Re: [CR] Giovanni Pettenella (1943-2010)

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From: Matthew 'Devotion' Bowne <>
To: <>, CR discussion list <>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 15:36:36 -0500
In-Reply-To: <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Giovanni Pettenella (1943-2010)

I had the pleasure of meeting "Vanni" at his shop in Milano in 2007. While the language barrier kept us from having much of a conversation, he was happy to show me around his shop and sent me home with some stickers, an autographed photo and a cycling cap from a club he sponsored. He was incredibly warm and hospitable and it was a meeting I'll never forget. I have some lovely photos of his shop that I'll have to scan and upload some day. He was kind soul with a true love and respect for cycling and I am pleased to have met him. I'm sure he will be greatly missed.

Matthew Bowne Brooklyn, New York
> Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 15:26:02 -0500
> From:
> To:
> Subject: [CR] Giovanni Pettenella (1943-2010)
> okyo-64-603064410325.shtml
> "You are in the presence of greatness. The man you have in front of you
> is Giovanni Pettenella, also known as Vanni, a man who used to sell
> chickens in his hometown of Caprino Veronese before relocating to Milan
> to race bicycles. A man who from humble beginnings went on to win a gold
> medal in the track sprint at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics Games, besting on
> the occasion another Italian by the name of Sergio Bianchetto. A man who
> at those same Games also won the silver medal in the Kilometre, coming
> in behind the Belgian rider Patrick Sercu who would later became a
> legendary Six Day racer. A man who during the semifinals of the Tokyo
> Olympic track sprint against Pierre Trentin astounded the crowd with a
> 21 minute trackstand before finishing his adversary with a blindingly
> fast sprint. A man who on a hot day in the summer of 1968, at the
> Italian National Track Championships held in Varese, set the world
> trackstand record of one hour and five minutes, a record that stands to
> this day.
> "In Varese on that hot August day in 1968 the commentator covering the
> event for Italian national television ran out of people to interview,
> and a crowd of curious spectators slowly started flocking to the
> velodrome to witness the event. Pettenella's adversary on that occasion
> was that same Bianchetto of the Tokyo Olympic sprint final, a rider who
> after one hour and three minutes of trackstanding under the fierce
> summer sun collapsed to the ground, unconscious. In a drawer of his
> office desk Pettenella still has a photograph of the final minutes of
> the race. Bianchetto is lying unconscious on the track with Vanni still
> trackstanding and waiting for the doctors to validate his victory in the
> first sprint."
> Mordecai Silver
> New York, NY
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