From 1946 Giovanni makes his mark in the world of cycling.

46
From 1946 Giovanni makes his mark in the world of cycling.

But it is in 1951 that Nani has his personal date with destiny: racing in the 34thGiro d’Italia, which is won by Rosa Fiorenzo Magni and the great Louis Bobet winning the mountain classification. In last place comes Giovanni, but in those years last place was not a disgrace, instead, the last rider wore the Maglia Nera (Black Jersey). Giovanni still tells stories of the strategies he carried out in order to take this ranking. There have been known cases of cyclists purposely flattening their own tires, hiding in barns or bars in the aim to lose time in order to arrive last in a stage….this was definitely another era of cycling. Arriving last also means a moment of celebration, including a lap of honor with the winners in Vigorelli velodrome. Giovanni did just that on the 10th June, 1951 carrying this triumph to Milan between Magni and Bobet.

That jersey went on to tag Giovanni forever “the one with the Maglia Nera". Gino Bartali, a very good friend of Giovanni’s, noted a dedication, which is still visible today in the store in Treviso "The Black Jersey of Cycling ... but the Pink Jersey of Life."