begin our nostalgic look back at the first fifty years of the Milan-San
Remo with the Turchino Pass. It has been present in all but the 2001
and 2002 editions and has seen many epic battles. At the top of this
famous 20km long climb is a 180 metre long tunnel. The Turchino no
longer plays an important role in selecting the winner but this has not
always been the case.
Between 1908 and 1946 the first rider to the top of the Turchino went on to win no less than 14 times. In a five year period from 1917-1921 every man reaching the top of the climb in first place won the race.
Several riders have made lone
breaks whch saw them win the Turchino prime and then carry on alone to
win by a distance (1908 Cyrille Van Hauwaert, 1917 Gaetano Belloni,
1918 Costante Girardengo, 1927 Pietro Chesi, 1946 Fausto Coppi).
The longest race-winning break
was by six-time winner Costante Girardengo who in 1918 attacked at the
Rivalta Scrivia with 200km to the finish. When Girardengo went away he
still had about 55km to ride before he reached the top of the Turchino.
However the competition was not great as 1918 saw the least number of
starters ever with only 32 riders taking the line. Only seven finished
due to very poor weather conditions, which saw the riders struggle
through intense rain and wind. Girardengo came home 13 minutes ahead of
his nearest rival Gaetano Belloni. The last man into San Remo, Luigi
Vertemati, was over four hours behind.
The greatest winning margin from a lone attack either before or on the "Passo" was by the great Fausto Coppi in 1946. Coppi attacked at Masone with 147km remaining. His competitors did not see him again and he won by 14 minutes from the French rider Lucien Teisseire.
Belloni takes Turchino prime 1917
1908 Van Hauwaert
1910 Van Hauwaert
1912 Pelissier H.
1914 Pelissier H.
1919 Gremo Ang.
1933 Di Paco
1939 Albani Fr.
1940 Albani Fr.
1949 De Santi
1951 Ricci Cl.
1952 Ciolli Marc.
1953 De Santi
Coppi wins in 1946
of riders between 1908 and 1946 who took the Turchino prime and also won
|1908||Cyrille Van Hauwaert||3' 30"|
|1909||Luigi Ganna||3' 00"|
|1912||Henri Pelissier||Won sprint|
|1917||Gaetano Belloni||11' 48"|
|1918||Costante Girardengo||13' 00"|
|1919||Angelo Gremo||2' 15"|
|1920||Gaetano Belloni||Won sprint|
|1921||Costante Girardengo||Won sprint|
|1925||Costante Girardengo||Won sprint|
|1926||Costante Girardengo||6' 40"|
|1927||Pietro Chesi||9' 00"|
|1929||Alfredo Binda||8' 30"|
|1931||Alfredo Binda||Won sprint|
|1946||Fausto Coppi||14' 00"|