Below are the answers to our contest about Italian riders at the Tour de France. The questions and answers were provided by Bill McGann, author of "The Story of the Tour de France", Volumes I and II.
Bill is mailing the prize of an autographed set of the books to the winner.
1. Who was the first Italian to wear the Yellow Jersey and when did he win it?
A. Ottavio Bottecchia after winning stage 2 of the 1923 Tour
2. Ottavio Bottecchia was leading the Tour at the start of stage 10 of the 1923 Tour. His Automoto teammate Henri Pélissier was able to drop him on the Allos. Why?
A. Pélissier saw that Bottecchia was in too large a gear and attacked. In the days before the Tour allowed derailleurs, changing gears meant stopping and flipping the real wheel to put the chain on a different sized cog.
3. What brand of derailleur did Fausto Coppi use in the 1949 Tour?
4. What brand did the rest of his (Coppi's) Bianchi teammates in the Italian Tour team use?
A. Campagnolo. Derailleur guru Frank Berto notes that Coppi was unable to trade wheels with his teammates.
5. What brand of derailleur did Gino Bartali use in the 1949 Tour?
A. Cervino. Bartali bought the derailleur company.
6. Who was the highest placed truly independent (meaning not part of a team) Tour finisher?
A. Mario Vicini, second in 1937. No credit for Ambrogio Morelli who was second in 1935 but was grouped with Pietro Rimoldi, Eugenio Gestri and Orlando Teani as Italian individuels and therefore cannot be considered completely independent.
7. Who was Gino Bartali following when he crashed in stage 8 of the 1937 Tour?
A. Teammate Jules (Giulio) Rossi
8. Who was director sportif of the 1938 Italian Tour squad?
A. Costante Girardengo
9. What was Felice Gimondi’s first professional race victory?
A. Stage 3 of the 1965 Tour de France, which gave him the yellow jersey
10. Felice Gimondi temporarily lost the yellow jersey in stage 7 of the 1965 Tour. Why did he lose time?
A. He waited for teammate Vittorio Adorni, who had crashed.
11. Who was Gimondi’s director in the 1965 Tour?
A. Luciano Pezzi
12. Franco Bitossi won the 1968 points classification. What color was his points leader’s jersey?
13. Felice Gimondi’s last trip to the Tour’s podium was 1972. Who was the first Italian on the Tour’s final podium after that?
A. Claudio Chiappucci, second to Greg LeMond in 1990
14. Who holds the post-World War II record for consecutive Tour stage wins?
A. Mario Cipollini in 1999, 4. Stages 4, 5, 6, 7
If you wish to purchase the books click here.
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