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  Felice Gimondi    

Picture courtesy of www.theracingbicycle.com
Felice Gimondi, born on September 29, 1942, was another all-round rider in the mold of the great Italian Campionissimos.

Gimondi won all three of the Grand Tours (Tour de France, Giro díItalia, Vuelta a Espana), the first and only Italian to do so, for a total of five overall victories in these races.

Gimondi is one of only three riders to win all of the top five races in cycling, those being the following: Tour de France, Giro díItalia, Vuelta a Espana (the three Grand Tours), the World Championship Road Race, and the Paris-Roubaix Classic (the most prestigious single-day classic).

The only other riders to do this were Eddy Merckx of Belgium and Bernard Hinault of France.

Gimondi also placed second and third in the World Championship Road Race. In addition, he won three out of the five cycling monuments, for a total of four victories in these races.

All in all Gimondiís career was that of a complete champion.

Gimondi won the 1965 Tour de France in front of Raymond Poulidor of France and Gianni Motta of Italy.

Gimondi was also 2nd in the 1972 Tour de France behind Eddy Merckx of Belgium.

Gimondi won the 1967 Giro d'Italia in front of Franco Balmanion of Italy and Jacques Anquetil of France.

Gimondi also won the 1969 Giro d'Italia in front of Claudio Michelotto and Italo Zilioli of Italy.

In addition, Gimondi won the 1976 Giro d'Italia in front of Johan De Muynck of Belgium and Fausto Bertoglio of Italy.

Gimondi was 2nd to Eddy Merckx of Belgium in the Giro d'Italia in 1970 and 1973. In addition, Gimondi was 3rd on four occasions.

Gimondi won the 1968 Vuelta a Espana in front of Jose Perez Frances and Eusebio Velez of Spain.

In the one-day events, Gimondi won the World Championship Road Race in 1973 in front of Freddy Maertens of Belgium, Luis Ocana of Spain, and Eddy Merckx of Belgium.

Gimondi was also 2nd to Merckx in the 1971 World Championship Road Race and 3rd in the 1970 World Championship Road Race behind Jean-Pierre Monsere of Belgium and Leif Mortensen of Denmark.

Gimondi won the Paris-Roubaix Classic in 1966 in front of Jan Janssen of Holland Gilbert Desmet of Belgium.

Picture courtesy of www.corvos.nl

Picture courtesy of www.theracingbicycle.com
Gimondi won the Milan-San Remo Classic in 1974 and the Tour of Lombardy Classic in 1966 and 1973.

Felice Gimondi and Eddy Merckx arrived on the professional stage in 1965.

Gimondi, three years older than Merckx, won the Tour de France that same year at age 21. Merckxís career took a little longer to develop. However, once it did, it definitely overshadowed Gimondiís achievements.

Without Merckx, Gimondi, like other riders, would have had a more stellar career.

Gimondi and Merckx had a great deal of admiration for each other on the bike. Above all, Merckx respected Gimondiís professional attitude toward cycling. Gimondi retired in 1979 after 158 professional victories.

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