Saronni; the Maglia Rosa over the Rainbow.

Saronni in pink followed by trusty lieutenant Didi Thurau.
From: Tour '83

Beppe Saronni was energized by his fantastic Goodwood World Road Race victory and was the obvious favorite in the 1983 Giro.

He was a transformed rider after winning the rainbow jersey. Soothing the Tifosi hearts he convincingly won the 1982 Tour of Lombardy & 1983 Milan Sanremo. Giuseppe Saronni was in a unique position to win the Giro. His fellow compatriots past and present; Binda, Guerra, Coppi, Baldini, Adorni, Basso, Gimondi and Moser had the chance but never achieve it.

Saronni's rampage started with him winning stage 4. And next he won the stage 13 ITT over the dangerous Roberto Visentini while gaining useful advantage over the likes of riders that would threaten him in the Dolomites stages of the last week. A rider is only as strong as his team. Two top climbers; Giovanni Battaglin and Marco Groppo had to abandon on stage 15, leaving respective captain's Visentini and Van Impe without key supporting riders in the final stages. Spaniards Lejareta and Fernandez (3 stage wins) had glimmers of hope and challenged him in the mountains but they could never work together for the common goal to beat Saronni.

Spanish grimpeurs...
Lejareta (left) & Fernadez worked against one another and 
loss their chance to beat Saronni.

Rival Visentini did win on the last stage TT, but Saronni (3 stage wins) had controlled the race and won the Giro. He did so with style. And he did achieve one feat his compatriots did not. As world champion, he won the Tour of Lombardy, Milan Sanremo and the Giro d'Italia... a campionissimo's hat trick!

Stage 4...
the World Champ wins!

1983 Giro d'Italia
1. Giuseppe Saronni (Del Tongo)
2. Roberto Visentini (Inoxpran)
3. Alberto Fernandez (Gemeaz Cusin Zor)
4. Mario Beccia (Malvor)
5. Dietrich Thurau (Del Tongo)
6. Marino Lajarreta (Alfa Lum)
7. Faustino Ruperez (Gemeaz Cusin Zor)
8. Eduardo Chozas (Gemeaz Cusin Zor)
9. Lucien Van Impe (Metauromobili)
10. Wladimiro Panizza (Atala)


Tim said…
Not to take anything away from Saronni, but ’83 was a classic example of the Giro tailoring itself to the current Italian star. It might have been the easiest edition in modern times, and had nice time bonuses for stage finishes to help Saronni. Without the time bonuses Visentini would have won by almost a minute. Other years where the Giro set the course for the current star was ’84 with lots of TTs for Moser and then in the crazy mountainous 1999 edition for Pantani
Richard said…
Very true. Old Race director Torriani knew how to tailor the race for his boys. 1983 was a good year for Saronni to win with the rainbow jersey on. The next, year, was Moser's turn.