Who is Giordano Cottur?

He died on the early hours of 8 March 2006, while the Mimosa blossom painted the streets and shop windows yellow.
He would have been 92 years old on 24 May but he did not feel his age.
As a joke he would say that he had converted his years from Liras into Euros, thus halving them.
Bright eyes, a frank smile and a heart of steel: Few loved bikes like Giordano Cottur and he dedicated his life to them.
First as a racer then as a manufacturer and shop keeper. His workshop, in the centre of Trieste, was a shrine for fans and not a day went by when, between adjusting gears and replacing and tightening spokes, excited discussions arose about races and champions.
His judgement was rarely incorrect. All he had to do was see the position in the saddle to understand whether the cyclist passing in front of him would come out on top.
He turned professional in 1938 with Lygie and stayed with them for three years, winning two stages of the Giro d’Italia, the Giro dell’Umbria (Tour of Umbria) and the Trieste-Postumia race. In the war years he defended the colours of Viscontea, running from one bombing to another.
He made Circuito dell’Impero his own.
He landed at the court of Mr. Dal Molin, full of enthusiasm, at the end of hostilities and stayed there until 1949 when he stopped racing, after having reached the final success in the pink race, to get on the team car. Five victories with the red halberd jersey: Trieste Opicina in 1945 and the stages of Turin (1946 and 1948) and Perugia (1947) of the Giro.

Giordano Cottur with the pink jersey..

In 1946 he won in his city after the nasty business of Pieris, among the blaze of the people of Trieste who carried him triumphantly.
Legendary but tenacious, he never gave up and pushed himself like a train uphill. He was a dear ally of Fiorenzo Magni, who he conceded the jersey to during the Giro of 1948, after having kept it for eight days.
“Last night I finally slept as God commands – he confessed the following morning after having lost to Bepi the mechanic – The nights before I could not close my eyes. I saw enemies jump out everywhere, determined to steal the jersey.” He stepped onto the lowest step of the podium, just like in 1940 and the following year, aware that with a little luck he would have made his mark on at least one of the great tours.

Cottur wears the leader’s jersey.

Next issue 

21st May 2013