Happy birthday to Vito Ortelli, who was born on this day in 1921, and died on January 24, 2017 at the age of 95.
The Italian rider is best known for finishing 3rd in the 1946 Giro d’Italia behind Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi both of Italy, during which race he captured the coveted maglia rosa (pink jersey) for six days.
Two years later, Ortelli would recaptured the maglia rosa for five days, just missing out on the podium after finishing 4th in that year’s Italian Grand Tour.
While a Grand Tour victory or a major Classics win evaded Ortelli throughout his career, he did manage to claim titles in a number of significant races in his home country such as the Giro della Provincia (alongside Fiorenzo Magni), Giro di Toscana, Italy’s National Pursuit Championships, Milano-Torino, Giro del Piemonte, Italy’s National Road Race Championships and the Giro della Romagna.
During his 12-year career, Ortelli rode for such prestigious teams as Bianchi, Benotto, Olympia, Rabeneick, Atala and Lygie.
Aside from racing, frames were made under his name in a small workshop in Faenza during the early 1950s until the late 1980s, which were renowned for their fancy lug work featuring a ‘V’ inside an ‘O’ cutout.
After the death of Caesar Del Cancia in April of 2011, Ortelli became the oldest living rider to have worn the pink jersey.
Buon compleanno Vito!
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