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Dim

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The forgotten achievements of cycling...
« on: May 06, 2013, 18:43 »
Going through some random facts and figures, are there any riders that have completed what seem like impossible challenges, that are since forgotten? Riders who achieved incredible things, but are since ignored..

I give you, Giovanni Battaglin
Born in 1951, Battaglin start racing in the early seventies as an Amateur, his first big win coming in the since resurrected Giro del Lazio in 1973 and also that year finished 3rd in the Giro. By 1975 he had a couple of stages in the Giro to his name, and a stage in the Tour de France a year later.

In 1980 he would make the podium of the Giro again, but It would be in 1981 though that he won a Grand Tour, or two.

On April 21st Battaglin started the Vuelta Espana. Regis Clere won the prologue of the race and kept the leader’s jersey until the mountain time trial where on the very long climb to Sierra Nevada, Battaglin won the stage and took over the leader’s jersey.

The only threat to Battaglin’s lead was Pedro Muñoz,  after entire Teka team withdrew from the race withdrawing potential favourites Marino Lejarreta and Alberto Fernández.  Battaglin and his Inoxpran team withstood the challenge from the Spanish and brought Battaglin to his first grand tour victory. On May 10th, Battaglin was crowned winner of the Vuelta.

Three days later on May 13th he started the Giro d'Italia. With just four days to go the giro was finely balanced with four riders within 30 seconds of race leader Silvano Contini. Battaglin would finish 3rd in the two key remaining stages, the climb up Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the Time Trial, but on Cime di Lavaredo he left all the other contenders behind taking the leaders jersey from Silvano Contini, eventually winning the Giro by 38 seconds from the Swede Tommy Prim.

In Total, between 21st April, and 7th June, 48 days, Battaglin would race a total of 46 stages over 43 days, 7300km on his way to winning two grand tours.


Battaglin at the Vuelta


And in the pink jersey



DateStage  RouteKm
21/04/81PrologueSantander ITT6.3
22/04/81Stage 1Santander-Aviles221
23/04/81Stage 2Aviles-Leon159
24/04/81Stage 3Leon-Salamanca195
25/04/81Stage 4Salamanca-Cacares206
26/04/81Stage 5Cacares-Merida152
27/04/81Stage 6Merida-Sevilla199
28/04/81Stage 7Ecija-Jaen181
29/04/81Stage 8aJaen-Grenada100
29/04/81Stage 8bGredana-Sierra Nevada ITT30.5 #red
30/04/81Stage 9Baza-Murcia204 #red
01/05/81Stage 10Murcia-Almusafes223 #red
02/05/81Stage 11Almusafes-Pensicola193 #red
03/05/81Stage 12Peniscola-Esparraguera217 #red
04/05/81Stage 13Esparraguera-Rassos de Peguera187 #red
05/05/81Stage 14Gironella-Balaguer197 #red
06/05/81Stage 15aBalaguer-Alfarjarin146 #red
06/05/81Stage 15bZaragoza ITT11.3 #red
07/05/81Stage 16Catalayud-Torejon De Ardoz209 #red
08/05/81Stage 17Torrejon de Ardoz-Segovia150 #red
09/05/81Stage 18Segovia-Los Angeles de San Rafael175 #red
10/05/81Stage 19Madrid/Circuito San Isidro84 #red
11/05/81
12/05/81
13/05/81PrologueTrieste ITT6.6
14/05/81Stage 1aTrieste-Bibione100
14/05/81Stage 1bLignano-Bibionene TTT15
15/05/81Stage 2Bibione-Ferrara211
16/05/81Stage 3Bologna-Recanati255
17/05/81Stage 4Recanati-Lanciano214
18/05/81Stage 5Marina di San Vito-Rodi Garganico180
19/05/81Stage 6Rodi Garganico-Bari225
20/05/81
21/05/81Stage 7Bari-Potenza143
22/05/81Stage 8Sala Consilina-Cosenza202
23/05/81Stage 9Cosenza-Reggio di Calabria230
24/05/81Stage 10Roma-Cascia166
25/05/81Stage 11Cascia-Arezzo199
26/05/81Stage 12Arezzo-Livorno Montenero224
27/05/81
28/05/81Stage 13Empoli-Montecatini ITT35
29/05/81Stage 14Montecatini-Salsomaggiore224
30/05/81Stage 15Salsomaggiore-Pavia198
31/05/81Stage 16Milana-Mantova173
01/06/81
02/06/81Stage 17Mantova-Borno215
03/06/81Stage 18Borno-Dimaro Val di Sole127
04/06/81Stage 19Dimaro-san Vigilio di Marrebe208
05/06/81Stage 20San Viglio di Marrebe-Tre Cime di Lavaredo100 #pink
06/06/81Stage 21Auronzo di Cadore-Arignano197 #pink
07/06/81Stage 22Soave-Verona ITT42 #pink

Battaglin started a bike manufacturing business in 1982, before retiring in 1984. In 2002 he sponsored the Ceramiche Panaria Fiordo team. He is currently 61.

Trvia:
The previous rider to the do the Vuelta/Giro Double - Eddy Merckx in 1973
Battaglin rode for the Inoxpran team who would metamorphosis into Carrera, the team of Stephen Roche when he did the Giro/Tour double
No man has ever won a treble and its hardly suprising. In 1981 the Tour started on June 25th, just 17 days after the Giro. The Vuelta moved to September in 1995
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  • LukasCPH

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    That's awesome.
    Two GTs in one year is an achievement only few have ever reached. Two GTs within 1,5 months is beyond imagination.
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  • 2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
    Views presented are my own.
    RIP Keith

    Dim

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    Im just glad twitter wasnt around back then.. :fp

    But yes, insane achievement especially when you consider the number of double stages and no rest days in the Vuelta. Not just the physical toughness required, but the mental ability to keep riding a bike day after day for such a long period, and on top of all of that, winning. Unfathomable
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  • Dim

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    Oh Eddie had four days break between doing his Vuelta/Giro double.

    His totals 6800km over 45 days (the giro of 1973 only had 2 rest days) So Merckx had 6 rest days compared with 5 for Battaglin

    Merckx won the Vuelta by 4 minutes from Ocana and Thevenet, the giro by nearly 8 minutes from Gimondi and Battaglin himself.
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  • esafosfina

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    Good post Dim... I met him years ago, and he came across as a really humble guy.
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  • "Sturgess, don't you dare get off that bike" - Sean Kelly, Nokere, 1989.

    froome19

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    For those wondering he is also a distant relative of our very own "Enrico".

    A great achievement, the mental fortitude you must have to get back on your bike and just keep going again and again is quite something.
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  • RIP Keith

    Zam

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    our enrico's cousin???      ferminal's!!!?
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  • LukasCPH

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    our enrico's cousin???      ferminal's!!!?
    Enrico Battaglin I think.
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  • Echoes

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    1) Battaglin's achievement is not forgotten at all, for those who have a little bit of cycling knowledge.

    2) It's highly overrated due to Tour of Spain being hardly called a GT at that time. Short on mountain, not even three weeks and most of all, a very depleted field. Even the Giro was short on mountain because Torriani wanted to favour Moser and Saronni.

    I don't think Twitterists would've been excited at that time. It was a time there was no Tour of France oddswatch more than two months before date. Huh perhaps I shouldn't say this otherwise part of my posts would AGAIN be expunged ...  :-x
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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    Dim

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    1) Battaglin's achievement is not forgotten at all, for those who have a little bit of cycling knowledge.
    A handful of the real cycling geeks have heard of him, but the people who maybe joined cycling in the 90's etc may well not have done, that whole period tends to be about Merckx, and then the likes of Hinault etc. To be honest, I didnt actually know that much about the guy, and even those that have heard about him, I actually think its quite interesting to present his race schedule in full to see just what he did.

    Quote
    2) It's highly overrated due to Tour of Spain being hardly called a GT at that time. Short on mountain, not even three weeks and most of all, a very depleted field. Even the Giro was short on mountain because Torriani wanted to favour Moser and Saronni.

    Yeh, the Vuelta was depleted, that for me doesnt take away the sheer achievement of what he did though..

    Quote
    I don't think Twitterists would've been excited at that time.

    Meh, they would have been screaming doper like crazy. :D

    Quote
    It was a time there was no Tour of France oddswatch more than two months before date. Huh perhaps I shouldn't say this otherwise part of my posts would AGAIN be expunged ...  :-x

    :D I have commented on that. http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=2177.msg98593#msg98593 I have a strange fixation with betting odds :D
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  • The Hitch

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    Forgotten achievements of cycling? Oscar Pereiro winning the Tour has got to be up there.
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  • Despite the self-serving data benders and associated propaganda to the contrary, I am led to believe that there are pockets of organised, highly sophisticated dopers, even within 'new age' cycling teams. Personally, I don't accept that the 'dark era' has ended, it has just morphed into a new guise.

    GMiranda

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    Re: The forgotten achievements of cycling...
    « Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 00:38 »
    I think Giovanni Battaglin was very underestimated during his career. He made quite good Giros in the 70's but was almost always plagued by a bad day, more or less like Charly Mottet. In 75, he was the leader of Jollj Ceramica but a bad day put Bertoglio on the leading role, and the unknown Fausto held successfully the attacks of the Spaniard francisco Galdós to win in an edition known for finishing at the top of the Stelvio!
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    this little story I found in a more or less recent Soigneur magazine may fit best in here, I guess:

    Quote
    A perfect plan

    The previous day we’d races Het Volk in minus five. This was back when het Volk was Het Volk of course, and when minus five felt much colder than it does these day.
    So when we arrived at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne the next morning, under darkening skies, I already knew I was in for a hard day. Then, on the start line, one of my teammates quietly said to me, “If we’re going to get off at the feed, we’d better be the first to do it.”

    Guilio was a solidly built gregario from Rome, with a chiseled face like a statue, or a prisoner. Usually, he hardly spoke. I tried my best to look surprised at his assumption that I would be getting off at the feed. There was little use acting though; riders can sniff out another rider’s motivation a mile off. Those with low moral are drawn to one another like mating dogs.

    “Why is that Guilio?”
    “Think about it. It is 100 km to Brussels in an almost straight line; then, we turn around and come back to Kuurne.” He spoke slowly and quietly, as if he had to speak but didn’t want to get heard.
    “No sh*t – that’s why it is called Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.”

    “The feed is in Brussels, and there are only two seats in the soigneur’s car. There are eight of us in the team, so if you aren’t in quick then you’ll have to go all the way back in the broom wagon,” he said despondently – as if he’d already been beaten in the race to abandon, by his own team. Christ, this is sad, I thought.
    “How do you know that everyone will want to get off though?”

    I looked around at the tired faces of our teammates and knew he was right. If you were dropped before the feed, there would be no space in the soigneur’s car, and if you weren’t dropped before the feed, you’d either have to fight your own teammates for a seat or get a blasting from the DS for getting off while still in the race. Possibly both.
    Either way led me directly to the broom wagon, where I’d end up sitting for hours in my wet kit, sulking in an old blanket with nothing to eat, while we ambled along at the speed of the slowest rider in the race.

    sh*t, I thought.
    “It’s snowing at the feed,” Guilio added.
    flip, I thought.

    Sometimes it takes a long time to hatch a plan. Sometimes the perfect idea just arrives out of nowhere.

    There was no time to think about making a plan, as seconds later the gun was fired for the off, and we started rolling along the streets of Kuurne. We sped past the brothels with their inviting lights – Paradise Club, Club Exotica, The Safari Bar – and I started hoping for a miracle to arrive. As the speed increased and we headed toward the end of the neutral and into the wind-swept fields of West Flanders, I saw it.

    On the right side of the roundabout ahead was a hedgerow with a track running by it. It was a great looking hedge, probably the best in Europe; it was thick and dense and out of the line of sight for the team cars. I looked around. The cars were still catching up with the race. Ours was way out of sight.

    I knew it was my chance. I hit the roundabout in last wheel and turned hard to the right, then took a quick left and found myself behind the hedge – the best hedge in all of Belgium. I kept my head down as the team cars shot past and listened to the sounds of the convoy speeding along, before catching sight of the lumbering old broom wagon, trundling along at the rear. Not today, my friends. I gave it another minute before popping out from behind the hedge and starting to ride back to the bus.

    Hours later, my exhausted teammates clambered onto the bus, where I’d been dozing all afternoon. No one batted an eyelid. They were all too tired and cold to notice me; they had been sat in the broom wagon for hours.

    As we readied to leave, my director, stressed and tired, climbed onto the bus.
    “Cardoso, where were you?”
    “Ah, I was in that group… when it split… and there was a crash and I was held up and, I guess I couldn’t make it back from there.” I said, guessing a few likely scenarios and sounding as disappointed as I could, without overdoing it. I waited for the reaction.
    “Ach, sh*t. I didn’t see you. I must have missed you in all the snow when we came past. Hell out there today…”
    “It was hell alright.” I said.

    As we rolled out of town in the team bus I pointed out the window at my hedge and nodded, and said to no one in particular, “Nice hedge that one.”

    And it’s almost all true that story.

    Henessee Cardoso is a former professional cyclist, part time team manager and long-term freewheeling adventurer.
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