RE: [CR]Pic of the Day 4th July "Respect" Pushing a Rival


Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme
From: <themaaslands@comcast.net>
To: Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org (Classic Rendezvous)
Subject: RE: [CR]Pic of the Day 4th July "Respect" Pushing a Rival
Date: Sun, 04 Jul 2004 22:57:46 +0000


Mick opined:
> Is it because Antonio detested Gino Bartali due too his ultra right wing
> Catholic views and wanted to see Bartali loose. The 48 tour was in the wake
> of Palmiro Togliiatti assassination and I think Antonio Bevilacqua could
> have had Communist sympathies.
> This would explain why he was helping a rival French rider when the tour
> still had national teams.

I can categorically state that Bevilacqua was not a communist sympathizer. He was born and lived his whole life in the Veneto area of Italy, one of the areas with virtually no native-born communist sympathies. He also rode in 1946 and 1950 with the Wilier Triestina team which was owned by the Dal Molin family, who were anti-communists and arch nationalists. The name Triestina was in fact added to the Wilier name in 1945 to make a political statement in support of Trieste and Istria then 'occupied' by Tito and the communists. Dal Molin would not have accepted a communist sympathizer on his teams. Beyond this, I know the curator of the Antonio Bevilacqua museum in Cesio Maggiore (BL). As a close personal friend of Bevilacqua, he received numerous bikes upon the racer's death in the early 70's. He has confirmed that there were no communist sympathies. The last thing that I found very surprising is that I asked my mother-in-law about Bevilacqua. It turns out that she was born one year after him and they both lived very parallel lives. My wife's grandfather, as stationmaster of Mestre was in fact a director of the Club Sportivo Dopolavoro Ferroviario Veneziano (Railroad workers afterwork sports club of Venice) where Bevilacqua raced in 1940. Then again in 1944, when there was no real racing in Italy, both Bevilacqua and my mother-in-law left Mestre and went to live in the foothills of the Dolomites, on the border between the provinces of Treviso and Belluno. My mother-in-law says that he was already a very well-known rider and the object of plenty of female admiration.

Bevilacqua was two time professional world pursuit champion (as well as a few 2nd and 3rd place finishes) He also won at least one Giro stage in each of 7 consecutive seasons 1946-1952. He is quite a rider!

As far as the Bobet aid, I would expect it had more to do with the fact that he was no longer considered a threat for the GC and there was likely a promise of a quid pro quo or perhaps a small little 'bonus'.

--
Steven Maasland
Moorestown, NJ