Costante Girardengo bigraphy, stories - Italian racing cyclist

Costante Girardengo : biography

18 March 1893 - 09 February 1978

Costante Girardengo ( 18 March 1893 - 9 February 1978) was an Italian professional road bicycle racer, considered by many to be one of the finest riders in the history of the sport. He was the first rider to be declared a "Campionissimo" or "champion of champions" by the Italian media and fans. At the height of his popularity in the 1920s he was said to be more popular than Mussolini and it was decreed that all express trains should stop in his home town Novi Ligure, an honour only normally awarded to heads of state."A Century of Cycling" Page 48 (Gives info on Express trains and "Novi Runt").

His career achievements include two wins in the Giro d'Italia, six wins in Milan – San Remo, three wins in the Giro di Lombardia; he was also Italian road race champion on nine occasions. His professional career was extensive, lasting from 1912 to 1936 and was interrupted by World War I which robbed Girardengo of some of his best years. He was ranked number one in the World in 1919, 1922, 1923, 1925 and 1926. He raced almost exclusively in his home country as was the custom in those days, as foreign travel was not easy. Girardengo was of only small stature and this earned him the nickname "The Novi Runt".

Career highlights

1913
Italian National Road Race Championship
1914
Italian National Road Race Championship
Milano–Torino
1915
Milano–Torino
1918
Milan – San Remo
Giro dell'Emilia
1919
20px Giro d'Italia
Giro di Lombardia
Italian National Road Race Championship
Giro del Piemonte
Giro dell'Emilia
Milano–Torino
1920
Italian National Road Race Championship
Giro del Piemonte
Milano–Torino
1921
Milan – San Remo
Giro di Lombardia
Italian National Road Race Championship
Giro dell'Emilia
1922
Giro di Lombardia
Italian National Road Race Championship
Giro dell'Emilia
Giro di Romagna
1923
20px Giro d'Italia
Milan – San Remo
Italian National Road Race Championship
Milano–Torino
Giro del Veneto
Giro di Toscana
1924
Italian National Road Race Championship
Giro del Piemonte
Giro del Veneto
Giro di Toscana
GP Wolber
1925
Milan – San Remo
Italian National Road Race Championship
Giro dell'Emilia
Giro del Veneto
1926
Milan – San Remo
Giro di Romagna
Giro del Veneto
1928
Milan – San Remo

Career

Born in Novi Ligure (province of Alessandria, Piedmont), Costante Girardengo turned professional in 1913 at the age of 20 for the Maino-Dunlop team after impressing as an amateur the previous year by finishing runner up in the Tour of Tuscany. He met with immediate success winning a stage in the Giro d’Italia (his first of 30 stage wins in the Giro) and becoming Italian road race champion. He repeated these successes in 1914 and also took his first of his five wins in Milano–Torino. 1914 saw Girardengo win the longest ever stage in the Giro d'Italia, a 430 kilometre leg between Lucca and Rome. States that Girardengo won longest ever Giro stage in 1914. Later that same year Girardengo took part in the Tour de France for the only time in his career, riding as a guest for the Automoto team he crashed several times in stages five and six and abandoned the race. Details 1914 Tour de France participation. 1915 saw him take another win in Milano–Torino but Milan – San Remo resulted in disappointment when he was disqualified after winning the race for going off course.

Much of the professional cycle racing was stopped after 1915 because of the First World War and it was not until 1918 that Girardengo took another win, taking the first of his six victories in Milan – San Remo, a record which Eddy Merckx eventually eclipsed over 50 years later. He also finished in the first three of the same race every year from 1917 to 1926 and was first over the Turchino Pass on five occasions. His post 1918 form was all the more remarkable as during the First World War Girardengo had contracted Spanish flu and nearly died, his manager believing a survivor of that disease could not race properly refused at one point to renew his licence."European Cycling" Page 8 (Gives info on Spanish Flu).

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine