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Ercole Baldini

Biographical information

Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 0
Bronze 0
Total 1
TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameErcole•Baldini
Used nameErcole•Baldini
Nick/petnamesIl treno di Forlì
Born26 January 1933 in Villanova de Forli, Forlì-Cesena (ITA)
AffiliationsG.S. Giberti-Borelli di Carpi, Carpi (ITA)
NOC Italy

Biography

In 1956, Ercole Baldini had one of the greatest years in amateur cycling history. In addition to winning the Olympic gold medal, he won the world amateur individual pursuit title, and broke the world hour record at the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milano. He turned professional later in 1956 and Italian cycling fans envisioned him as the next campionissimo. However, although he won the world professional road race title and the Giro d’Italia in 1958, he was never quite as successful as a professional rider. In 1957 he broke his own world hour record.

His career highlights were concentrated in three seasons – 1956-58, during which time he rode as a professional alongside Fausto Coppi. A rouleur, with the nickname of the “Electric train of Forlì”, he was always beset by weight problems, and was at his best in time trials. At the 1958 Giro he took the maglia rosa on the second stage, dominated the time trial at Viareggio, and even won a mountain finish in Verona Bosco Chiesanuova. Later that year, at the Worlds, he dropped the breakaway group, including Coppi, Louison Bobet, and Gastone Nencini, on the penultimate lap and won by over two minutes ahead of Bobet.

Baldini raced through 1964, but was never able to reach those heights again, partially due to problems with his weight, but also due to complications after an appendectomy. In 2016 he was named to the Giro d’Italia Hall of Fame alongside Eddy Merckx, Felice Gimondi, Stephen Roche, and Francesco Moser. In honor of his sporting achievements, Baldini was awarded a Gold Medal by the Italian Olympic Committee.

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Cycling Road (Cycling) ITA Ercole Baldini
Road Race, Individual, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
Road Race, Team, Men (Olympic) Italy 4

Special Notes