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1941 - 1945 Giro d'Italia

Results and history

1940 Giro | 1946 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1941-45 Giro Quick Facts |1942 Giro d'Italia | 1943 Giro d'Italia | The Story of the Giro d'Italia: 1941- 1945

1942-43 Giri Quick Facts:

TDF volume 1

With the Second World War raging Mussolini did his best to keep cycle racing going in Italy. But the Giro is a voracious consumer of gasoline, cars, food, money and men and mounting a three-week national tour was beyond Italy's ability from 1941 to 1945.

Instead, the Italian government promulgated ersatz Giri in 1942 and 1943. Each was a points series using the major single-day Italian races

In 1943, Benito Mussolini was arrested and cycle racing in Italy ground to a halt.

This page lists the results from the two "Points Series" Giri d'Italia.

Bill & Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, Vol 1, 1903 - 1975 is available as an audiobook here.

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1942 Giro d'Italia:

Based on points accumulated during eight races:

1. Milano-San Remo:

  1. Adolfo Leoni
  2. Antonio Bevilacqua
  3. Pierino Favalli
  4. Giordano Cottur
  5. Mario De Benedetti
  6. Egidio Marangoni
  7. Giovanni Brotto
  8. Giovanni De Stefanis
  9. Cino Cinelli
  10. Gino Bartali

2. Giro del Lazio:

  1. Osvaldo Bailo
  2. Olimpio Bizzi
  3. Pietro Chiappini
  4. Fausto Coppi
  5. Severino Canavesi

GC Leader: Osvaldo Bailo

3. Giro della Toscana:

  1. Vito Ortelli
  2. Gino Bartali
  3. Glauco Servadei

GC leader: Vito Ortelli

4. Giro dell'Emilia:

  1. Adolfo Leoni

GC leader Adolfo Leoni

5. Giro del Veneto:

  1. Pierino Favalli
  2. Olimpio Bizzi
  3. Osvaldo Bailo
  4. Mario De Benedetti
  5. Gino Bartali

GC leader: Adolfo Leoni

6. Giro del Piemonte:

  1. Fiorenzo Magni
  2. Gino Bartali
  3. Pierino Favalli s.t.
  4. Olimpio Bizzi

GC leader ?

7. Giro della Campania:

  1. Pierino Favalli
  2. Antonio Bevilacqua
  3. Vasco Bergamaschi
  4. Gino Bartali

GC leader: Pierino Favalli

8: Giro di Lombardia:

  1. Aldo Bini
  2. Gino Bartali
  3. Quirino Toccaceli
  4. Cino Cinelli
  5. Glauco Servadei

Final 1942 Giro d'Italia General Classification:

  1. Gino Bartali (Legnano) 25 points
  2. Pierino Favalli: 23
  3. Adolfo Leoni 18
  4. Aldo Bini: 17
  5. Olimpio Bizzi: 16
  6. Osvaldo Bailo: 13
  7. Antonio Bevilacqua: 13
  8. Vito Ortelli: 12
  9. Glauco Servadei:12
  10. Fausto Coppi: 11
  11. Pietro Chiappini: 11
  12. Mario De Benedetti: 11
  13. Quirino Toccaceli: 10

1943 Giro d'Italia

Based on points accumulated during four races.

1. Milano-San Remo

  1. Cino Cinelli
  2. Glauco Servadei

2. Trofero Moschini

  1. Olimpio Bizzi
  2. Glauco Servadei

3. Giro Della Toscana

  1. Olimpio Bizzi
  2. Glauco Servadei

4. Gran Premio Roma

  1. Glauco Servadei

1942 Giro d'Italia Final General Classification

  1. Glauco Servadei: 21 points
  2. Olimpio Bizzi: 13
  3. Gino Bartali: 10
  4. Mario Ricci: 9
  5. Fiorenzo(?)Magni: 9
  6. Cino Cinelli: 8
  7. Salvatore Crippa: 8
  8. Quirino Toccaceli: 8
  9. Diego Marabelli: 6
  10. Giulio Bresci: 4

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The Story of the Giro d'Italia, 1941 - 1945

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.

1941. Mussolini did his best to keep bicycle racing going while Italy was getting mired in more conflict than she could handle. The riders were required to race for free as part of their contribution to the war effort. While one-day races were still held, Italy didn’t have the resources to devote to a three-week Grand Tour. Stage races are voracious consumers of gasoline, cars, food, money and men, and Italy was running short of all of them. Most basic commodities were already being rationed. The Giro would not be held again until 1946.

1942-1945. Since the undertaking of a major stage race was impossible, the government promulgated an ersatz Giro. A points series using the major one-day Italian races (Milan–San Remo, etc.) was established. Bartali won the 1942 edition but the bike-starved fans were not appeased. The demanding tifosi argued that these races were already being held and this fake Giro added nothing to the racing calendar.

On July 10, 1943, the Allies landed on Sicily and began their long, brutal and difficult conquest of what Churchill had idiotically called Europe’s “soft underbelly”. The king of Italy as well as the rest of the governing elite understood that Mussolini, who was growing ever more detached from reality, had led Italy into a catastrophe. On July 25 the king informed Mussolini that he was deposed and under arrest. With Il Duce gone, cycle racing in Italy ground to a halt. Glauco Servadei was declared the winner of the surrogate Giro after winning the fourth and final race of the series, the Gran Premio Roma.

Meanwhile, the deeply religious Bartali had spent some of the war working at the Vatican for the Catholic Church as a bicycle courier. Bartali’s efforts to save Jews from the concentration camps have only recently been revealed. He pretended to train as he rode all over northern and central Italy, but he was carrying messages for the Italian resistance as well as helping Jews escape persecution by smuggling forged documents. As Italy’s most famous cyclist he could get past guards who might otherwise search him. He wasn’t completely above suspicion and was eventually brought in for questioning by the German SD security service before being released.

During the hardest years of the war, 1944 and 1945, La Gazzetta dello Sport still managed to print a single issue each week. War-time shortages limited the publication to four pages, printed on white paper.

In April of 1945 Mussolini escaped his imprisonment and was captured and shot. His body was displayed hanging upside-down at a gas station at the same Piazzale Loreto where the first Giro had departed in 1909.

With the fighting over, Bruno Roghi, who had been leading La Gazzetta until September of 1943 when Italy surrendered to the Allies, returned to run the paper. At first it was printed on a single page of white paper, but by September the familiar pink newsprint had returned.

As Europe awoke from its nightmare, racing began in earnest all over the continent. There was no money, no gasoline, no tires and little food. Postwar Europe was a shattered wreck but people had a living to make and professional racers race bikes. Bartali was instrumental in putting together a group of pros who raced on whatever bikes they could find for whatever prizes that could be found, whether those prizes were pigs, mattresses or stoves.

In July of 1945 Coppi won the first big Italian post-war race in Milan. His career may have lost several years to the war but that giant engine which had so elegantly powered his bike was still there. Coppi already felt comfortable enough to marry Bruna Ciampolini and rent an apartment in Sestri Ponente, near Genoa.

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