How the “Magnificent 7” unforgettable feats made the cycling history
The 23rd GF Gimondi Bianchi (Bergamo, May 5th) will be dedicated to the deeds of the champions that managed to complete the Giro-Tour-Vuelta “Grand Slam”
The “Magnificent 7” fifty-one overall wins at Vuelta a Espana, Tour de France e Giro d’Italia and any other placement or performance paving the way to an outstanding win are pages of cycling history – that made iconic those riders able to win the GC of the three main stage races at least once in their career – to be celebrated by the 23rd GF Gimondi Bianchi (Bergamo, May 5th).
Hard to choose the most impressive feats for each of the “Grand Slam Giants”, as every one had its genesis, story and meaning. We chose seven deeds, one of each champion. Of course, we don’t expect them to be the greatest, maybe the most exciting.
JACQUES ANQUETIL, 1963 Vuelta a Espana. After winning three out of his 5 Tour de France and his first Giro d’Italia, Anquetil is the absolute first to complete the Grand Slam. The Frenchman bags only one stage at the 1963 Vuelta a Espana – the ITT stage2 from Mieres a Gijón – managing then to hold the leader’s jersey until the 15th and last stage, with finish in Madrid.
FELICE GIMONDI, 1968 Vuelta a Espana, Stage 14 Santander-Vitoria. Felice Gimondi takes Vuelta’s throne on May 8th. With 50 km to go, the Italian champion starts a spectacular comeback on the leading group – with the exception of the stage-winner Eduardo Castelló – claiming the ‘amarillo’ jersey afterwards. Gimondi will secure the lead with the victory in Toulouse ITT, before the final catwalk in Bilbao.
EDDY MERCKX, 1974 Giro d’Italia, Stage 20 Pordenone-Tre Cime di Lavaredo. “The Cannibal” goes to a great deal of trouble to complete the first step of his Giro-Tour-Worlds hat-trick. At the start of the Giro d’Italia’s stage-20, only 41 seconds separate Eddy Meckx and Gianbattista Baronchelli, with Felice Gimondi amid. With 2 km to go, Baronchelli outdistances Merckx. The Belgian holds the pink jersey only thanks to an outstanding recovery in the final meters: he will top the final classification with a 12-second advantage over Baronchelli with Gimondi third (+ 0:33). The 1974 Giro was Merckx’s most demanding achievement and all in all one of the special ones.
BERNARD HINAULT, 1980 Giro d’Italia, Stage 20 Cles-Sondrio. Runner-up in the GC behind Wladimiro Panizza after the stage-win in Roccaraso, Hinault catches his teammate Bernaudeau, race leader on the way to Sondrio, and gives him the stage success in the parade finish. Thanks to this outstanding team’s and individual masterpiece, Hinault will top the 1980 Giro d’Italia, completing the triple crown.
ALBERTO CONTADOR, 2017 Vuelta a Espana, Stage 20 Corvera de Asturias – Alto de l’Angliru. The overall wins at Giro, Tour and Vuelta already shines in El Pistolero’s palmares. However, before hanging up his bike, he decides to deliver the last unforgettable performance. In the penultimate stage of a Vuelta dominated by Chris Froome, Contador soloes to win with his light and powerful ride on the Alto de l’Angliru top, saying goodbye to cycling in the only possibile way a champion aims to do: the same way the Spaniard acted in his career.
VINCENZO NIBALI, 2014 Tour de France, Stage 18 Pau-Hautacam. Stage winner on a flat ground (in Sheffield), on the Vosges Mountains (Planche des Belles Filles) and the Alps (Chamrousse), the Italian secures his overall win in the 2014 Tour topping the Pyrenean stage including the Tourmalet, with finish on a 13,6 km climb. Vincenzo sent back all his rivals, increasing his advantage to over 7 minutes, and gets ready to enter the Grand Slam Giants club.
CHRIS FROOME, 2018 Giro d’Italia, Stage 19 Venaria Reale-Bardonecchia. Four-time Tour de France winner, back from his premiere at the Vuelta a Espana, Chris Froome joins the fellowship of the “triple crown” with an old-time solo win in Bardonecchia. The British takes advantage over the pink jersey owner Simon Yates on the Colle delle Finestre, leaving the other escapees and increasing his advantage on the Sestriere and eventually on the Jafferau. Thanks to such outstanding action, Froome overtakes Tom Dumoulin in the GC and flies towards his Grand Slam.
How to register for 2019 Granfondo Gimondi-Bianchi
You can register for the 23rd edition of Granfondo Gimondi Bianchi either by filling in the online form on the official website (click here), or at the G.M.S. Sport Office in Via G. Da Campione, 24/c – 24124 Bergamo (tel. +39 035.211721 – fax + 39 035.4227971).