It was nicknamed the Forlì Train: it took away the Hour record from Vigorelli from Anquetil
He died at the age of 89 after fighting like a lion. Ercole Baldini died in Forlì. A giant of our cycling, a champion who characterized the years between the sunset of Coppi and the dawn of Gimondi. Olympic champion in Melbourne 1956, he also conquered the 1958 Giro d’Italia and the Reims World Championship in the same year. His also the Hour record: in 1956 at Vigorelli he reached 46.394 beating it from Anquetil. He had also entered the Giro d’Italia Hall of Fame in 2016.
ORIGINS – Son of that Romagna undecided between the agricultural tradition and the first industrial turning point, Ercole was born in Villanova di Forlì in January 1933. On 26 January, like Peter Sagan. As a boy he discovered the bike because he needed it to go to school in Forlì: 14 kilometers round trip. On the road he meets the pros of the time, Ronconi, Ortelli and then also «Pipazza» Minardi. Ronconi takes him to race, with the SCAT Forlì shirt and then with that of Nicolò Biondo. Giovanni Proietti, the coach of the amateur national team, sensed the potential of his limitless engine and started it on the track. Ercole wins the tricolor title of the pursuit, wins the ticket for the World Cup in Copenhagen ’56 and in the derby final with Faggin he wins his first gold. He flies the 4 kilometers in 5’04”4 and takes the momentum to attack and break the Hour record, snatching it from Jacques Anquetil: 46.394 in Milan. An extraordinary leap up to success in the Giro d’Italia and the 1958 World Cup, seasons in which he dominated the world.
PARABOLA – For everyone he is the new Coppi, but Baldini will no longer be able to repeat himself on those levels due to the harmful consequences of an appendicitis and the eternal difficulty in containing his weight. The “Train of Forlì” will remain as in the song that the Casadeis dedicated to it. Certainly someone who has managed to win Olympic gold, the Giro d’Italia and the World Cup… has never been there.
December 1, 2022 (change December 1, 2022 | 21:36)
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