Sunday, May 1, 2011

Winner of Autographed "The Story of the Giro d'Italia"

The winner of the quiz contest is Terry Price from Springfield, Tennessee, who was the first to provide all the correct answers.

After notifying Terry that he was the winner and asking him how he came to be so knowledgeable he wrote, "Like most of us, I started cycling as a child but became a more serious cycling as a teenager. I became a big fan of professional cycling during the 80's and the 7-Eleven, Andy Hampsten and Greg LeMond years, starting with the Tour de France and that lead to a love of the Giro as well. Over the years, I've been lucky enough to travel to Italy a couple of times and have fallen in love with the country and the culture. I've never been to the Giro but hope to go one day."

My thanks to everyone that sent in answers.

Here were the answers, with additional details, as provided by Bill McGann, author of "The Story of the Giro d'Italia":

1. Who won the most stages in a single Giro?
A: Alfredo Binda in 1927, an incredible 12 out of that year's 15 stages.

2. Who did the first "sunrise to sunset" (taking the lead in the first stage and keeping to the end) Giro?
A: Costante Girardengo in 1919

3. Who were the other three riders to accomplish this feat?
A: Alfredo Binda (1927), Eddy Merckx (1973), Gianni Bugno (1990)

4. Who was the "Human Locomotive"
A: Learco Guerra (winner in 1934)

5. What was the name of Fausto Coppi's blind masseur?
A. Giovanni "Biagio" Cavanna

6. What is a fuga di bidone?
A. A break that usually goes early in a stage and is initially innocent looking, but because of inaction on the part of of the peloton, a large time gap occurs that becomes dangerous to the GC contenders. Often hidden in a fuga di bidone (often shortened to fuga-bidone) is a quality rider who, as a result of the successful break, has risen high enough to contend for victory. Stage 11 in the 2010 Giro had a classic of this sort of break when 54 men escaped at about km 20 and by the end, were over 12 minutes ahead of the main field. In that break was David Arroyo, who eventually became the maglia rosa and put up a terrific, but ultimately unsuccessful fight to keep the pink Jersey.

7. Who was the youngest rider to win the Giro?
A: Fausto Coppi in 1940; 20 years, 8 months and 25 days

8. Who was the oldest Giro winner?
A. Fiorenzo Magni in 1955; 35 years, 5 months and 29 days (by only 13 seconds over Coppi!)

9. Three riders have won the Giro five times. Who are they?
A: Alfredo Binda, Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx

10. Who holds the record most career Giro stage wins?
A: Mario Cipollini won 42 Giro stages during his career, narrowly surpassing Binda's 41.

11. What was the first year the maglia rosa (Pink Jersey) was presented to the Giro's leader?
A: 1931

12. What Giro edition had the fewest finishers?
A: 1914, eight finishers.

13. In what Giro did Fausto Coppi wear the Pink Jersey for the last time?
A: 1954, after the first stage team time trial. That evening Coppi got sick after eating bad oysters and lost more than 11 minutes the next day.

14. The 1954 Giro is infamous for its slow riding, especially over a particular pass. What is the pass and the name it gave to the 1954 Giro?
A: "The Year of the Bernina Strike" after the riders took nine and a half hours to ride the 222-kilometer 21st stage that went over the Bernina Pass. The judges were so angry over the go-slow that they refused to award any prizes for the stage.

15. Armando Cougnet was the first Giro boss. Who succeeded him?
A: Vincenzo Torriani

McGann's "The Story of the Giro d'Italia" book, or the kindle version, can be ordered from several sources including My thanks to Bill for contributing his book.

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