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Milano-Torino told in 5 dates: Saronni, 1982

17/09/2021

1982 and 1983 were Giuseppe Saronni’s golden years, in which he scored most of the wins he is remembered for. His first, great victory, which sparked his winning streak, was at Milano-Torino, on March 7, 1982.

Once again, the world’s oldest cycling race proved to be a beginning, an oracle, a prophecy.

Those were the years of the intense rivalry between him and Francesco Moser, two of the greatest all‑time aces. Battling each other at every race, on any terrain, they captivated and thrilled the Italian fans.

When Saronni won his first Giro d’Italia in 1979, Moser finished in second.

Saronni doubled in 1982, and Moser won the Corsa Rosa the following year.

In 1986, Visentini won the Giro, ahead of Saronni (who took second overall) and Moser (third).

In 1982, Saronni headed to Del Tongo‑Colnago. In the first months with his new team, he immediately notched a series of wins: Milano‑Torino, Tirreno‑Adriatico, Giro del Trentino and Tour de Suisse.

At the Giro d’Italia, despite winning the Cuneo‑Pinerolo stage, he eventually had to settle for sixth place on GC.

After that, he was left with the world title as his major target for the season. That summer, however, the death in an accident of his team manager, Carlo Chiappano, whom he had been with since he became a professional rider in 1977, came as a bitter blow to him.

In spite of this, Saronni showed up at the Goodwood World Championships in good condition. On September 5, 1982, he took the rainbow jersey ahead of Greg LeMond and Sean Kelly, who were hot favourites on paper, kicking clear in the final 500 metres with a rifle‑shot sprint that has since then been remembered as the “fucilata di Goodwood”.

And to treat himself just right, he crowned his season by taking a masterful sprint win at the Giro di Lombardia.

In the spring of 1983, he won Milano-Sanremo attacking along the Poggio and soloing over the finish line 44” ahead on the runner‑up, Guido Bontempi. He was the fourth rider to win the Springtime Classic in the world champion’s jersey, after Alfredo Binda, Eddy Merckx and Felice Gimondi.

To round off his winning streak, still in the rainbow jersey, he took his second Giro d’Italia victory in June 1983, ahead of Visentini and Fernandez.

As we said, these two golden years began on a specific date – March 7, 1982.

That day, Saronni beat all his toughest opponents, outsprinting them on the finish line in Turin, after racing for 266 kilometres at an average speed of over 49 km/h. His lifelong rival, Francesco Moser, had to settle for 7th place.

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