Felice Gimondi, Authentic Vintage Cycling Fan Cap, 1965 Tour de France Winner


Felice Gimondi became the second cyclist, after Jacques Anquetil,  to win all three Grand Tours.  He won the Tour de France in 1965, the Giro d’Italia in 1964, 1969 and 1976, and the Vuelta a España in 1968.

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Felice Gimondi

Felice Gimondi (29 September 1942 – 16 August 2019) was an Italian professional racing cyclist. With his 1968 victory at the Vuelta a España, only three years after becoming a professional cyclist, Gimondi, nicknamed “The Phoenix,” was the second cyclist (after Jacques Anquetil) to win all three Grand Tours of road cycling: Tour de France (1965, his first year as a pro), Giro d’Italia (1967, 1969 and 1976), and Vuelta a España (1968). He is one of only seven cyclists to have done so.

Gimondi also won three of the five Cycling monuments, winning the Giro di Lombardia twice, and finished on the grand tour podium twelve times.

Despite his career coinciding with Eddy Merckx, he accomplished all of these major victories.


Gimondi at the 1966 Giro d’Italia (right)
Gimondi at the start of the 22nd Stage of the 1967 Giro d’Italia. (Left)


Gimondi was born on 29 September 1942 in Sedrina in the Province of Bergamo. He was the son of a transport manager and a postmistress. In his youth, he frequently took his mother’s post bicycle and later helped to deliver mail on it. In 1964, Gimondi rode the road race at the 1964 Olympic Games, where he finished in 33rd place. After winning the Tour de l’Avenir, he was signed in 1965 as a professional to the Salvarani team. With the withdrawal of another cyclist from Salvarani’s 1965 Tour de France team, Gimondi was added at the last minute and later recalled that he had to ask his mother for permission to start the race. He took the yellow jersey on stage 3 but lost the race lead later when he waited for his nominal team captain, Vittorio Adorni. Adorni later dropped out, leaving Gimondi to fight out the overall victory with Raymond Poulidor, securing the Tour in the final time trial.

His early successes led to him being regarded as a successor to well-renowned fellow Italian Fausto Coppi, nicknamed Campionissimo. Gimondi’s career coincided, for the most part, with that of the highly successful Eddy Merckx. However, Gimondi was able to build up a respectable palmarès himself, even through the era of Merckx’s dominance.

After winning the 1967 Giro d’Italia and the 1968 Vuelta a España, Gimondi became the second-ever rider to have won all three Grand Tours after Jacques Anquetil. He won the Giro a further two times, first in 1969. In 1976, Gimondi was not counted among the favorites, being regarded as past his prime, but he overcame a deficit on race leader Johan De Muynck in the final time trial to take his third victory in the race. His success was subsequently called the “miracle in Milan.”

His other successes include four victories in the so-called “Monument Classics,” winning Paris–Roubaix in 1966, Milan–San Remo in 1974, and the Giro di Lombardia twice (1966 and 1973). In the 1973 World Championship road race, he formed a group with Luis Ocaña and Freddy Maertens to bridge a gap to Merckx, who had attacked earlier. At the finish, he outsprinted Maertens to clinch the title.  He had already placed third in 1970 and second in 1971. Gimondi also won Paris–Brussels twice, in 1966 and 1976.

He failed twice to pass doping controls, first in the 1968 Giro d’Italia and then at the 1975 Tour de France. His positive test at the 1968 Giro was for the stimulant Fencamfamin, but since the substance was not on the prohibited list at the time, he kept his third place overall at the race. At the 1975 Tour, he received a 10-minute time penalty.

A major cyclosportive event is named in his honour, the Gran Fondo Felice Gimondi, held annually around Bergamo. Since 2019, it has honored all seven riders to have won all three Grand Tours

Throughout his career and after it, Gimondi was closely associated with the bicycle manufacturer Bianchi. In the late 1980s, Gimondi was briefly directeur sportif at the Gewiss–Bianchi team. He served as manager for Bianchi’s mountain bike team for a long period of time. Between 2000 and 2001, Gimondi briefly worked as president of the Mercatone Uno–Albacom team and as an advisor to Marco Pantani. At the end of the 1998 Tour de France, race organizer Jean-Marie Leblanc invited Gimondi onto the stage during the podium celebration, when Pantani became the first Italian winner of the race since he had himself won the event in 1965. In 2008, Gimondi was the president of the TX Active–Bianchi cycling team, which specializes in MTB races.

In 1968, Gimondi married Tiziana Bersano, with whom he had two daughters, Norma and Federica.

Gimondi died on 16 August 2019 after suffering a heart attack while swimming on vacation in Sicily. He was 76. His funeral was held on 20 August in Paladina near Bergamo, attended by thousands of people. His long-time rival Edy Merckx did not attend, stating that he was “too saddened” by the loss of his friend.

Gimondi in 2009

Excerpt from Wikipedia


The History of the Cycling Cap

The cycling cap, or the ‘casquette’ in French, is a bit of an icon in the cycling world. The simple cloth cap graced the heads of all the greats, with the history of the cycling cap going back through the last century and beyond.

History of the Cycling Cap

The Early Days

The first documented cycling races started up in the late 1800s, exposing riders to the harsh elements. Some sort of headwear was immediately needed, so the rudimentary flat cap was the obvious choice as opposed to top hats and tails.

The Paris Roubaix start line, 1899

The flat cap was a step in the right direction, but tweed is not an ideal athletic material. This set the groundwork for the cycling cap. Riders wore plain white skull caps, which eventually turned brown and grey with dust and grime over the years. It was purely functional, keeping the sun out of the eyes, absorbing sweat, and keeping the rain and muck out.

The Hayday

By the 1950s, the cycling cap became the ultimate mark of a professional cyclist. The design was refined through the 60s, coming to resemble what we know it today. Sponsors began branding caps, and it became a way to spread your name in the cycling world.

Not only were they worn on the bike, but on podiums and on the heads of coaches and everyone else inspired by the cycling greats. Those who may not be able to afford a Campagnolo-equipped bike could afford a Campagnolo cap, so it became an entry into the cycling culture.

The Decline

With the introduction of helmets to cycling in the 70s and 80s, the cycling cap became less of a necessity. Although it was no longer the mark of a professional cyclist, it remained a part of the cycling kit. The helmet and the cycling cap were not necessarily mutually exclusive, and many cyclists chose to wear a cap under their helmets in cold and wet weather.


July 25, 2020 by Sarah Lauze – Excerpt from iLove Bicycling

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