Fiorenzo Magni. Giro delle Fiandre. 1950.
If you go into a bar in Belgium, you have two certainties.
The first is that you can taste one of the 601 beers produced within the national boundaries.
The second is that surely you can hear of cycling, because two wheels in Belgium are the national sport.
And who knows what was said in that distant April 1951, when a stranger won the Tour of Flanders.
An Italian rider.
An Italian who took three wins in a row, one by one.
That Italian was called, and he’s called, Fiorenzo Magni.
From 1949 to 1951 the Tour of Flanders spoke only Italian, Tuscan accuracy.
Magni, originating from the province of Prato, started professionals cycling in 1941.
Several years later, in 1948, his first major win. He took first at Giro d ‘Italia on a Wilier Triestina.
Only in 1949 began the conquest of the great north.
Two wins for Wilier Triestina team and one for Ganna.
Unique and unrepeatable “Lion of Flanders”.
Unique and unrepeatable those times, the best years for Italian cycling.
The years of Coppi and Bartali.
And Fiorenzo Magni too.
Besides the three editions won by Magni, the Flanders was won other seven times by italian riders.
1967 – Dino Zandegù
1990 – Moreno Argentin
1994 – Gianni Bugno
1996 – Michele Bartoli
2001 – Gianluca Bortolami
2002 – Andrea Tafi
2007 – Alessandro Ballan (on Wilier Triestina mod. Le Roi)
From the time of Magni many things have changed.
In the 2012 edition, the Flanders will not talk anymore about of Grammont, of the arrival in the sad Meerbeke, th Bosberg.
Time passes and also races change.