> As a point of interest could someone tell me how many of the Italians on the
> list were World Champions?
The world's postdate many of the Italians on the list who would have had very chances of being world champion such as Luigi Ganna, Giovanni Gerbi and Ottavio Bottecchia.
Of the others I listed, I can name the following world champions: Basso, Bevilacqua, Coppi, Faggin, Fondriest and Moser. To which you can also add Saronni as Colnago built bikes with his name on them. Adorni also was world champion and had bikes with his name built.