A belated happy birthday to Giovanni Battaglin, who was born on July 22, 1951.
Battaglin is best known for his Grand Tour double-victory, wherein he won both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana during the same season in 1981, a feat only equalled by Bernard Hinault, Stephen Roche, Miguel Yndurain, Marco Pantani and Albert Contador in modern times.
Additionally, Battaglin also won the coveted Polka Dot climber’s jersey in the 1979 Tour de France.
Battaglin’s first victory came as an amateur, when he won the 1972 Amateur Giro d’Italia.
He turned professional the following year, riding for the prestigious Jollj Ceramica team.
From there, a slew of impressive victories in races like the Giro del Lazio, Giro dell’Appennino, Giro di Puglia, Coppa Sabatini, Carpineti, Gran Premio di Montelupo, Coppa Bernocchi, Acicatena, Coppa Agostoni, Coppa Placci, Trofeo Matteotti, Trofeo Pantalica, Col San Martino, Milano–Torino, Zambana di Trento, Milano–Vignola, Lariano and the Col San Martino, as well as stage victories in the Volta a Catalunya, Tour de Suisse, Tour of the Basque Country, would lay the foundation for Battaglin’s Grand Tour double.
Following his retirement from racing after the 1984 season, Battaglin became concentrated on establishing a world-class bicycle brand under his namesake.
Over the decades, the Battaglin brand has become synonymous with high end bicycles across all types of materials, to include carbon fiber.
Nowadays however, the Battaglin brand has become completely focussed on turning out bespoke framesets made from classic steel using old-world artisan building techniques.
However, when Battaglin is not overseeing his workshop in Marostica, the Italian champion is often part of a short-list of race dignitaries, who are regularly invited to the opening ceremonies of each year’s Grand Tour events.
Buon compleanno Giovanni!
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