Franco Bitossi

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Franco Bitossi at the 1974 World Cup

Franco Bitossi (born September 1, 1940 in Carmignano ) is a former Italian cyclist .

Franco Bitossi was considered one of the most aggressive riders in the history of cycling and a good mountain rider. It wasn't until 1971 that a doctor realized that these problems were psychosomatic and not a heart disease.

The man from Tuscany became a professional driver in 1961 and could only achieve one victory in the first three years in the paid camp. Only in 1964 with four stage victories and as the mountain king at the Giro d´Italia and the victories at the championship of Zurich and the Tour de Suisse in 1965 (3:00 minutes ahead of Joseph Huysmans) did he show his best international standing. The rather emotional driver drove in eight different professional teams and had been the captain of the FILOTEX racing team since 1965.

He won two important stage races, five classics in Italy and five times the Italian championship, two of them in cross-country skiing . For many years he was a member of the Italian professional national team and came second at the road world championships in 1972 and third in 1977 . 1972 his countryman grabbed him Marino Basso , the rainbow jersey , literally in the final meters away a disappointment that troubled him long. His followers called him "the man with the mad heart" ("il cuore matto") because he suffered from the medical problem of sudden racing heart. He then had to pull over to the side of the road during races and wait for his heartbeat to return to normal. Every year he drove the Giro d'Italia, where he achieved 20 stage victories and twice the points and three times the mountain classification. He only competed twice in the Tour de France, clinching two stage victories in 1966 and 1968 and winning the ranking for the green jersey for the best in points in 1968.

He ended his career in 1978 at the age of 38 with a total of 144 victories as a professional, his last race he contested with Felice Gimondi at the Giro dell'Emilia . It was the farewell race for Gimondi too.


In total, he has won 75 races or stages in tours.

Important placements

World Championship 1968 1970 1971 1972 1973 1977
Road racing 4th 9 16 2 14th 3
Individual time trial
Team time trial

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Udo Witte: Campionissimo, Monsieur Chrono, Kannibale & Co. Professional road bike races after 1945 . tape 2 . Books on Demand, Norderstedt 2015, ISBN 978-3-7386-1692-7 , pp. 318 .
  2. a b procycling . No. 11/2007 . bede-Verlag, Ruhmannsfelden, p. 66-71 .
  3. Luciano Boccaccini, Giovanni Tarello: Annuario Storico Del Ciclismo Italiano . Publialfa Edizion, Milan 1994, p. 67 (Italian).