Gastone Nencini

Gastone Nencini

Nencini at the 1960 Tour de France
Personal information
Full name Gastone Nencini
Nickname Il Leone del Mugello, Faccia di fatica (Fatigue-face)[1]
Born (1930-03-01)1 March 1930
Barberino di Mugello, Italy
Died 1 February 1980(1980-02-01) (aged 49)
Florence, Italy
Team information
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Professional team(s)
1953–1954 Legnano
1955–1958 Leo-Chlorodont
1959–1960 Carpano
1961–1962 Ignis
1963–1965 Springoil-Fuchs
Major wins

Grand Tours

Tour de France
General classification (1960)
Mountains classification (1957)
Giro d'Italia
General Classification (1957)
Infobox last updated on
1 April 2008

Gastone Nencini (Italian pronunciation: [ɡaˈstoːne nenˈtʃiːni]; 1 March 1930 – 1 February 1980) was an Italian road racing cyclist who won the 1960 Tour de France and the 1957 Giro d'Italia.[2]

Nicknamed Il Leone del Mugello, "The Lion of Mugello" (from his birthplace Barberino del Mugello, near Florence), Nencini was a powerful all-rounder, particularly strong in the mountains.

He was an amateur painter and a chain smoker. He was a gifted descender. "The only reason to follow Nencini downhill would be if you had a death wish", said the French rider Raphaël Géminiani. It was in trying to follow Nencini down a mountain that Roger Rivière missed a bend, crashed over a wall and broke his spine.

Downhill race

Nencini's downhill race with Henry Anglade has become part of the legend of cycling. Anglade was a proud rider and Nencini one of the fastest down hills. They met at a col in the Dolomites during the Giro d'Italia. The weather was bad and a snowstorm had forced 57 riders to abandon that day. Anglade said:

I couldn't tolerate the idea that Nencini was the best descender of the peloton. I said to him, call the blackboard man,[3] we'll do the descent together and whoever comes second pays for the aperitifs this evening. So he called the ardoisier and asked him to follow us. The road was of compressed earth. We attacked the drop flat out. I let Nencini take the lead so that I could see how he negotiated the bends before attacking him. In the end I dropped as though I was alone. At the bottom, I had taken 32 seconds out of him, written on the blackboard. I was really tickled. I had beaten Nencini. The next time I saw him was that evening in the hotel I was staying at. He had just bought me an apéritif![4]


At the Futa pass, on the mountains over his native Barberino di Mugello, a monument is placed remembering him: a big bronze bas-relief portrait of him racing and the inscription which says: "A Gastone Nencini. Il comune di Barberino, gli sportivi, i compagni di tante battaglie ricordano il campione mugellano" (translated from Italian: "To Gastone Nencini. The administration of Barberino, the sportsmen, the comrades of many battles remember the Mugello-born champion").


Major achievements

Gastone Nencini with wife Bianca, wearing the pink jersey from the Giro d'Italia 1957

Other results


Giro d'Italia
2 stages
mountanins classification
5 days in Pink jersey
Tre Valli Varesine
1 stage in the Tour de France
Tour de France
2 stages
Winner Mountains classification
Giro della Provincia di Reggio Calabria
1 stage in the Tour de France
2 stages in the Giro d'Italia
Circuit of Omegna
Circuit of Lokeren
1 stage in the Giro d'Italia
Tour de France
Overall classification (with 12 days in Yellow jersey)
2 stages in the Giro d'Italia
Grand Prix de Nice
Circuit of Montélimar
Circuit of Acireale

Grand Tour results timeline

1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964
Tour DNE DNE 22 6 5 DNE 1 DNE DNF-14 DNE DNE
Stages won 1 2 1 0 0
Mountains classification 17 1 7 4 NR
Points classification 21 9 8 3 NR
Giro 16 3 DNF 1 5 10 2 DNE 13 DNF DNF
Stages won 0 2 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 0
Mountains classification NR 1 NR 5 NR NR 3 NR NR NR
Points classification N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Stages won 0 0 0
Mountains classification NR NR NR
Points classification NR 2 NR
1 Winner
2–3 Top three-finish
4–10 Top ten-finish
11– Other finish
DNE Did Not Enter
DNF-x Did Not Finish (retired on stage x)
DNS-x Did Not Start (no started on stage x)
DSQ Disqualified
N/A Race/classification not held
NR Not Ranked in this classification

See also

Notes and references

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gastone Nencini.
  1. Vergne, Laurent (22 July 2015). "Cannibale, Chéri-pipi, Wookie, Andy torticolis… le Top 20 des surnoms mythiques du cyclisme" [Cannibal, Chéri-pipi, Wookie, Andy Torticollis... the Top 20 mythical nicknames of cycling]. Eurosport (in French). Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  2. Gastone Nencini profile at Cycling Archives
  3. A motorcyclist who times riders' lead or deficit during a race and displays it on a blackboard
  4. Coup de Pédales, Belgium, undated cutting
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