7sec
  9. Godi Schmutz (Willora) @ 14min 16sec
  10. Roberto Visentini (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 16min 11sec
  11. Marino Amadori (Sapa) @ 18min 57sec
  12. Bruno Wolfer (Zonca-Santini) @ 19min 44sec
  13. Wladimiro Panizza (Sanson) @ 21min 17sec
  14. Amilcare Sgalbazzi (Magniflex) @ 21min 51sec
  15. Claudio Bortolotto (Sanson) @ 23min 31sec
  16. Leonardo Natale (Sapa) @ 25min 1sec
  17. Ronald de Witte (Sanson) @ 31min 58sec
  18. Carmelo Barone (Gis Gelati) @ 35min 7sec
  19. Johan de Muynck (Bianchi) @ 37min 50sec
  20. Simone Fraccaro (Sanson) @ 38min 4sec
  21. Erwin Lienhard (Willora) @ 41min 57sec
  22. Franco Conti (San Giacomo) @ 42min 24sec
  23. Beat Breu (Willora) @ 47min 53sec
  24. Valerio Lualdi (Bianchi) @ 49min 19sec
  25. Patrick Perret (Peugeot) @ 50min 43sec
  26. Vincenzo De Caro (Mecap) @ 52min 29sec
  27. Roberto Ceruti (Magniflex) @ 58min 6sec
  28. Claudio Corti (Zonca-Santini) @ 1hr 4min 10sec
  29. Alfredo Chenetti (SCIC) @ 1hr 8min 19sec
  30. Giuseppe Perletto (San Giacomo) @ 1hr 10min 31sec
  31. Bernard Thévenet (Peugeot) @ 1hr 10min 53sec
  32. Ennio Vanotti (Zonca-Santini) @ 1hr 11min 20sec
  33. Roy Schuiten (SCIC) @ 1hr 11min 54sec
  34. Per Bausager (Magniflex) @ 1hr 15min 35sec
  35. Attilio Rota (Sanson) @ 1hr 18min 19sec
  36. Gabriele Landoni (SCIC) @ 1hr 18min 49sec
  37. Corrado Donadio (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 1hr 20min 2sec
  38. Alfonso Dal Pian (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 1hr 23min 34sec
  39. Gregor Braun (Peugeot) @ 1hr 23min 48sec
  40. Marcel Tinazzi (Peugeot) @ 1hr 23min 58sec
  41. Fridolin Keller (Willora) @ 1hr 24min 10sec
  42. Phil Edwards (Sanson) @ 1hr 24min 23sec
  43. Aldo Donadello (Bianchi) @ 1hr 27min 7sec
  44. Yves Hézard (Peugeot) @ 1hr 27min 10sec
  45. Giuseppe Passuello (Gis Gelati) @ 1hr 28min 11sec
  46. Walter Riccomi (SCIC) @ 1hr 29min 7sec
  47. Antonio D'Alonzo (Gis Gelati) @ 1hr 29min 42sec
  48. Salvatore Maccali (Bianchi) @ 1hr 30mmin 40sec
  49. Claudio Torelli (Zonca-Santini) @ 1hr 31min 49sec
  50. Pierino Gavazzi (Zonca Santini) @ 1hr 36min 23sec
  51. Renato Laghi (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 1hr 38min 4sec
  52. Tullio Bertacco (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 1hr 40min 45sec
  53. Sergio Parsani (Bianchi) @ 1hr 40min 47sec
  54. Annunzio Colombo (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 1hr 41min 21sec
  55. Jean-Claude Fabbri (Magniflex) @ 1hr 41min 31sec
  56. Walter Dusi (Sapa) @ 1hr 42min 53sec
  57. Alessio Antonini (San Giacomo) @ 1hr 44min 39sec
  58. Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke (Peugeot) @ 1hr 45min 59sec
  59. Silvano Cervato (Gis Gelati) @ 1hr 47min 11sec
  60. Mario Fraccaro (Mecap) @ 1hr 49min 30sec
  61. Luciano Rossignoli (Mecap) @ 1hr 50min 50sec
  62. Roger Legeay (Peugeot) @ 1hr 52min 25sec
  63. Giancarlo Casiraghi (Sapa) @ 1hr 52min 51sec
  64. Vittorio Algeri (Sapa) @ 1hr 53min 31sec
  65. Giuseppe Fatato (San Giacomo) @ 1hr 55min 30sec
  66. Marcello Osler (Sanson) @ 1hr 55min 42sec
  67. Stefano D'Arcangelo (Sapa) @ 1hr 56min 9sec
  68. Eugène Plet (GBC-Galli-Castelli) @ 1hr 57min 34sec
  69. Francesco Masi (San Giacomo) @ 1hr 57min 45sec
  70. Willy de Geest (Gis Gelati) @ 2min 2min 5sec
  71. Aldo Parecchini (Bianchi) @ 1hr 2min 30sec
  72. Leonardo Bevilacqua (Gis Gelati) @ 2hr 3min 30sec
  73. Ignazio Paleari (Magniflex) @ 2hr 3min 44sec
  74. Piero Falorni (Gis Gelati) @ 2hr 4min 2sec
  75. Alan Van Heerden (Peugeot) @ 2hr 5min 10sec
  76. Dante Morandi (Mecap) @ 2hr 6min 27sec
  77. Shane Bartley (GBC-Galli-Castelli) @ 2hr 7min 54sec
  78. Sergio Santimaria (Mecap) @ 2hr 8min 39sec
  79. Guy Sibille (Peugeot) @ 2hr 8min 55sec
  80. Renato Marchetti (Sanson) @ 2hr 10min 23sec
  81. Leonardo Mazzantini (Zonca-Santini) @ 2hr 10min 41sec
  82. Josef Wehrli (Willora) @ 2hr 11min 33sec
  83. Enrico Guadrini (Zonca-Santini) @ 2hr 13min 0sec
  84. Fiorenzo Favero (Sapa) @ 2hr 14min 6sec
  85. Armando Lora (SCIC) @ 2hr 15min 2sec
  86. Guido Frei (Willora) @ 2hr 16mi 6sec
  87. Giuseppe Martinelli (San Giacomo) @ 2hr 16min 10sec
  88. Leone Pizzini (San Giacomo) @ 2hr 17min 30sec
  89. Orlando Maini (San Giacomo) @ 2hr 18mi 2sec
  90. Guido Amrhein (Willora) @ 2hr 19min 13sec
  91. Thierry Bolle (Willora) @ 2hr 19min 44sec
  92. Alex van Linden (Bianchi) @ 2hr 22min 44sec
  93. Ronny Bossant (Gis Gelati) @ 2hr 23min 30sec
  94. Roberto Sorlini (Mecap) @ 2hr 24min 45sec
  95. Enrico Paolini (SCIC) @ 2hr 25min 45sec
  96. Maurizio Bertini (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 2hr 26min 18sec
  97. Cesare Cipollini (San Giacomo) @ 2hr 27min 19sec
  98. Mario Noris (Sapa) @ 2hr 27min 41sec
  99. Willem Thomas (GBC-Galli-Castlli) @ 2hr 30min 25sec
  100. Graziano Rossi (Magniflex) @ 2hr 30min 27sec
  101. Urbain Van der Flaas (GBC-Galli-Castelli) @ 2hr 30min 41sec
  102. Piero Spinelli (Zonca-Santini) @ 2hr 32min 3sec
  103. Louis Luyten (GBC-Galli-Castelli) @ 2hr 37min 8sec
  104. Alessandro Bettoni (Sapa) @ 2hr 38min 0sec
  105. Bruno Vicino (GBC-Galli-Castelli) @ 2hr 41min 8sec
  106. Alex Frei (Willora) @ 2hr 43min 5sec
  107. Giuliano Cazzolato (Mecap) @ 2hr 45min 14sec
  108. Dino Porrini (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 2hr 48min 4sec
  109. Paolo Rosola (Sapa) @ 2hr 48min 38sec
  110. Angelo Tosoni (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 2hr 49min 42sec
  111. Bruno Zanoni (CBM-Fast Gaggia) @ 3hr 0min 50sec

Points Competition:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni (SCIC): 275 points
  2. Francesco Moser (Sanson): 274
  3. Bernt Johansson (Magniflex): 260
  4. Mario Beccia (Mecap): 130
  5. Michel Laurent (Peugeot): 118

Climbers' Competition:

  1. Claudio Bortolotto (Sanson): 495 points
  2. Beat Breu (Willora): 330
  3. Bernt Johansson (Magniflex): 300
  4. Mario Beccia (Mecap): 215
  5. Roberto Ceruti (Magniflex): 170

Young Rider:

  1. Silvano Contini (Bianchi) : 89hr 36min 51sec
  2. Robert Visentini (CBM-Fast Gaggia)
  3. Marino Amadori (Sapa)

Team Classification:

  1. Sanson
  2. SCIC
  3. Magniflex

1979 Giro stage results with running GC:

Thursday, May 17: Prologue, Firenze 6 km individual time trial

  1. Francesco Moser: 11min 5sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 3sec
  3. Knute Knudsen @ 6sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 14sec
  5. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 20sec
  6. Bernt Johansson, Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke @ 26sec
  7. Johan de Muynck @ 32sec
  8. Roberto Visentini @ 34sec
  9. Mario Beccia @ 35sec

Friday, May 18: Stage 1, Firenze - Perugia, 156 km

  1. Mario Beccia: 4hr 3min 34sec
  2. Knute Knudsen @ 2sec
  3. Roger de Vlaeminck s.t.
  4. Pierino Gavazzi s.t.
  5. Giuseppe Saronni s.t.
  6. Francesco Moser s.t.
  7. Fausto Bertoglio s.t.
  8. Bruno Wolfer s.t
  9. Godi Schmutz s.t.
  10. Leonardo Natale s.t.

GC after Stage 1:

  1. Francesco Moser: 4hr 14min 41sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 3sec
  3. Knut Knudsen @ 6sec
  4. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 20sec
  5. Michel Laurent @ 25sec
  6. Mario Beccia @ 33sec
  7. Fausto Bertoglio @ 36sec
  8. Bernt Johansson @ 37sec
  9. Johan de Muynck @ 43sec
  10. Roberto Visentini @ 45sec

Saturday, May 19: Stage 2, Perugia - Castelgandolfo, 204 km

  1. Roger de Vlaeminck: 5hr 32min 37sec
  2. Francesco Moser s.t.
  3. Vittorio Algeri s.t.
  4. Giuseppe Saronni s.t.
  5. Godi Schmutz s.t.
  6. Pierino Gavazzi s.t.
  7. Knute Knudsen s.t.
  8. Michel Laurent s.t.
  9. Bernt Johansson s.t.
  10. Franco Conti s.t.

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Francesco Moser: 9hr 47min 18sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 3sec
  3. Knut Knudsen @ 6sec
  4. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 20sec
  5. Michel Laurent @ 25sec
  6. Mario Beccia @ 33sec
  7. Fausto Bertoglio @ 36sec
  8. Bernt Johansson @ 37sec
  9. Johan de Muynck @ 43sec
  10. Roberto Visentini @ 45sec

Sunday, May 20: Stage 3, Caserta - Napoli 31 km inidividual time trial

  1. Francesco Moser: 37min 32sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 24sec
  3. Giuseppe Saronni @ 26sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 34sec
  5. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 1min 28sec
  6. Bernt Johansson @ 1min 32sec
  7. Gregor Braun @ 2min 0sec
  8. Mario Beccia @ 2min 4sec
  9. Roy Schuiten, Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke @ 2min 6sec

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Francesco Moser: 10hr 24min 50sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 29sec
  3. Knut Knudsen @ 30sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 59sec
  5. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 1min 48sec
  6. Bernt Johansson @ 2min 9sec
  7. Fausto Bertoglio @ 2min 22sec
  8. Mario Beccia @ 2min 37sec
  9. Johan de Muynck @ 2min 54sec
  10. Silvano Contini @ 3min 18sec

Monday, May 21: Stage 4, Caserta - Potenza, 210 km

Major ascents: Pietra Strada, Picerno

  1. Claudio Bortolotto: 6hr 1min 30sec
  2. Mario Beccia @ 2sec
  3. Giuseppe Saronni @ 32sec
  4. Knut Knudsen s.t.
  5. Godi Schmutz s.t.
  6. Joseph Fuchs s.t.
  7. Amilcare Sgalbazzi s.t.
  8. Francesco Moser s.t.
  9. Bernt Johansson s.t.
  10. Franco Conti s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Francesco Moser: 16hr 26min 52sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 29sec
  3. Knut Knudsen @ 30sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 59sec
  5. Mario Beccia @ 2min 7sec
  6. Bernt Johansson @ 2min 9sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 3min 18sec
  8. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 3min 23sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 4min 21sec
  10. Fausto Bertoglio @ 4min 37sec

Tuesday, May 22: Stage 5, Potenza - Vieste, 223 km

Major ascents: San Nicola, San Angelo

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 6hr 12min 41sec
  2. Francesco Moser s.t.
  3. Roger de Vlaeminck s.t.
  4. Leonardo Mazzantini s.t.
  5. Knut Knudsen s.t.
  6. Roberto Ceruti s.t.
  7. Luciano Rossignoli s.t.
  8. Walter Dusi s.t.
  9. Vincenzo De Caro s.t.
  10. Claudio Bortolotto s.t.

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Francesco Moser: 22hr 39min 33sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 29sec
  3. Knut Knudsen @ 30sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 59sec
  5. Mario Beccia @ 2min 7sec
  6. Bernt Johansson @ 2min 9sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 3min 18sec
  8. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 3min 23sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 4min 21sec
  10. Fausto Bertoglio @ 4min 37sec

Wednesday, May 23: Stage 6, Vieste - Chieti, 260 km

  1. Bruno Wolfer: 7hr 6min 14sec
  2. Angelo Tosoni @ 1min 19sec
  3. Giuseppe Saronni @ 3min 29sec
  4. Knut Knudsen @ 3min 30sec
  5. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 3min 34sec
  6. Vittorio Algeri s.t.
  7. Wladimiro Panizza @ 3min 36sec
  8. Franesco Moser s.t.
  9. Mario Beccia s.t.
  10. Bernt Johansson s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Francesco Moser: 29hr 49min 23sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 22sec
  3. Knut Knudsen @ 24sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 59sec
  5. Mario Beccia @ 2min 7sec
  6. Bernt Johansson @ 2min 9sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 3min 18sec
  8. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 3min 21sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 4min 25sec
  10. Fausto Bertoglio, Godi Schmutz @ 4min 41sec

Thursday, May 24: Stage 7, Chieti - Pesaro, 252 km

  1. Alan Van Heernden: 6hr 42min 50sec
  2. Salvatore Maccali s.t.
  3. Sergio Santimaria s.t.
  4. Marino Amadori @ 2sec
  5. Fulvio Bertacco @ 4sec
  6. Giancarlo Torelli @ 34sec
  7. Mario Fraccaro s.t.
  8. Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke s.t.
  9. Marcello Osler s.t.
  10. Roger Legeay s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Francesco Moser: 36hr 34min 33sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 22sec
  3. Knut Knudsen @ 24sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 59sec
  5. Mario Beccia @ 2min 7sec
  6. Bernt Johansson @ 2min 9sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 3min 18sec
  8. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 3min 21sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 4min 25sec
  10. Marino Amadori @ 4min 39sec

Friday, May 25: Stage 8, Rimini - San Marino 28 km individual time trial

Major ascent: Monte Titano (San Marino)

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 45min 56sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 32sec
  3. Bernt Johansson @ 1min 17sec
  4. Francesco Moser @ 1min 24sec
  5. Mario Beccia @ 1min 48sec
  6. Fausto Bertoglio @ 1min 54sec
  7. Roberto Visentini @ 2min 4sec
  8. Michel Laurent 2 2min 22sec
  9. Silvano Contini @ 2min 28sec
  10. Joseph Fuchs @ 3min 5sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 37hr 20min 51sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 34sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 2sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 2min 59sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 4sec
  6. Mario Beccia @ 3min 33sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 5min 24sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio @ 6min 13sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 7min 8sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 8min 14sec

Saturday, May 26: Stage 9, San Marino - Pistoia, 248 km

Major ascents: Muraglione, Calenzo, San Baronto

  1. Roger de Vlaeminck: 6hr 56min 47sec
  2. Michel Laurent s.t.
  3. Claudio Bortolotto s.t.
  4. Bernt Johansson s.t.
  5. Bruno Wolfer s.t.
  6. Godi Schmutz s.t.
  7. Francesco Moser s.t.
  8. Mario Beccia s.t.
  9. Silvano Contini s.t.
  10. Giuseppe Saronni s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 44hr 17min 38sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 34sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 2sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 2min 59sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 4sec
  6. Mario Beccia s.t. @ 3min 33sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 5min 24sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio @ 6min 13sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 7min 8sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 8min 14sec

Sunday, May 27: Stage 10, Lerici - Portovenere 25 km individual time trial

  1. Knut Knudsen: 32min 34sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 16sec
  3. Roberto Visentini @ 40sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 52sec
  5. Roger de Vlaeminck @ 53sec
  6. Francesco Moser @ 54sec
  7. Roy Schuiten @ 1min 2sec
  8. Gregor Braun @ 1min 6sec
  9. Silvano Contini @ 1mn 9sec
  10. Bernt Johansson @ 1min 12sec
  11. Mario Beccia @ 1min 26sec
  12. Fausto Bertoglio @ 1min 46sec

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 44hr 50min 28sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 18sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 40sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 3min 35sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 4min 0sec
  6. Mario Beccia @ 4min 43sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 6min 17sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio @ 7min 43sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 4sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 10min 51sec

Monday, May 28: Stage 11, La Spezia - Voghera, 212 km

Major ascents: Bracco, Forcella, Penice

  1. Bernt Johansson: 6hr 3min 45sec
  2. Silvano Contini s.t.
  3. Godi Schmutz s.t.
  4. Giuseppe Perletto @ 11sec
  5. Francesco Moser s.t.
  6. Fausto Bertoglio s.t.
  7. Joseph Fuchs s.t.
  8. Bruno Wolfer s.t.
  9. Marino Amadori s.t.
  10. Amilcare Sgalbazzi s.t.

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 50hr 54min 24sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 18sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 40sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 3min 35sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 49sec
  6. Mario Beccia @ 4min 43sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 6min 6sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio @ 7min 43sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 4sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 10min 57sec

Tuesday, May 29: Stage 12, Alessandria - St. Vincent, 204 km

  1. Roger de Vlaeminck: 5hr 17min 31sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 3sec
  3. Francesco Moser s.t.
  4. Pierino Gavazzi s.t.
  5. Vittorio Algeri s.t.
  6. Claudio Bortolotto s.t.
  7. Knut Knudsen s.t.
  8. Bruno Wolfer s.t.
  9. Roberto Ceruti s.t.
  10. Bernt Johansson s.t.

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 58hr 11min 58sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 18sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 40sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 3min 35sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 49sec
  6. Silvano Contini @ 5min 6sec
  7. Mario Beccia @ 5min 17sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio @ 7min 52sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 4sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 10min 51sec

Wednesday, May 30: Stage 13, Aosta - Meda, 229 km

Major ascent: Serra

  1. Dino Porrini: 5hr 57min 42sec
  2. Claudio Bortolotto s.t.
  3. Josef Wehrli s.t.
  4. Pierino Gavazzi @ 10sec
  5. Rik van Linden s.t.
  6. Luciano Borgognoni s.t.
  7. Ignazio Peleari s.t.
  8. Giuseppe Martinelli s.t.
  9. Carmelo Barone s.t.
  10. Paolo Rosola s.t.

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 62hr 9min 50sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 18sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 40sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 3min 35sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 49se
  6. Silvano Contini @ 5min 6sec
  7. Mario Beccia @ 5min 17sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio @ 8min 39sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 4sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 10min 57sec

Thursday, May 31: Stage 14, Meda - Bosco Chiesanuova, 212 km

Major ascent: Bosco Chiesanuova

  1. Bernt Johansson: 6hr 7min 15sec
  2. Francesco Moser @ 2sec
  3. Knut Knudsen @ 3sec
  4. Giuseppe Saronni s.t.
  5. Godi Schmutz s.t.
  6. Wladimiro Panizza s.t.
  7. Michel Laurent s.t.
  8. Amilcare Sgalbazzi
  9. Mario Beccia s.t.
  10. Erwin Lienhard s.t.

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 68hr 17min 8sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 18sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 39sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 3min 35sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 46sec
  6. Silvano Contini @ 5min 6sec
  7. Mario Beccia @ 5min 17sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio 2 8min 39sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 25sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 10min 51sec

Friday, June 1: Stage 15, Verona - Treviso, 121 km

  1. Giuseppe Martinelli: 2hr 50min 54sec
  2. Pierino Gavazzi s.t.
  3. Willem Thomas s.t.
  4. Paolo Rosola s.t.
  5. Dino Porrini s.t.
  6. Carmelo Barone s.t.
  7. Alessandro Bettoni s.t.
  8. Francesco Moser s.t.
  9. Ignazio Paleari s.t.
  10. Mario Noris s.t.

GC after Stage 15:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 71hr 8min 2sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 18sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 39sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 3min 35sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 46sec
  6. Silvano Contini @ 5min 6sec
  7. Mario Beccia @ 5min 17sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio @ 8min 39sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 25sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 10min 51sec

Saturday, June 2: Stage 16, Treviso - Pieve di Cadore, 195 km

Major ascents: Monte Rest, Mauria

  1. Roberto Ceruti: 5hr 36min 19sec
  2. Giuseppe Saronni @ 1min 12sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 18sec
  4. Mario Beccia @ 1min 22sec
  5. Bruno Wolfer s.t.
  6. Bernt Johansson s.t.
  7. Joseph Fuchs @ 1min 26sec
  8. Wladimiro Panizza @ 1min 27sec
  9. Claudio Bortolotto @ 1min 32sec
  10. Leonardo Natale @ 1min 33sec

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 76hr 45min 33sec
  2. Knut Knudsen @ 44sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 1min 45sec
  4. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 56sec
  5. Michel Laurent @ 4mn 1sec
  6. Mario Beccia @ 5min 27sec
  7. Silvano Contini @ 5min 32sec
  8. Fausto Bertoglio @ 9min 5sec
  9. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 39sec
  10. Godi Schmutz @ 11min 17sec

Sunday, June 3: Rest Day (giorno di riposo)

Monday, June 4: Stage 17, Pieve di Cadore - Trento, 194 km

Major ascents: Falzarego, Pordoi

  1. Francesco Moser 4hr 45min 38sec
  2. Silvano Contini s.t.
  3. Marcel Tonazzi s.t.
  4. Bruno Wolfer s.t.
  5. Godi Schmutz s.t.
  6. Beat Breu s.t.
  7. Giuseppe Saronni s.t.
  8. Bernt Johansson s.t.
  9. Marino Amadori s.t.
  10. Leonardo Natale s.t.

GC after Stage 17:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 81hr 31min 11sec
  2. Francesco Moser @ 1min 45sec
  3. Bernt Johansson @ 3min 50sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 4min 1sec
  5. Mario Beccia @ 3min 50sec
  6. Silvano Contini @ 5min 32sec
  7. Fausto Bertoglio @ 9min 5sec
  8. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 39sec
  9. Godi Schmutz @ 11min 17sec
  10. Marino Amadori @ 14min 18sec

Tuesday, June 5: Stage 18, Trento - Barzio, 245 km

Major ascents: Tonale, Aprica, Tartavalle di Ticeno, Barzio

  1. Amicare Sgalbazzi: 7hr 4min43sec
  2. Alfredo Chinetti @ 23sec
  3. Wladimiro Panizza s.t.
  4. Erwin Lienhard @ 25sec
  5. Giuseppe Saronni s.t.
  6. Fausto Bertoglio @ 26sec
  7. Johan de Muynck @ 28sec
  8. Francesco Moser s.t.
  9. Mario Beccia @ 31sec
  10. Roberto Visentini @ 36sec

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 88hr 36min 19sec
  2. Francesco Moser @ 1min 48sec
  3. Bernt Johansson @ 4min 7sec
  4. Michel Laurent @ 4min 14sec
  5. Mario Beccia @ 5min 33sec
  6. Silvano Contini @ 5min 43sec
  7. Fausto Bertoglio @ 9min 6sec
  8. Joseph Fuchs @ 9min 50sec
  9. Godi Schmutz @ 11min 28sec
  10. Marino Amadori @ 14min 40sec

Wednesday, June 6: 19th and Final Stage, Cesano Moderno - Milano 44 km individual time trial

  1. Giuseppe Saronni: 52min 59sec
  2. Roberto Visentini @ 15sec
  3. Francesco Moser @ 21sec
  4. Gregor Braun @ 40sec
  5. Bernt Johansson @ 1min 6sec
  6. Michel Laurent @ 1min 17sec
  7. Roy Schuiten @ 1min 34sec
  8. Silvano Contini @ 1min 40sec
  9. Mario Beccia @ 2min 17sec
  10. Fausto Bertoglio @ 2min 21sec

1979 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification


The Story of the 1979 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.

With the exception of Gimondi’s and Bertoglio’s victories, the 1970s had been difficult for the tifosi to endure. Belgians (Merckx, Pollentier and de Muynck) and a Swede (Pettersson) had been sweeping in from the north for a decade, sacking and pillaging their race, ruining the afternoon games of dominos at the local bars. Pollentier, Pettersson and de Muynck struck the Italians as excellent but dull racers. Where were the polemiche, where was the excitement?

Now Torriani had two terrific Italian racers who were delighting their countrymen with victories all over Europe. SCIC had contemplated bringing Giuseppe Saronni to the 1977 Giro, his first year as a pro, but a crash in the Tour of Romandie a few days before the Giro’s start kept the nineteen-year-old racer from being subjected to a Grand Tour well before he was ready. That year he still won Tour of Veneto and the Tre Valle Varesine. In 1978 he won the Tirreno–Adriatico, and three Giro stages, coming in fifth in the Overall.

Francesco Moser had added to his list of prestigious victories by taking Paris–Roubaix. This was the year Moser and de Vlaeminck, both riding for Sanson, confounded their competitors’ expectations. Instead of aiming for Paris–Roubaix, which de Vlaeminck had already won a record-setting four times, he took Milan–San Remo while Moser completed the unintentional trade and won the cobbled Classic in front of de Vlaeminck by attacking at the precise point de Vlaeminck had planned on making good his escape.

While Moser and Saronni were amassing their victories, the tifosi split their allegiance in what so far was the last great Italian rivalry. While both were excellent time trialists, they were vulnerable in the high mountains. Moser had tried the Tour de France in 1975, winning the prologue time trial and keeping the Yellow Jersey until stage six. He finished in seventh place, more than 24 minutes behind winner Bernard Thévenet, but he never returned, finding the Tour’s climbing not at all to his liking.

What was Torriani to do? Easy. Design the flattest postwar Giro and put in five (that’s right, five) time trials. The two stars could flog each other on terrain suited to their gifts and the tifosi could go nuts. While Torriani may have been particularly overt in designing this Grand Tour for these two particular riders (some writers say Torriani had only Moser in mind), all three Grand Tour organizations have designed races for preferred riders.

Indeed, Torriani knew his boys. After the smoke had cleared from the eight-kilometer prologue time trial in Florence, Moser was in pink with Saronni just three seconds back. The game was afoot.

South to Naples for the third stage time trial, this one 31 kilometers long, giving Moser enough distance to create a significant gap—26 seconds over Saronni in the stage and 29 seconds in the General Classification. Moser had been accused of letting his form slip a bit after an excellent spring Classics season, but his 49.56 kilometers per hour says that there was still plenty of good stuff left in his legs.

De Muynck and two-time Tour winner Bernard Thévenet had their hopes crushed in the next day’s 210 kilometers of hilly roads through Campania and Basilicata, both losing more than seven minutes. Bertoglio’s two-minute loss probably put his name in the no-hoper column as well while Moser and Saronni finished together.

The tifosi had marked the stage eight time trial from Rimini to the top of San Marino on their calendars as a bellwether day, and Saronni rode the 28 kilometers like a rocket. Moser lost a minute and a half and the maglia rosa. Historian Sandro Picchi dates the real beginning of the Moser/Saronni rivalry from that hot day in May.

Knut Knudsen

Knut Knudsen rides the stage eight time trial to San Marino

The General Classification now stood thus:
1. Giuseppe Saronni
2. Knut Knudsen @ 34 seconds
3. Francesco Moser @ 1 minute 2 seconds
4. Michel Laurent @ 2 minutes 59 seconds
5. Bernt Johansson @ 3 minutes 4 seconds

Viral conjunctivitis was bedeviling many riders in the peloton. Moser was infected; Battaglin and his Inoxpran squad were so badly hit the team withdrew before the Giro’s start.

The next episode in this Giro of big-gear time trial power tests was in the Ligurian town of Lerici, and the Vikings were back. Norwegian Knut Knudsen won the stage, bringing him to with eighteen seconds of Saronni, who in turn had taken about a half minute out of Moser.

When he designed the flat 1979 route, Torriani wasn’t completely without shame. Stage fourteen ended at the top of the Bosco Chiesanuova climb, just outside Verona. Bernt Johansson was first to the summit, but Moser dug deep and finished just 2 seconds behind the Swede. But even that superhuman effort did him little good—Knudsen and Saronni were only a second behind him.
The two non-climbers would settle this during the three days of racing in the Dolomites.

Day one: Saronni beat Moser into Pieve di Cadore by 6 seconds after the peloton climbed Monte Rest and the Mauria. Half of the Norse threat was neutralized by Luciano Pezzi, manager of Johansson’s Magniflex team, when he hit Knut Knudsen with the team car.
The rivalry between Saronni and Moser was starting to get a bit raw. Moser told Saronni that he would try to make him lose the Giro. Moser’s mother scolded him for such unsportsmanlike sentiments. The dislike Saronni and Moser felt for each other was real. Saronni was quick with a biting riposte and seemed to enjoy getting a rise out Moser.

Day two: the two major climbs, the Falzarego and Pordoi came many kilometers before the finish, allowing twenty riders to coalesce before the sprint, probably exactly as Torriani had planned. Moser won the trip to his hometown of Trent with Saronni finishing just with him. Saronni prudently decided to let Moser have the stage and shut down his own sprint in the town that loved Moser best.

Day three: stage eighteen had the Tonale and Aprica climbs, but again they came far too early in the stage to allow the real climbers to gain time. The uphill drag to the finish in the small Alpine town of Valsássina, north of Milan, failed to bust things up, Saronni beating Moser by 3 seconds. Saronni now led Moser by 1 minute 48 seconds.

That left the fifth and final time trial, a run into Milan from the suburb of Cesano Maderno. At 44 kilometers, if Moser were having a good day he might have a chance. Saronni was having an even better day. He won the stage, beating Moser by 21 seconds. Saronni, 21, became the third youngest Giro winner after Fausto Coppi and Luigi Marchisio. Saronni also took the cyclamen Points Jersey, beating Moser by a single point. Ouch.

Giuseppe Saronni

Giuseppe Saronni wins the final time trial and the 1979 Giro d'Italia

Final 1979 Giro d’Italia General Classification
1. Giuseppe Saronni (SCIC) 89 hours 29 minutes 18 seconds
2. Francesco Moser (Sanson) @ 2 minutes 9 seconds
3. Bernt Johansson (Magniflex) @ 3 minutes 13 seconds
4. Michel Laurent (Peugeot) @ 5 minutes 31 seconds
5. Silvano Contini (Bianchi) @ 7 minutes 33 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:
1. Claudio Bortolotto (Sanson): 495 points
2. Beat Breu (Willora-Piz Buin-Bonanza): 330
3. Bernt Johansson (Magniflex): 300

Points Competition:
1. Giuseppe Saronni (SCIC): 275 points
2. Francesco Moser (Sanson): 274
3. Bernt Johansson (Magniflex): 260


Video: RAI half-hour summary of the 1979 Giro (in Italian)