Sunday, August 18, 2019

Addio Felice Gimondi

Addio Felice Gimondi 1942-2019

Italian cycling great Felice Gimondi suffered a heart attack while swimming in the sea during a vacation in Sicily.

Heather met the great man years ago and we still have the framed, autographed photo he gave her. She had Italian cycling friends in Bergamo, one of whom wrote most of the newspaper cycling columns by Gimondi in later years.

Harry & Leather met him a few times, once at a stage of the TdF as he walked along a street alone after a race finish. What a surprise! He might have been just as surprised to be recognized, but stopped to talk with us for awhile. A very nice man.

A few years later we visited our journalist friend, bringing a world-champion jersey Zio Lorenzo was using to collect autographs of all the living world champions. He already had quite a few, but somehow had left the jersey back at the hotel!! Our journalist friend was on his way to a dinner Gimondi would attend, so this was an opportunity lost.

Or so we thought! Turns out our journalist friend, who was also close to the owner and founder of a famous cycling clothing maker, detoured on his way to the dinner, picked up a maglia rosa as well as a maglia iridata and took them with him to the dinner. 

The next morning we were handed two jerseys, each personalized and autographed by Felice Gimondi!!!! We still have both and have plans to (finally) get them framed so we can mount them on the wall of our new home in Sicily.

Click here for a great Gimondi photo gallery and more details, including a special interview.


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