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Vittorio Adorni

Biographical information

Full nameVittorio•Adorni
Used nameVittorio•Adorni
Born14 November 1937 in San Lazzaro di Parma, Parma (ITA)
NOC Italy


Vittorio Adorni was an excellent rouleur (all round cyclist). He was Italian national pursuit champion on the track in 1958 but was not chosen for the team pursuit at the 1960 Olympic Games. He was relatively old, though only 24, when he elected to join the professional ranks in 1962.

Adorni won a stage of the Giro d’Italia in his first year as a professional, two more to finish in second place overall in 1963 and another in 1964 but it was 1965 that emerged as his greatest in grand tours. He won three stages in the Giro and when he took over the lead halfway through, he pulled away to win by a large margin. He appeared at the Tour de France as a favourite, but in the Pyrenees he was forced to abandon due to an intestinal problem, thus opening the way for his support rider Felice Gimondi.

After solid performances in the Giro over the next two years, he again had a stellar year in 1968 where he finished runner-up in the Giro but also winning the World Championships road race on home roads in Imola with a breakaway from 90 kms out from the finish. Strangely this was Adorni’s only major victory in a one-day race

In other major tours, he posted a top 10 finish in both the Tour de France and Vuelta à Espana despite his focus being on his home event. He never won one of the classics but was always competitive in Liege-Bastogne-Liege, where he finished on the podium three years in a row, and at Milano-San Remo where he placed second in 1965. Adorni raced at six World Road Race Championships, his win in 1968 being preceded by silver in 1964.

After leaving competitive cycling at the end of 1970, Adorni continued to be an astute television cycling commentator on Italian TV as he had even during his racing career and presented a quiz show on RAI TV. He had three years from 1971 onwards as a sporting director for the Salvarani (later Bianchi Campagnolo) team and afterwards became involved with the administration of the sport through the Council of Professional Cycling within the International Cycling Union (UCI). He rose to become President of that body and became an important figure in the administration of the UCI under Hein Verbruggen. He also served from 2006 to 2009 as the Councillor for Sport of the Municipality of Parma.

Adorni is a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1985), Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2004), Grand Cross Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2012). Adorni received the Olympic Order in silver in 2000.

Special Notes