Franco Bitossi Photo Gallery
Franco Bitossi (Born September 1, 1940, professional rider 1961 - 1978) was one of cycling's most capable and versatile riders. Among his 147 professional race wins were the 1968 Tour de France and 1969 & 1970 Giro d'Italia points jerseys as well as the Giro d'Italia 1964, 1965 1966 KOM classifications.
He could sprint like a demon and climb like an angel. Because he suffered from a chronic cardiac arrhythmia (his nickname was cuore matto, or "Crazy Heart), he would have to stop occasionally in the middle of a race until his heartbeat became normal.
1964: Giro d'Italia KOM
1965: Tour of Switzerland GC, Championship of Zurich, Giro d'Italia KOM
1966: Giro d'Italia KOM, 2 Tour de France stage wins
1967: Tirreno-Adriatico, Giro di Lombardia, Coppa Agostoni
1968: Championship of Zurich, Tour de France Points with 2 stage wins
1969: Giro d'Italia points, Coppa Agostini
1970: Italian Road Champion, Giro dItalia points, Giro di Lombardia, Volta a Catalunya
1971: Coppa Agostini
1976: Italian Road Champion
Franco Bitossi's teams:
1961, 1962: Philco
1963, 1964: Springoil-Fuchs
1965 - 1972: Filotex
1974, 1975: SCIC
1978: Gis Gelati
Photos: From Signor Bitossi's private collection.
20-year old Franco Bitossi has just won an amateur race
1963 Giro del Trentino: the only known photo of Bitossi suffering a cardiac arrhythmia. He is stopped, waiting for his heart rate to get back to normal.
1964 Giro d'Italia: Bitossi wins in San Pellegrino.
Jacques Anquetil leads Franco Bitossi in the 1966 Giro d'Italia
1967 Giro d'Italia: Bitossi leads up Mt. Etna in stage 7. Felice Gimondi is third.
Bitossi wins stage 7 (Mt Etna) of the 67 Giro. That's Aurelio Gonzalez-Puente 3 seconds back.
1967 Giro d'Italia: Franco Bitossi with Eddy Merckx on his wheel. Franco Balmamion is to his left in the Molteni jersey and Francisco Gabica is rising out of the saddle behind and to Merckx's right.
Felice Gimondi and Bitossi finish a stage in the 1967 Giro d'Italia
Bitossi and Felice Gimondi at stage 14 of the 1967 Giro d'Italia
He's gone! Franco Bitossi on his way to winning the 1967 Giro di Lombardia
Bitossi climbs in an undated photo.
1968 Tour de France: Bitossi gaps Herman van Springel on the Cote de Cordon
Bitossi in the 1968 Tour de France wearing the points jersey. It was red that year.
Bitossi in the points leader's cyclamen jersey in stage 15 of the 1969 Giro
1970 Giro d'Italia: Bitossi wins stage 1 at Biandronno
Bitossi in pink with Eddy Merckx after stage 2 of the 1970 Giro.
1970: Italian road champion Bitossi with Aldo Moser
An undated photo, Michele Dancelli (left), Bitossi and Gino Bartali
1970: Gianni Motta and Franco Bitossi
Undated photo, from left: Franco Bitossi, Felice Gimondi and Italo Zilioli
1970 Giro d'Italia: Franco Bitossi took the Pink Jersey on the first stage and held it until Eddy Merckx took it in the 7th stage. Here they are, probably after the first stage.
1970 Giro d'Italia: Bitossi is in the pink jersey and has just finished stage over dirt roads (strade bianche or white roads)
Bitossi has just won the 1970 Italian road championship and puts on the tricolor champion's jersey.
From the 1971 Giro d'Italia. It's not all racing.
Bitossi wins the 1971 Coppa Agostoni
Bitossi races the 1971 Coppa Placci
At the start of the 1971 Giro di Lombardia in Milan: As the 1970 winner, Bitossi gets the No. 1 backnumber. He's with Giancarlo Polidori.
At the Milano 1971 6-Day, Franco Bitossi and Eddy Merckx
Bitossi in 1973
Franco Bitossi in Belgium
Bitossi's 1974 SCIC squad. in the front row, from the left: Giambattista Baronchelli, Enrico Paolini and Franco Bitossi. In the back row, on the left is Celestino Vercelli, founder of Vittoria Shoes.
1974 or 75: From left, Enrico Paolini, Franco Bitossi, Giambattista Baronchelli
1974 or 75, Bitossi attacks.
Bitossi wins the 1974 Giro di Romagna
Displaying a bit of versitility, Bitossi in a cyclocross race in 1974 or 75.
Franco Bitossi speaks in 1975. On his left in the same row is Celestino Vercelli, founder of Vittoria shoes.
1976 Trofeo Laigueglia. Roger de Vlaeminck (left front in Brooklyn kit) was disqualified for irregular sprinting (see crash in background) and Bitossi was made the winner.
Bitossi in the 1976 Italian road championships
Hours later Bitossi wins the 1976 Italian road championship
Franco Bitossi in 2003 with one of his old racing bikes.
Valeria Paoletti and Franco Bitoss after their interview in 2003