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Giro d’Italia 2021, Stage 15: Grado – Gorizia. Bariviera’s triple win

22/05/2021

Giro d'Italia 2021, Tappa 15: Grado – Gorizia . Bariviera cala la tripla

Stage 15: Grado – Gorizia. Bariviera’s triple win

On 5 June 1963, as the Giro arrived in Gorizia, the final victory remained uncertain. With just five stages left, the top five finishers were separated by just 24’’. The challenge between the race leader Diego Ronchini and his four immediate chasers (Vittorio Adorni, Giorgio Zancanaro, Guido De Rosso and Franco Balmamion) would be decided in the two following stages, with a climb up to the Nevegal, and an iconic monster stage through the Dolomites featuring the Duran, Staulanza, Cereda, Rolle, Valles and San Pellegrino passes. The forthcoming conclave that was called to elect the successor of Pope John XXIII, who had died on June 3, and the struggle of the outgoing Prime Minister Aldo Moro to form a new cabinet with the support of the Socialist Party grabbed all the headlines.

The Giro was back in Gorizia after the major political unrest that followed World War II, when three fifths of the territory of the city passed to Yugoslavia. It would take a further 40 years for the border that divided the plaza in front of the Gorizia-Montesanto railway station to be cancelled.

Taccone, Bariviera, Zilioli, Balmamion, Vendramino

Taking his third stage victory in Gorizia, Vendramino Mino Bariviera, a 25-year old sprinter from Cimadolmo, was the revelation of that Giro. He was second only to an unstoppable Vito Taccone, who landed a whopping five-stage win (four of which in a row). In the run-up to the climbing section, the peloton had passed through the plains of Veneto and Friuli, passing the Piave, the Tagliamento and the Isonzo, then started ascending the Karst Plateau. The race only exploded over the last 15 kilometres, when six riders attacked. The finish sat at the foot of the Castle that had been watching over the city since 1001, providing a panoramic view over the surrounding hills. Before coming home, however, the peloton would be negotiating a short yet steep climb which, in everyone’s opinion, could hamper Bariviera, the fastest rider of all. Protected by his team-mate Zilioli, however, the young sprinter caught everyone off-guard with a surprise attack 300 metres before the finish. As he kept the momentum going and continued to push, he homed in 4 seconds ahead of his opponents, crossing the finish line with his arms aloft. Three days later, Balmamion sealed his second consecutive overall win, without ever winning one single stage. On June 21, Paul VI became the Pope, whereas Aldo Moro had to wait until the end of that year to form his first “centre-left” government.

After that triple win in 1963, Mino Bariviera took three more stages at the Giro, between 1964 and 1965. When Mino retired a few years later, the role of sports celebrity in the family passed to his ‘little’ (so to say) brother Renzo (2 metre and 2 cm tall), a basketball champion, who won league titles and cups with Milano and Cantù, and was twice a gold medallist for Italy at the European championships.

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