Page 16 - DLN Oct2013-975
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Tuscan expletives from him that day, which would have resulted in certain
excommunication and condemned us all three to eventual hellfire in good

After the main 1-in-9 and 1-in-12 slopes the Crespera peters out into “false
flats” at the top of municipal Lugano, before reaching the highest point
on the circuit at a place called Crocifisso. The road then descends further
along the river valley, before finally returning back to the airfield start and
finish zone, via the Bioggio “two-way system” mentioned above. Most of
the circuit as described here was cunningly served by the main St.Gotthard
railway and smaller branch lines which further ensured the fans’ mobility.
Canton Ticino was virtually invaded by the Italians and in Rino Negri’s words
became “Tricolore”. He also recalls the tale that so many vehicles arrived
from Italy that the roads remained blocked until the next evening, over 24
hours later; oh the joys of pre-motorway travel - no wonder the poor little
bridge was tossed aside in favour of the new Autostrada! “Cycling” magazine
(Messrs.England and Bowden) estimated that less than 20,000 turned
up for the Saturday amateur title race, whereas about 130,000 arrived
for the Sunday 30 “Big Shots” main event. The Italians went away happy
on both days however as Coppi’s
Piemontese stable-mate Ricardo Fillipi
headed an amateur race one-two, just
pipping future Giro and TdeF winner
Gastone Nencini on the line.

What then occurred in the Great
Fausto’s race? After victory in the 1953
Giro, Coppi excused himself from that
year’s TdeF, giving Bartali free rein to
lead the national team; a deal was
apparently struck to exclude Gino from
the Lugano team selection. A regime of
training twice a day was then adopted
by Coppi - under his blind coach
Cavanna’s supervision - and events were
chosen which would simulate the
expected conditions inLugano, especially

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