Photo of the day: B&B - Jolly Ceramica's two Giro champions.

From 1975-1977, the Italian Jolly Cermaica squadra had two climbing stars.

The guy on the left is Giovanni Battaglin, who did not have his best years in that squad, but would go on to win both the Giro and Vuelta in 1981.   The man from Marostica near Bassano and Vincenza used a triple chain-ring on his Campy-equipped Pinarello  to twiddle up the Tre Cime Lavaredo behind Beat Breu to take the Maglia Rosa that most of Italy assumed would be won by either Moser or Saronni.  

You can visit Battaglin's bicycle factory store there in Marostica today, see those race winning jerseys on the wall, pick up a jersey, and check out his beautiful race machines, and maybe even get to meet the boss.

The man on the right is Fausto Bertoglio, who'd won the Giro in 1975, the year it finished at the summit of the Stelvio.  

In pink, Bertoglio and KAS Spanish climbing star Francisco Galdos dropped Gimondi, Moser and all the rest of the best on the Stelvio,  climbing through walls of snow.    The idea of finishing a grand tour with a big climb on the last or next to last stage (like Mont Ventoux in 2009 Tour, or Bola del Mundo/Vuelta last year) is not a new one.

Just like Coppi' in '53, Bertoglio sealed Giro victory
on the Stelvio.  The tifosi made the connection.
Several of the blog followers were worried I was losing my love for the bike, (or losing it period!) after my last few posts expressing frustration with lack of racing results.

Rest assured flahutes, it takes more than a good race spanking (or several) to get this paddy down!  On the contrary, the eternal pursuit of being able to climb better is a self-chosen quest full of joy for me, don't worry jongens!   Tomorrows another ride, or another race.

In fact, I rediscovered my love of climbing last night, on a superbe, solo 3-hour ride up and down dozens of northern RI hills - a ride that reinforced my conviction that few things are better than the joy of spinning up long climbs, sotto controllo.   The key to achieving that zen?    Low gears, spinning 90rpm or more.  Nice and easy.    The sun was out, the air quality was great, and it was not too hot.    It was darn near the perfect ride, and ironically faster than recent times when I tried to push bigger gears, harder.   Go figure.

Hope you were able to enjoy a ride as good yesterday also.   If not, go out and do one today.


  1. Classic Euro-pro outfits and bikes - I bet these guys could spank the current pros on the old school bikes!!!
    That being said - I should state that the only current pros I respect are Johnny Hoogerland, Thor Hushovd and Fabian Cancellera - the rest are cry babies!


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