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.