Alfredo Binda

Cittiglio (Varese) 11th August 1902 – 19th July 1986

Extraordinary for his talent, style and power, Alfredo Binda won five times Giro d’Italia (1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1933), twice Milano-Sanremo (1929, 1931), four times Giro di Lombardia (1925, 1926, 1927, 1931), three World Championships (1927, 1930, 1932) and four consecutive Italian Championships (1926-1929).He becomes the Italian national coach leading, Gino Bartali (1948), Fausto Coppi (1949, 1952), Gastone Nencini (1960) to the victory of Tour de France. He also led Fausto Coppi (1953) and Ercole Baldini (1958) to the World Championship victory.

Alfredo Binda was the son of Maffeo, a building contractor, and tenth of fourteen children. He started cycling in Cote d’Azur, where he went in order to become a plasterer. In his twenties, he won his first important success: «Nizza-Mont Chauve: the toughest race in Cote d’Azur. Uphill finish: harsh,evil and gravelled. A classical race during the Twenties. Elected as International Gran Criterium of the Mountain. At the start line there were French, Belgium, Spanish and Italian climbers. Italy was represented by Costante Girardengo and Tano Belloni. Unexpectedly on 4th March 1923 won an unknow one, on his debut among professional cyclists. Nice’s newspapers enphasise the titles: Huge surprise in Mont Chauve. The rookie Alfredo Binda defeat the strongest world wide cycling climbers!»

Binda came back to Italy in 1924 thanks to the interest of the cycling champion Costante Girardengo, who contacted the director of Palazzetto dello Sport in Milan and allowed Binda to attend two reunions: «The first time was sufficient to signed up a life contract, wanted by those of Legnano». Binda’s victories at Giro di Lombardia became legend: once it was told that during the race he ate 28 eggs, another time while he was on the train on the way back to Varese, after the podium ceremony in Parco Sempione, when he arrived nearby his house he saw a group of cyclists still engaged in his pursuit.In 1925 Alfredo Binda won Giro d’Italia, unfortunatly on the following edition (1926) he arrived in 2nd place due to a fall. He also dominated the editions of 1927, 1928 and 1929, so that to not let him race on the edition of 1930 the newspaper “La Gazzetta” promised him the first prize of 22.500 lire.

«People reproached him not to be heartfelt: in realty it was not needed». During the Tour de France 1930, in which he won in the Pyrenees and probably would have also won in the Alps, he quitted (he came back home with an excuse because he was not still payed for not going to Giro d’Italia). On the same year Binda won his second World Championship: he had already won the first edition (1927) followed by Girardengo and preceded Learco Guerra. On 1932 he won his third title as a World Champion. On the following year (1933), he once again won Giro d’Italia, it was the last huge win on a unrivalled career. When it was asked to Eberardo Pavesi, the greatest connoisseur of cycling history from the dawn till the Seventies, who was the best cyclists between Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx, he answered with a chuckle:«The best to me was Binda».