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  Charly Gaul    

Picture courtesy of www.lacharlygaul.lu
Charly Gaul was born on December 8, 1932. He died on December 6, 2005.

The rider from Luxembourg was an awesome climber and an accomplished time-trialer.

Known as the “Angel of the Mountains”, Gaul was the first non-Italian to win the Giro d’Italia twice.

He won the 1956 Giro d'Italia in front of Italians Fiorenzo Magni and Agostino Coletto.

Gaul also won the 1959 Giro d'Italia in front of Jacques Anquetil of France and Diego Ronchini of Italy.

Gaul was 3rd in 1958 Giro d’Italia behind Ercole Baldini of Italy and Jean Brankart of Belgium.

Gaul was also 3rd in the 1960 Giro d'Italia behind Jacques Anquetil of France and Gastone Nencini of Italy.


Gaul won the Mountains Jersey in the 1959 Giro d'Italia and shared that prize in 1956 with Federico Bahamontes of Spain and M. Del Rio of Italy.

Gaul won the 1958 Tour de France in front of Vito Favero of Italy and Raphael Geminiani of France.

Gaul was 3rd in the 1955 Tour de France behind Louison Bobet of France and Jean Brankart of Belgium.

Gaul was also 3rd in 1961 Tour de France behind Jacques Anquetil of France and Guido Carlesi of Italy.

In addition, Gaul won the Mountains Jersey in 1955 and 1956.

Gaul was 3rd in the 1954 World Championship Road Race behind Louison Bobet of France and Fritz Schaer of Switzerland.

Gaul made no secret of his climbing secret: use the lowest gear and spin as fast as possible.

Gaul’s Achille’s heel, however, was the heat.


Picture courtesy of www.tourdefrance.nl


Picture courtesy of www.cicloweb.com
He could decimate anyone on the climbs when it was cold and wet, but in the heat he had difficulty staying with less-talented climbers.

In 1958 Tour de France, Gaul won all the time-trials including the first one over Jacques Anquetil by 7 seconds.

On Mont Ventoux, Gaul overcame the heat to record another mountain stage victory by 31 seconds, but his finest accomplishment that year was winning the last major climbing stage by over eight minutes ahead of the nearest challenger.

He went on to win the Tour that year.

Gaul didn’t have much success after 1962 and retired from racing shortly thereafter.


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