An Italian roar
Over the years, the Tour of Flanders has drawn many big cycling champions to Flanders, both foreign and domestic. Some even revealed themselves as true specialists in this race. One of the greatest cyclists Flanders’ Finest has ever known, is the Italian Fiorenzo Magni. Co-record holder in Flanders, Magni was the first – and still the only – rider to win three consecutive editions (1949, 1950 and 1951). This tour de force rightly earned him the unusual nickname for an Italian of ‘il Leone delle Fiandre’, the Lion of Flanders. A name Magni was very fond of.
Enjoying harsh weather conditions and completely at home on our bergs and cobbles, Magni rode as a true Flandrien, everywhere he went. In the 1956 Giro d’Italia he displayed an extraordinary example of his enormous willpower. Suffering from a broken clavicle, he refused to give up and in order to compensate for his inability to apply force with his left arm, he raced while holding a piece of rubber inner tube attached to his handlebar between his teeth for extra leverage.
Unfortunately, Fiorenzo Magni passed away at the age of 92 on October 19th 2012, just one week after we spoke with him at his home in Monticello Brianza.
Be inspired by the words of an important cycling champions and true Flandrien:
Feel like “il Leone”!