HISTORY: Gastone Nencini

On 1 February 1980 dies Gastone Nencini one month before his 50th birthday.  Nencini, nicknamed Il Leone del Mugello, did win the 1960 Tour de France and 1957 Giro d’Italia and stood on the podium of Giro d’Italia 1955 and 1960.

Nencini was one of the best descenders ever in pro cycling. It was in trying to follow Nencini down a mountain, Col de Perjulet, that Roger Rivière missed a bend, crashed over a wall and became for 80 percent invalid. Besides going downhill was Nencini also one of the best climbers in the peloton in his days. He won the mountain classification in the Giro d’Italia (1955) and Tour de France (1957).

In Giro d’Italia 1955, he had the pink jersey with two days left to Milano. He punctured and at that moment Fausto Coppi and Fiorenzo Magni attacked. In San Pellegrino, Gastone Nencini loses 5 minutes and 37 seconds and loses the pink jersey to Fiorenzo Magni. In Milano, Nencini ended third 4 minutes and 8 seconds from Fiorenzo Magni.

Two years later, he takes revenge. At the moment that pink jersey holder Charly Gaul takes his time to pee Nencini accelerates and Gaul loses his pink jersey and the 1957 Giro. In Milano, Nencini had 19 seconds advantage on Louison Bobet, one of the smallest gaps in the final classification Giro d’Italia.

After his victory in the 1960 Tour de France, his results became disappointing. He started in four more Grand Tours but finished only one: 1962 Giro d’Italia (13th).  He quit in 1965 and became an amateur painter. At the age of 49, Nencini died as a result of lung cancer.