Moreno Argentin, 30 years as World Champion: “Gimondi, an incredible guidance“
The Italian former champion celebrates an important anniversary of his Worlds’ triumph in Colorado Springs, just like the Granfondo bearing the name of his former Team Manager does. “I am very grateful to Felice: I hope to celebrate with him in Bergamo on May 15th”
There was a time when the World Championships represented the undisputable top moment of the cycling year, the day that could change someone’s career. Nowadays, some of that fascination is arguably gone, both for the riders and the fans: but just ask Felice Gimondi about Barcelona 1973, and you will hear him recalling every bend, every acceleration, every minimal feeling.
The same applies to Moreno Argentin, who just like Gimondi claimed his rainbow jersey riding a Bianchi, and who just like Granfondo Gimondi-Bianchi celebrates a remarkable anniversary in 2016: thirty years have passed since his Worlds’ success in Colorado Springs 1986, edging a two-man sprint against Charly Mottet. Italy occupied two podium spots on the day, as Beppe Saronni secured the bronze medal in the chasing group’s dash.
“I was a one-day Classics rider, and for an athlete like I was, there was no bigger goal than the World Championships,” Moreno Argentin recalls, “as such an achievement brought you into another dimension. The one of the World Champions is a very restricted club, and I still feel very proud to be part of it.“
Waiting for him on the finishing line in Colorado, on that September 6th, 1986, was his Team Manager at Sammontana-Bianchi, Felice Gimondi. “I am very grateful to Felice: he managed many important riders in that span, and he was a tutor for us in every occasion, an incredible source of wisdom and experience to draw fully of,” Argentin told.
“Without Felice, my 1986 World Championships wouldn’t have even started. I had my collarbone fractured at the Zuri Metzgete, and at the hospital they told me they would have plastered my shoulder, forcing me to a 30-40 day stop: in other words, farewell Worlds. Instead, Gimondi convinced me to leave the hospital and see another Doctor, Prof. Tagliabue, who used a cutting-edge procedure to allow me to get back on saddle in six-day time. Everybody knows how the story continues.”
The personal relationship between Argentin and Gimondi continued after the end of his career, and Moreno also took part to two editions of Granfondo Gimondi (2004-2005): “Felice was farsighted in that too, creating 20 years ago an event that led thousands of riders to discover the streets and beauties of the Bergamo area. The three routes make it a testing race, but also one that is accessible to everyone, and that’s an experience I would recommend to every cycling lover.”
In honor of his former Team Manager, Moreno makes a promise: “I would like to celebrate this double anniversary – of Granfondo Gimondi and of my rainbow jersey – with Felice. If my agenda will allow me to, I will line up next to him on May 15th in Bergamo, for the 20th edition of Granfondo Gimondi-Bianchi”.
Meantime, the registrations for the 20th edition of the Granfondo Gimondi-Bianchi are open, either online on the official website of the event www.felicegimondi.it, or directly at the headquarters of the organizing company, in Bergamo, via G. Da Campione, 24/c (Tel. +39 035.211721 – fax + 39 035.4227971 – firstname.lastname@example.org).