50th Giro di Lombardia 1956 (Italy)


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian



An Inspirational End to Magni's 1956 Season

Fiorenzo Magni was in the twilight of his career. A tough but aging superstar Magni found eternal inspiration to close the 1956 season.

Magni was finishing a long season with tired legs and when the final select of the race was happening with 60 km to go, Magni missed the breakaway. Four elite riders, Belgian Fred De Bruyne, major rival Fausto Coppi, Frenchmen Louison Bobet and sprinter Andre Darrigade, were away.

As the breakaway increased the time gap, team cars began to come past Magni's chase group. One in particular carried archrival Coppi's controversial mistress, Giulia Occhini (the Woman in White). Magni glanced at the car as it passed and saw Occhini sneer at him. The dislike they had for each other was well known.

An enraged Magni shot off in pursuit of the breakaway and Occhini's lover, Fausto Coppi. Magni's inspired chase caught the 4 leaders coming into the finish in Milan. Once there Magni and Coppi began to argue and started jostling for position for the sprint. French sprinter Andre Darrigade saw the confrontation and attacked the group. Darrigade's move was a huge success as he grabbed the Lombardia victory. Coppi was second and Magni third.

SPECIAL NOTE: If not for Magni's inspirational charge Coppi may have won his 6th Lombardia. Fiorenzo Magni considered his race a success and his mission accomplished.

GdL October 21, 1956
240 Km, Milan-Milan (Vigorelli Velodrome)

1. Andre DARRIGADE (Fra) 6h14'20"

2. Fausto Coppi (Ita)

3. Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)

Starters: 135
Finishers: 69
Average Speed: 38.468 km/h


Lomb 1955

Lomb 1957

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