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Memories from… Lucca, 1984: Moser’s time trial on a futuristic bike


After years and years of attempts, 1984 was the season in which Francesco Moser, at the distinguished age of 33, won his first and only Giro d’Italia. Who knows whether in the opening time trial in Lucca, on a splendid 5 km route around the city walls, he really thought he could win the overall. He certainly knew that on that day, in the Tuscan city, it would have been close to impossible for anyone to take stage win away from him.

Against the clock, Moser was a full two steps ahead of all his rivals and, on top of that, he came to that Giro galvanised by setting the Hour Record in January and winning the Milano-Sanremo just a few weeks before. He won the opening time trial, beating Silvestro Milani by 11 seconds and Roberto Visentini by 12. But it was the futuristic bicycle he used, not so different from the one he rode for the Hour Record, rather than his monstrous performance, that caused a sensation.

However, compared to the one he had shown off in Mexico, the one used in Lucca had brakes and a normal multiplier, and the frame was painted and not chromed. The jury, however, needed quite a long time to figure out whether that bike was regular: “My bicycle is in full working order, it would be good for the judges to check others, which only appear to be regular” Moser said, with his usual frankness.

The Trentino rider lost the Pink to Laurent Fignon the next day in the team time trial, but regained it on the Blockhaus, on Stage 5, lost it again to Fignon in Selva di Valgardena, on Stage 19, and eventually regained it in the closing time trial in Verona, at the end of three jaw-dropping weeks.


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