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1921 Giro d'Italia

9th edition: May 25 - June 12

Results, stages with running GC, photos and history

1920 Giro | 1922 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1921 Giro Quick Facts | 1921 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | Teams | The Story of the 1921 Giro d'Italia

1921 Giro Quick Facts:

3107 km raced at an average speed of 25.59 km/hr

69 starters and 27 classified finishers

1919 Giro winner Costante Girardengo came to the 1921 Giro in such fantastic condition he won the first four stages, but a crash in stage five forced him to abandon.

With Girardengo's departure, the race was between Giovanni Brunero and Gaetano Belloni.

In Stage 7 Brunero was able to leave Belloni two minutes behind, creating a GC gap of about one minute, which Belloni was unable to erase.

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, Vol 2, 1976 - 2018 is available as an audiobook here.

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1921 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification:

  1. maglia rosaGiovanni Brunero (Legnano-Pirelli): 120hr 24min 58sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni (Bianchi) @ 41sec
  3. Bartolomeo Aymo (Legnano-Pirelli) @ 19min 47sec
  4. Lucien Buysse (Bianchi) @ 40min 0sec
  5. Angelo Gremo (Bianchi) @ 47min 28sec
  6. Federico Gay (Bianchi) @ 59min 53sec
  7. Alfredo Sivocci (Legnano-Pirelli) @ 1hr 24min 27sec
  8. Clemente Canepari (Legnano-Pirelli) @ 2hr 24min 8sec
  9. Giovanni Rossignoli (Bianchi) @ 2hr 24min 25sec
  10. Luigi Annoni (Stucchi) @ 2hr 36min 57sec
  11. Alfredo Caminetti @ 3hr 31min 24sec
  12. Giovanni Scaioni @ 3hr 39min 44sec
  13. Nicola Di Biase @ 4hr 16min 49sec
  14. Michele Gordini @ 5hr 34min 50sec
  15. Giuseppe Santhià (Bianchi) @ 6hr 8min 49sec
  16. Lauro Bordin (Bordin) @ 6hr 35min 26sec
  17. Enrico Sala (Ancora) @ 6hr 46min 54sec
  18. Angelo Erba @ 6hr 56min 4sec
  19. Louis Luguet (Bianchi) @ 8hr 39min 2sec
  20. Ugo Bianchi @ 10hr 14min 16sec
  21. Rinaldo Spinelli @ 10hr 14min 21sec
  22. Angelo Guidi @ 11hr 35min 1sec
  23. Antonio Tecchio @ 11hr 51min 37sec
  24. Damiano Solitario @ 13min 32min 39sec
  25. Luigi Sinchetto @ 13hr 58min 27sec
  26. Felice Di Gaetano @ 14hr 17min 30sec
  27. Andrea Cazzaniga @ 26hr 40min 1sec

Winning team: Bianchi

1921 Giro stage results with running GC:

Stage 1: Wednesday, May 25, Milano - Merano, 333 km

Ascent: Colle San Eusebio

  1. Costante Girardengo: 12hr 56min 22sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  3. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.
  4. Luigi Lucotti s.t.
  5. Federico Gay s.t.
  6. Angelo Gremo @ 1sec
  7. Lauro Bordin s.t.
  8. Giovanni Brunero s.t.
  9. Ugo Agostoni s.t.
  10. 13 riders given the same time and place: Aymo, Arduno, Azzini, Bassi, Bianchi, Buysse, Canepari, Ferrari, Petiva, Rossignoli, Santhià, Schierano, Tonani

GC after Stage 1: Same as stage results

Stage 2: Friday, May 27, Merano - Bologna, 348 km

  1. Costante Girardengo: 12hr 18min 9sec
  2. Giuseppe Azzini s.t.
  3. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  4. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.
  5. Jules Van Hevel s.t.
  6. Luigi Lucotti s.t.
  7. Giovanni Bassi @ 1sec
  8. Carlo Galetti s.t.
  9. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  10. Paride Ferrari @ 8sec

GC after Stage 2:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 25hr 14min 31sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  3. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.
  4. Luigi Lucotti s.t.
  5. Giuseppe Azzini @ 3sec
  6. Giovanni Bassi s.t.
  7. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  8. Paride Ferrari s.t.
  9. Federico Gay @ 11sec
  10. Lauro Bordin @ 12sec

Stage 3: Sunday, May 29, Bologna - Perugia, 321 km

climbsAscents: Colle di Cento Forche, Passo Mandrioli

  1. Costante Girardengo: 12hr 15min 27sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  3. Luigi Lucotti s.t.
  4. Giovanni Brunero s.t.
  5. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.
  6. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  7. Camillo Arduino @ 2sec
  8. Giuseppe Azzini s.t.
  9. Marcel Buysse s.t.
  10. Clemente Canepari s.t.

GC after Stage 3:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 37hr 29min 58sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  3. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.
  4. Luigi Lucotti s.t.
  5. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 3sec
  6. Giuseppe Azzini @ 4sec
  7. Federico Gay @ 13sec
  8. Clemente Canepari @ 15sec
  9. Angelo Gremo s.t.
  10. Giovanni Bassi s.t.

Stage 4: Tuesday, May 31, Perugia - Chieti, 326 km

Ascents: Forca di Cerro, Forca Canapine

  1. Costante Girardengo: 13hr 3min 36sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  3. Giovanni Brunero s.t.
  4. Marcel Buysse s.t.
  5. Giuseppe Azzini @ 1sec
  6. Alfredo Sivocci @ 3sec
  7. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  8. Federico Gay s.t.
  9. Camillo Arduino @ 44sec
  10. Luigi Lucotti @ 1min 13sec

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Costante Girardengo: 50hr 45min 34sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  3. Alfredo Sivocci @ 3sec
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 7sec
  5. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 9sec
  6. Camillo Arduino @ 41sec
  7. Luigi Lucotti @ 1min 3sec
  8. Giuseppe Azzini @ 1min 4sec
  9. Federico Gay @1min 6sec
  10. Giovanni Brunero @ 1min 18sec

Stage 5: Thursday, June 2, Chieti - Napoli, 264 km

Ascent: Fontanelle

  1. Gaetano Belloni: 10hr 18min 12sec
  2. Giovanni Brunero s.t.
  3. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  4. Giuseppe Azzini @ 4min 8sec
  5. Marcel Buysse @ 5min 15sec
  6. Camillo Arduino @ 13min 20sec
  7. Giovanni Rossignoli s.t.
  8. Angelo Gremo @ 17min 53sec
  9. Alfredo Sivocci @ 28min 53sec
  10. Federico Gay @ 29min 51sec

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Gaetano Belloni: 61hr 0min 2sec
  2. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 6sec
  3. Giovanni Brunero @ 1min 18sec
  4. Giuseppe Azzini @ 4min 19sec
  5. Marcel Buysse @ 5min 22sec
  6. Camillo Arduino @ 14min 0sec
  7. Giovanni Rossignoli @ 20min 51sec
  8. Angelo Gremo @ 21min 7sec
  9. Alfredo Sivocci @ 28min 55sec
  10. Federico Gay @ 30min 56sec

Stage 6: Saturday, June 4, Napoli - Roma, 299 km

climbsAscents: San Nicola, Passo del Faggio

  1. Luigi Annoni: 10hr 25min 42sec
  2. Giovanni Brunero @ 1sec
  3. Angelo Gremo @ 8sec
  4. Gaetano Balloni @ 8sec
  5. Federico Gay @ 3min 40sec
  6. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 3min 41sec
  7. Alfredo Sivocci @ 9min 55sec
  8. Michele Gordini s.t.
  9. Marcel Buysse @ 12min 58sec
  10. Alfredo Cominetti @ 18min 54sec

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Gaetano Belloni: 71hr 25min 55sec
  2. Giovanni Brunero @ 1min 9sec
  3. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 3min 37sec
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 18min 9sec
  5. Angelo Gremo @ 21min 1sec
  6. Federico Gay @ 34min 25sec
  7. Alfredo Sivocci @ 38min 39sec
  8. Giovanni Rossignoli @ 1hr 26min 14sec
  9. Paride Ferrari @ 1hr 36min 20sec
  10. Clemente Canepari @ 1hr 47min 46sec

Stage 7: Sunday, June 5, Roma - Livorno, 341 km

  1. Giovanni Brunero: 15hr 3min 59sec
  2. Alfredo Sivocci @ 2min 1sec
  3. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  4. Federico Gay s.t.
  5. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  6. Marcel Buysse s.t.
  7. Angelo Gremo s.t.
  8. Ugo Bianchi @ 6min 0sec
  9. Giovanni Bassi s.t.
  10. Giovanni Rossignoli s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Giovanni Brunero: 86hr 28min 3sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni @ 52sec
  3. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 4min 29sec
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 19min 1sec
  5. Angelo Gremo @ 23min 35sec
  6. Federico Gay @ 35min 17sec
  7. Alfredo Sivocci @ 29min 31sec
  8. Giovanni Rossignoli @ 1hr 31min 5sec
  9. Clemente Canepari @ 1hr 59min 3sec
  10. Alfredo Cominetti @ 2hr 32min 30sec

Stage 8: Wednesday, June 8, Livorno - Parma, 242 km

climbAscent: La Cisa

  1. Luigi Annoni: 16hr 21min 46sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni s.t.
  3. Giovanni Brunero s.t.
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 3min 51sec
  5. Clemente Canepari @ 7min 56sec
  6. Federico Gay @ 7min 57sec
  7. Angelo Gremo s.t.
  8. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  9. Louis Luguet @ 16min 12sec
  10. Michele Gordini @ 16min 17sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Giovanni Brunero: 95hr 45min 49sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni @ 42sec
  3. Bartolomeo Aymo 2 12min 26sec
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 22min 52sec
  5. Angelo Gremo @ 31min 31sec
  6. Federico Gay @ 43min 13sec
  7. Alfredo Sivocci @ 1hr 7min 19sec
  8. Giovanni Rossignoli 2 2hr 4min 19sec
  9. Clemente Canepari @ 2hr 6min 59sec
  10. Luigi Annoni @ 2hr 33min 49sec

Stage 9: Friday, June 10, Parma - Torino, 320 km

  1. Gaetano Belloni: 12hr 15min 34sec
  2. Marcel Buysse @ 11sec
  3. Giovanni Brunero s.t.
  4. Angelo Gremo @ 23sec
  5. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 24sec
  6. Federico Gay @ 1min 6sec
  7. Giuseppe Santhià @ 1min 26sec
  8. Lauro Bordin @ 1min 32sec
  9. Luigi Annoni s.t.
  10. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Giovanni Brunero: 108hr 1min 34sec
  2. Gaetano Belloni @ 41sec
  3. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 22min 52sec
  5. Angelo Gremo @ 31min 43sec
  6. Federico Gay @ 44min 8sec
  7. Alfredo Sivocci @ 1hr 8min 42sec
  8. Clemente Canepari @ 2hr 8min 22sec
  9. Giovanni Rossignoli @ 2hr 8min 39sec
  10. Luigi Annoni @ 2hr 35min 12sec

10th and Final Stage: Sunday, June 12, Torino - Milano, 305 km

climbAscent: Madonna del Ghisallo

  1. Gaetano Belloni: 12hr 23min 24sec
  2. Giovanni Brunero s.t.
  3. Luigi Annoni @ 1min 45sec
  4. Marcel Buysse @ 7min 8sec
  5. Bartolomeo Aymo s.t.
  6. Giovanni Scaioni @ 7min 23sec
  7. Alfredo Sivocci s.t.
  8. Federico Gay s.t.
  9. Michele Gordini @ 15min 46sec

1921 Giro d'Italia Complete Final General Classification



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The Story of the 1921 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 eBook or Audiobook. The Amazon link here will make the purchase easy.

In 1921 the Giro organizers took the Giro as far south as Naples in a 3,106-kilometer, ten-stage race. A peloton of 69 riders headed east from Milan on May 25 to start a clock-wise journey around the peninsula. By this point, the Giro had grown so important that the race was being filmed to be shown later in movie theaters all over Italy.

Girardengo and Belloni were among the starters. Gira was in scintillating condition, having won Milan–San Remo in a convincing manner earlier that spring.

Giovanni Brunero was in his third year as a pro and so far had earned three notable placings. In 1920 he was second in the Tour of Lombardy, victor in the Tour of Emilia and second to Girardengo in a two-up sprint in Milan–San Remo. In that Milan–San Remo the two riders had left Giuseppe Azzini and Alfredo Sivocci three and a half minutes back and the rest of the peloton from eight minutes to an hour behind.

Some of the old guard were still there as well. Rossignoli, Galetti, Sivocci and Santhià lined up to give it another go. Marcel and Lucien Buysse were part of a five-man Belgian contingent in a race that was, as usual, largely an Italian affair.

The commercial benefits of being involved with the Giro were not lost on Italian businessmen. Adolfo Galeppi, head of the Milan office of the Swiss Tobler chocolate company, said he would supply all the independent riders with free chocolate. Probably looking for an ad from the chocolate company, La Gazzetta called the gesture munificent. Given the conditions some of the independents raced under, I have no doubt the chocolate was gratefully accepted.

For the first time the Giro went over what is now one of the iconic climbs in Italian cycling, the Ghisallo, just north of Milan. The first stage ascended the famous colle on its way to Merano in the Dolomites, north of Bolzano.

After stage one there could be no doubt about Girardengo’s form. After racing 333 kilometers, Girardengo out-sprinted Belloni, Sivocci and the rest of the 22-man break that had gapped the field by over sixteen minutes.

Riding on muddy streets in Storo

Riders climb through Storo, near Trent, on muddy streets.

Going south to Bologna, the man from Novi Ligure did it again. And again in both the third and the fourth stages. Always Belloni stayed right with him, not losing any time. After winning four stages in a row Girardengo had clearly confirmed that he remained the campionissimo. With the riders in Chieti and ready to cross over the Apennines to Naples during stage five, the General Classification stood thus:
1. Costante Girardengo
2. Gaetano Belloni @ same time
3. Alfredo Sivocci @ 3 seconds
4. Lucien Buysse @ 7 seconds
5. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 9 seconds
For the era (actually any other era as well), this was an extraordinarily tight stage race.

Feed station at Bassano

The feed station at Bassano

The fifth stage was over difficult and hilly Apennine roads that were to be unkind to Gira. Colliding with another rider, he crashed, ruining his bike. Like the year before, Belloni led the opportunistic attack. Girardengo gave desperate chase for 60 kilometers, but eventually even champions become exhausted and their determination can falter. When he reached the Cinquemiglia Plateau (near Isernia, due north of Naples) he decided that further pursuit was pointless and got off his bike. He knelt in the dirt and made a cross in the dust of the unpaved road and crossed himself. He then sat on a wall, his Giro over.

The remaining riders in the peloton continued on to Capua, north of Naples. There some boarded a train to Naples because the road was nearly impassable by bike. I can find no record that they received any penalties for this. The crowd awaiting the racers at the finish was enormous. Belloni won the stage; Brunero and Bartolomeo Aymo were second and third, with the same time. Since Aymo will turn up again and again in our story, it might be helpful to note that French (and some Italian) journalists spell his name “Aimo”. Aymo or Aimo, it’s the same guy.

With Girardengo gone, Belloni was the new leader and was sure he had the race in the bag. This seems a tad optimistic, given how close the race was.
1. Gaetano Belloni
2. Bartolomeo Aymo @ 6 seconds
3. Giovanni Brunero @ 1 minute 18 seconds
4. Giuseppe Azzini @ 4 minutes 19 seconds
5. Lucien Buysse @ 5 minutes 22 seconds

It was in the seventh stage to Livorno that Brunero was finally able to distance himself from Belloni and Aymo. La Gazzetta described Brunero as a passista-scalatore, a rider who could roll the big gear easily over flat roads yet climb well. In stage seven Brunero used those talents to good effect by leaving Belloni two minutes behind, giving him a 52-second overall lead.

Although Belloni won the last two stages, he couldn’t erase his entire time deficit, making it the closest Giro so far. He went back to being Italy’s “Eternal Second”. A look at the final results shows that Brunero and Belloni were the class of the race, vastly superior to the rest of the field.

Giovanni Brunero

Giovanni Brunero

Final 1921 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Giovanni Brunero (Legnano-Pirelli) 120 hours 24 minutes 58 seconds
2. Gaetano Belloni (Bianchi) @ 41 seconds
3. Bartolomeo Aymo (Legnano-Pirelli) @ 19 minutes 47 seconds
4. Lucien Buysse (Bianchi) @ 39 minutes
5. Angelo Gremo (Bianchi) @ 47 minutes 28 seconds

Showing the improving form of the post-war peloton, 27 of the 69 riders who left Milan three weeks earlier returned.

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