1979 Giro d'Italia

1979 Giro d'Italia
Race details
Dates 17 May - 6 June
Stages 19 + Prologue
Distance 3,301 km (2,051 mi)
Winning time 89h 29' 18"
Winner  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) (Scic-Bottecchia)
Second  Francesco Moser (ITA) (Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV)
Third  Bernt Johansson (SWE) (Magniflex-Famcucine)

Points  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) (Scic-Bottecchia)
Mountains  Claudio Bortolotto (ITA) (Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV)
Youth  Silvano Contini (ITA) (Bianchi-Faema)
Team Scic-Bottecchia

The 1979 Giro d'Italia was the 62nd running of the Giro d'Italia, one of cycling's Grand Tours races. The Giro started in Genoa, on 17 May, with a 8 km (5.0 mi) prologue and concluded in Milan, on 6 June, with a 44 km (27.3 mi) individual time trial. A total of 130 riders from thirteen teams entered the 19-stage race, that was won by Italian Giuseppe Saronni of the Scic-Bottecchia team. The second and third places were taken by Italian Francesco Moser and Swede Bernt Johansson, respectively.[1][2]

In addition to the general classification, Saronni won the points classification, Amongst the other classifications that the race awarded, Claudio Bortolotto of Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV won the mountains classification, and Bianchi-Faema's Silvano Contini completed the Giro as the best rider aged 24 or under in the general classification, finishing fifth overall. Scic-Bottecchia finishing as the winners of the team classification, ranking each of the twenty teams contesting the race by lowest cumulative time.


Thirteen of the fourteen teams invited to the 1979 Giro d'Italia participated in the race.[3] Kas were forced to decline their invitation, in favor of racing the Vuelta a España, by the Spanish Federation which wanted the "best Hispanic" peloton to be competing in Vuelta that year.[4] Each team sent a squad of ten riders, which meant that the race started with a peloton of 130 cyclists.[3] From the riders that began this edition, 111 made it to the finish in Milan.[5]

The teams entering the race were:[3][6]

  • Sapa Assicurazioni
  • Scic-Bottecchia
  • Willora-Piz Buin-Bonanza
  • Zonca-Santini

Pre-race favorites

The starting peloton did include the 1978 winner, Johan De Muynck. Successful French rider Bernard Hinault did not enter the race.[7]

Route and stages

The route was unveiled on 22 March 1978.[8] Covering a total of 3,301 km (2,051 mi), it included five individual time trials, and nine stages with categorized climbs that awarded mountains classification points.[5][6] The organizers chose to include two rest days. When compared to the previous year's race, the race was 309 km (192 mi) shorter and contained one more time trial. In addition, this race contained one less stage.

Stage results[6]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 17 May Florence to Florence 8 km (5 mi) Individual time trial  Francesco Moser (ITA)
1 18 May Florence to Perugia 156 km (97 mi) Plain stage  Mario Beccia (ITA)
2 19 May Perugia to Castel Gandolfo 204 km (127 mi) Plain stage  Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
3 20 May Caserta to Naples 31 km (19 mi) Individual time trial  Francesco Moser (ITA)
4 21 May Caserta to Potenza 210 km (130 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Claudio Bortolotto (ITA)
5 22 May Potenza to Vieste 223 km (139 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)
6 23 May Vieste to Chieti 260 km (162 mi) Plain stage  Bruno Wolfer (SUI)
7 24 May Chieti to Pesaro 252 km (157 mi) Plain stage  Alan Van Heerden (RSA)
8 25 May Rimini to San Marino (San Marino) 28 km (17 mi) Individual time trial  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)
9 26 May San Marino (San Marino) to Pistoia 248 km (154 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
10 27 May Lerici to Portovenere 25 km (16 mi) Individual time trial  Knut Knudsen (NOR)
11 28 May La Spezia to Voghera 212 km (132 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Bernt Johansson (SWE)
12 29 May Alessandria to Saint-Vincent 204 km (127 mi) Plain stage  Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
13 30 May Aosta to Meda 229 km (142 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Dino Porrini (ITA)
14 31 May Meda to Bosco Chiesanuova 212 km (132 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Bernt Johansson (SWE)
15 1 June Verona to Treviso 121 km (75 mi) Plain stage  Giuseppe Martinelli (ITA)
16 2 June Treviso to Pieve di Cadore 195 km (121 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Roberto Ceruti (ITA)
3 June Rest day
17 4 June Pieve di Cadore to Trento 194 km (121 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Francesco Moser (ITA)
18 5 June Trento to Barzio 245 km (152 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Amilcare Sgalbazzi (ITA)
19 6 June Cesano Maderno to Milan 44 km (27 mi) Individual time trial  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)
Total 3,301 km (2,051 mi)

Classification leadership

A winding road on the slopes of a mountain.
A sample of the road climbing to the top of the Passo Pordoi, the Cima Coppi (highest elevation point) of the 1979 Giro.

Three different jerseys were worn during the 1979 Giro d'Italia. The leader of the general classification – calculated by adding the stage finish times of each rider, and allowing time bonuses for the first three finishers on mass-start stages – wore a pink jersey. This classification is the most important of the race, and its winner is considered as the winner of the Giro.[9]

For the points classification, which awarded a purple (or cyclamen) jersey to its leader, cyclists were given points for finishing a stage in the top 15; additional points could also be won in intermediate sprints. The green jersey was awarded to the mountains classification leader. In this ranking, points were won by reaching the summit of a climb ahead of other cyclists. Each climb was ranked as either first, second or third category, with more points available for higher category climbs. The Cima Coppi, the race's highest point of elevation, awarded more points than the other first category climbs.[9] The Cima Coppi for this Giro was the Passo Pordoi. The first rider to cross the Pordoi Pass was Italian rider Leonardo Natale. The white jersey was worn by the leader of young rider classification, a ranking decided the same way as the general classification, but considering only riders aged 24 and younger.[10]

Although no jersey was awarded, there was also one classification for the teams, in which the stage finish times of the best three cyclists per team were added; the leading team was the one with the lowest total time.[9]

The rows in the following table correspond to the jerseys awarded after that stage was run.

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification
Young rider classification Team classification
P Francesco Moser Francesco Moser Francesco Moser not awarded ? Bianchi-Faema
1 Mario Beccia Knut Knudsen
2 Roger De Vlaeminck Francesco Moser
3 Francesco Moser
4 Claudio Bortolotto Mario Beccia Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV
5 Giuseppe Saronni
6 Bruno Wolfer Giuseppe Saronni Bianchi-Faema
7 Alan Van Heerden
8 Giuseppe Saronni Giuseppe Saronni
9 Roger De Vlaeminck Claudio Bortolotto
10 Knut Knudsen
11 Bernt Johansson Roger De Vlaeminck
12 Roger De Vlaeminck
13 Dino Porrini Claudio Bortolotto
14 Bernt Johansson Bernt Johansson
15 Giuseppe Martinelli Francesco Moser
16 Roberto Ceruti Giuseppe Saronni
17 Francesco Moser Francesco Moser Claudio Bortolotto Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV
18 Amilcare Sgalbazzi Silvano Contini
19 Giuseppe Saronni Giuseppe Saronni
Final Giuseppe Saronni Giuseppe Saronni Claudio Bortolotto Silvano Contini Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV

Final standings

  Pink jersey   Denotes the winner of the General classification   Green jersey   Denotes the winner of the Mountains classification
  Purple jersey   Denotes the winner of the Points classification

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[5][11]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) Pink jersey Purple jersey Scic-Bottecchia 89h 29' 18"
2  Francesco Moser (ITA) Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV + 2' 09"
3  Bernt Johansson (SWE) Magniflex-Famcucine + 3' 13"
4  Michel Laurent (FRA) Peugeot-Esso-Michelin + 5' 31"
5  Silvano Contini (ITA) Bianchi-Faema + 7' 33"
6  Mario Beccia (ITA) Mecap-Hoonved + 7' 50"
7  Fausto Bertoglio (ITA) Mobilificio San Giacomo + 11' 27"
8  Josef Fuchs (SUI) Scic-Bottecchia + 13' 07"
9  Gottfried Schmutz (SUI) Willora-Piz Buin-Bonanza + 14' 16"
10  Roberto Visentini (ITA) CBM Fast-Gaggia + 16' 11"

Points classification

Final points classification (1-5)[5][12]
Rider Team Points
1  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) Purple jersey Pink jersey Scic-Bottecchia 275
2  Francesco Moser (ITA) Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV 274
3  Bernt Johansson (SWE) Magniflex-Famcucine 260
4  Mario Beccia (ITA) Mecap-Hoonved 130
5  Michel Laurent (FRA) Peugeot-Esso-Michelin 118

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1-10)[5][11][12]
Rider Team Points
1  Claudio Bortolotto (ITA) Green jersey Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV 495
2  Beat Breu (SUI) Gis Gelati 330
3  Bernt Johansson (SWE) Magniflex-Famcucine 300
4  Mario Beccia (ITA) Mecap-Hoonved 215
5  Mario Ceruti (ITA) Magniflex-Famcucine 170
 Amilcare Sgalbazzi (ITA) Magniflex-Famcucine
 Bruno Vicino (ITA) G.B.C.-Galli-Castelli
8  Leonardo Natale (ITA) Sapa Assicurazioni 150
 Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) Pink jersey Purple jersey Scic-Bottecchia
10  Francesco Moser (ITA) Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV 130

Young rider classification

Final young rider classification (1–3)[12]
Rider Team Time
1  Silvano Contini (ITA) Bianchi-Faema 89h 36' 51"
2  Roberto Visentini (ITA) CBM Fast-Gaggia + 8' 38"
3  Marino Amadori (ITA) Sapa Assicurazioni + 11' 24"

Traguardi Fiat Ritmo classification

Final traguardi fiat ritmo classification (1–2)[12]
Rider Team Points
1  Angelo Tosoni (ITA) CBM Fast-Gaggia 46
2  Cesare Cipollini (ITA) Mobilificio San Giacomo 24
 Walter Dusi (ITA) Sapa Assicurazioni
 Alessio Antonini (ITA) Mobilificio San Giacomo

Campionato delle Regioni classification

Final campionato delle regioni classification (1–3)[12]
Rider Team Points
1  Paolo Rosola (ITA) Sapa Assicurazioni 46
2  Giuseppe Martinelli (ITA) Mobilificio San Giacomo 44
3  Bruno Wolfer (SUI) Zonca-Santini 30

Team classification

Final team classification (1–3)[12]
Team Time
1 Sanson Gelati-Luxor TV ?
2 Scic-Bottecchia + 6' 48"
3 Magniflex-Famcucine + 10' 42"


  1. "Saronni Le Robo <<Su>> <<Giro>> A Moser" [Saronni Stole <<his>> <<Tour>> from Moser] (PDF) (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 7 June 1979. p. 23. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  2. http://www.archiviolastampa.it/component/option,com_lastampa/task,search/mod,libera/action,viewer/Itemid,3/page,19/articleid,1074_01_1979_0124_0019_15359004/
  3. 1 2 3 "Squadre, corridori, numeri di gara" [Teams, runners, race numbers] (PDF). La Stampa (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. 17 May 1979. p. 23. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  4. "<<Kas>> no estara en el <<Giro>>..." [<<Kas>> to not be in the <<Giro>>] (PDF). El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo S.A. 18 February 1979. p. 25. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 March 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Bill and Carol McGann. "1979 Giro d'Italia". Bike Race Info. Dog Ear Publishing. Archived from the original on 27 February 2014. Retrieved 2012-08-06.
  6. 1 2 3 http://archiviostorico.unita.it/cgi-bin/highlightPdf.cgi?t=ebook&file=/archivio/uni_1979_05/19790514_0016.pdf
  7. http://hemeroteca-paginas.mundodeportivo.com/EMD01/HEM/1979/02/17/MD19790217-022.pdf
  8. http://archiviostorico.unita.it/cgi-bin/highlightPdf.cgi?t=ebook&file=/archivio/uni_1979_03/19790323_0012.pdf
  9. 1 2 3 Laura Weislo (13 May 2008). "Giro d'Italia classifications demystified". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  10. "Clasificaciones" [Classifications] (PDF) (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 8 June 1980. p. 25. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  11. 1 2 Gian Paolo Ormezzano (7 June 1979). "Saronni vince da campione il Giro di Moser" [Saronni wins the Tour champion of Moser] (PDF). La Stampa (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. p. 19. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Pagelle del '79" [Scoreboard of '79] (PDF). l'Unità (in Italian). PCI. 12 May 1980. p. 16. Archived (PDF) from the original on 1 April 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2012.
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