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Giuseppe Saronni

Biographical information

TypeCompeted in Olympic Games
SexMale
Full nameGiuseppe•Saronni
Used nameGiuseppe•Saronni
Nick/petnamesBeppe
Born22 September 1957 in Novara, Novara (ITA)
Measurements170 cm / 67 kg
AffiliationsG. S. Buscatese, Buscate (ITA)
NOC Italy

Biography

Giuseppe Saronni started cycling at the age of 12, and won more than 100 road races before becoming a track specialist. He won the sprint silver medal at the 1974 European Junior Championships and in 1975, was the senior Italian sprint champion, fourth in the team pursuit at the world championships, and was a gold medal winner at the Mediterranean Games. Saronni also competed in the team pursuit at the 1976 Montréal Olympics, where Italy was eliminated by the Soviet Union in the quarter-finals.

Saronni turned professional after the Olympics when still only 19-years-of-age, but his years did not reflect his tremendous talent and he won some prestigious races like the Trofeo Pantalica, Tour of Sicily, Tre Valli Varesine, Tour of Veneto, Tour of Friuli, as well as three criteriums. In 1979, having won three stages in the Giro d’Italia the previous year, Saronni won three more, and was the overall winner beating Francesco Moser in what heralded the start of another great cycling rivalry, like those of Alfredo Binda/Learco Guerra and Fausto Coppi/Gino Bartali.

In 1980, Saronni’s victories included the Flèche Wallonne and the Italian Professional Road Race Championship. Perhaps the greatest period of his career was in 1982 when he won, amongst others, the Tour of Sardinia, Milano-Torino, Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, Tour of Trentino, Tour de Suisse, Coppa Agostoni and, at Goodwood, England, the World Professional Road Race Championships, defeating American Greg LeMond and Irishman Sean Kelly into second and third place. His final sprint was so impressive that it was nicknamed “The Gunshot of Goodwood”. In the final part of the season he won another classic, the Tour of Lombardy.

The 1983 season saw continued success for Saronni and, in addition to winning the Milano-San Remo, he won his second Giro d’Italia. However, his career started to decline after that. He won two stages in the Tour of Norway in 1984 and a further two stages in the 1985 Giro, won by Bernard Hinault, taking his career total to 24.

There was some improvement in the fortunes of Saronni in 1986 when he finished second overall to Roberto Visentini in the Giro, and won a bronze medal at the World Road Race Championships in Colorado Springs. A few minor successes followed, and he went on to compete in his 11th World Championship in 1988, but Saronni decided to call it a day in 1990 and retired from competitive racing. He became team manager of, firstly, the Ceramiche Panaria-Vinavil team, and then the Lampre team and went on to manage two Giro winners, with Pavel Tonkov (1996) and Gilberto Simoni (2001).

Results

Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1976 Summer Olympics Cycling Track (Cycling) ITA Giuseppe Saronni
Team Pursuit, 4,000 metres, Men (Olympic) Italy =5

Special Notes