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Mar 20, 2015 – In a ceremony at Milan’s Upcycle Bike Café this afternoon, Francesco Moser was inducted into the Giro d’Italia Hall of Fame. One of Italy’s greatest professional cyclists, Moser sealed his victory in the 1984 Giro d’Italia in dramatic circumstances: on the last day of the race, in the magical setting of Verona’s extraordinary Roman amphitheatre, the Arena, he sped across the finish line at the end of a 42km individual time trial to win the stage and take the final Maglia Rosa from his closest rival, Laurent Fignon.
RCS Sport/Dal Zennaro/Peri & Bettini
Born at Palù di Giovo, near the city of Trento, on 19 June 1951, Moser turned professional in 1973. His 273 victories on the road (quite apart from his brilliant track career) make him the Italian rider with the greatest number of wins, and place him third in the world rankings behind Eddy Merckx and Rik Van Looy).
In celebration of his magnificent career, Moser was presented with the beautiful Infinite Trophy, reserved for winners of the Giro d’Italia. After the ceremony, he said:
“To receive this beautiful trophy is special because I have a history with trophies: the famous cobblestone trophy at Paris-Roubaix was my idea, and I was the first winner ever to receive one. This trophy is unique too because the design means that they can inscribe the names of all of the winners in it. It’s nice to see your own name among all the previous winners, and all those who came afterwards. It’s going to be a big trophy a thousand year’s from now!”
Memories of the last stage of the ’84 Giro d’Italia
“I knew I had a big chance: in the time trials at Lucca and at Milan, I had gained more than three secs per kilometre on Fignon. And I had a special bike, similar to the won I had used to set the world hour record. That morning, when I went to reconnoitre the course, I didn’t know whether to use lenticular wheels or not. My team-mate Palmiro Masciarelli advised me to use them, and I did. The crowds that day were huge. I could hear them during the race. The news from the team car were good and, when I finished, I knew I had an advantage. I had to make up 1 minute 21 seconds on Fignon. I ended up beating him by more than two and a half minutes. The applause from the crowd inside the Arena was unforgettable.”
“It’s a race with an enormous importance for the public, but also for the riders. It can work many ways: if the peloton falls asleep, it can be even be won from a long distance breakaway. When the finish was on the Lungomare Calvino, it was easy to lose position on all those semi-curves, so it favoured the true sprinters. On Via Roma, the race is more open because the road is long and straight. My favourite for Sunday is [Alexander] Kristoff: you have to be fast, but you have to get over the Poggio first. Then again, whenever there has been bad weather, the results have worked against the favourites. And there is talk of bad weather…”
-1975 Italian road champion in the Matteotti Trophy
-1975 and 1978 Giro di Lombardia
-1975 Yellow Jersey for the first 7 stages of the Tour de France (after beating Merckx in the Prologue at Charleroi) and Best Young Rider overall
-1976 UCI Individual Pursuit World Champion
-1977 UCI Road World Champion at San Cristóbal, Venezuela
-1978 – 1980, 3 consecutive Paris – Roubaix wins
-1984 Giro d’Italia, Milano-Sanremo and World Hour Record at Mexico City.
Nicknamed The Sheriff for his decisive leadership, Moser was also a Six Days habitué with many victories around the world. He rode the last race of his career in September 1987 at the Baracchi Trophy.
Today, Francesco Moser is a major wine producer in the Trentino region.
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