The man who brought the Bianchi Bike to the foreground

I had the privilege of growing up with such riders as Eddy Merckx, Raymond Poulidor, Roger De Vlaminck, Herman Van Springel, Rik Van Looy and Suske Verhaegen and many more of the old glories, and as a Belgian, you also admired the ones who could beat our hero’s…Felice Gimondi was one of them due to his charisma, his never give up attitude and fair play. The now-famous Bianchi bike and Gimondi will always be embedded in my mind. Italian Felice Gimondi, one of only seven riders to have won all three Grand Tours, has died at the age of 76 after suffering a heart attack while swimming in Sicily on Friday. “A great champion who made our sport more human has left us, a great man,” the Italian cycling federation said in a statement. Gimondi won the 1965 Tour de France in his first season as a professional, aged 22. He won the Giro d’Italia two years later and the Vuelta an Espana in 1968. Gimondi also won the Giro in 1969 and 1976 to take his Grand Tours tally to five. He retired in 1978. Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome are the other six riders to have won all three Grand Tours.

The entertainers of the sport in the sixties and seventies
Felice Gimondi was also a top classics rider, winning four ‘monument’ titles – cycling’s oldest and most prestigious one-day races – including both Paris-Roubaix and Giro di Lombardia in 1966, before a second Lombardia title in 1973 and victory in Milan-San Remo the following year. Gimondi also won the 1973 world road championships in Barcelona, having previously claimed silver in 1971 and bronze in 1970.
Rest in Peace Felice (1943-2019)
The dream bike from Italy who competed with the Flandria’s and Gitane’s during that golden time of racing