Not only Romagna and the world of cycling mourns, but the whole sporting Italy. Arnaldo Pambianco, winner of the Giro d’Italia in 1961, died at the age of 87. “” Gabanin “was truly a great man, a true champion, a unique Romagna”, are the farewell words of Davide Cassani, former professional cyclist, former coach of the Italian national cycling team and president of Atp Romagna. “Arnaldo has always been one of my idols – is the memory posted on Facebook by Cassani -. Perhaps because I had always known him, perhaps because he won the Giro d’Italia in the year I was born, certainly because he was a special Romagna. Arnaldo Pambianco, in the silence and darkness of this night (between Tuesday and Wednesday, ed), went up to heaven. I’m sad because Arnaldo was truly an extraordinary person “. Pambianco was left a widower last March, and, as Cassani writes, “he was unable to endure and overcome the pain of losing the woman in his life”, Fabiola.
The condolences of Bertinoro and Forlì
“Our beloved Gabanìn is gone – begins the mayor of Bertinoro, Gessica Allegni -. Arnaldo was not only a great cycling champion, as his sporting successes show, first of all the historic victory of the Giro d’Italia in the year of the centenary of the Unification of Italy, which consecrated him to the Olympus of Italian sportsmen. Arnaldo was a person of great humility, animated by sincere values, as anyone who had the great fortune to know him knows well. The Municipality of Bertinoro gathers around the family, with the deepest condolences. Hi Arnaldo, we will remember you for the extraordinary person you were, both on the bike and in everyday life “.
“The sad news of the death of Arnaldo Pambianco arouses despair and consternation in the entire Forlì community – begins the mayor of Forlì, Gian Luca Zattini -. For all of us it has been, and will remain, an emblem of the great Romagna cycling capable of thrilling as few , involve, represent. Arnaldo Pambianco is also, and above all, an extraordinary witness of the ability to know how to build a path of enormous success, making use of commitment, effort and sacrifice together with loyalty and fairness. He made known his Bertinoro, Forlì and Romagna, to the whole of Italy and to the world by participating in the main cycling events: from the Olympics to the World Championships, from the Tour de France to the Giro d’Italia in which he won the highest podium triumphing in the special edition of 1961, the one dedicated to celebrating the Centenary of the Unification of Italy “.
“Arnaldo Pambianco was always present at the sporting initiatives carried out in our city, making his authoritative contribution through the ability to convey, in particular to young people, the importance of the high values of Sport and civic responsibility – he concludes -. We mourn their death. , participating in the mourning of family members and uniting, in pain, with friends, colleagues and all those who see in “Gabanin” the extraordinary man, the champion, the responsible citizen and one of the most loved flags of the land of Romagna “.
Pambianco in the early years as a professional was a follower of Ercole Baldini and Gastone Nencini, taking seventh place in 1960 both in the Giro d’Italia and in the Tour de France. In 1961 he obtained the most important result of his career, at the Giro d’Italia for the centenary of the Unification. After a troubled week due to the after-effects of a crash, the Bertinoro champion took the pink jersey in the 14th stage, with a 24-second advantage over the favorite and until that moment leader of the general Jacques Anquetil. “I saw that Anquetul ate a sandwich without removing the foil – he said -. I understood that he was in crisis and I attacked him. So I took the pink jersey and won the Giro”. He then repelled the assaults of Charly Gaul and Rik Van Looy, sealing the squad with second place, behind only Gaul, in the penultimate stage characterized by the climb to the Stelvio Pass and the arrival in Bormio. He arrived victorious in Milan despite not having won any stage.
In the following years, the Bertinorese also performed very well in some road races, as evidenced by the fifth place at the 1962 World Championships held in Salò (won by Jean Stablinski) and the victory in the Freccia del Brabante in 1964. At the Giro d’Italia instead he could no longer repeat the performances of 1961 and only obtained a stage victory in 1963. The song “Viva Pambianco”, dedicated to him by Secondo Casadei, is from these years. He closed his career in 1966 and, after a brief experience in the flagship at Salvarani and Ariostea, he dedicated himself to entrepreneurial activity.
“It is very sad news – writes the journalist Marino Bartoletti from Forlì, cycling expert -. Arnaldo Pambianco, a man and rider of unique loyalty, had won in 1961 – the only time he was captain – the wonderful Giro d’Italia of Centenary, beating all the strongest cyclists in the world, Anquetil, Gaul, Van Looy. I’m sure they are waiting for him to applaud him. He was a wonderful man. ” For the deputy Marco Di Maio, “a piece of history of Italian cycling and of the great heart of our land of Romagna” is gone.
On the other hand, the municipal councilor Sara Samori, former councilor for Sport of the Municipality of Forlì, writes: “I delayed in dedicating these words to the indelible Gabanin, very sweet Arnaldo, because I was rummaging through my memory in search of one of the most beautiful photos of my years driving sport of Forlì: the one with him and the great Ercole Baldini, on the occasion of an unforgettable Giro d’Italia for Forlì, that of 2015. Front page. Arrival and Departure. Just like Arnaldo “.
“In the end, Facebook presented me with a mosaic of images, only a small part, because Arnaldo was like this: a mosaic of images, emotions, hairpin bends, climbs and descents. And so in the end I prefer to remember him like this, in various sports environments because basically Arnaldo, riding his * horse *, has always reminded me of the image of an ante litteram sportsman, plus an unblemished rider, like the noble Pierre Terrayl: brave, authoritative, faithful, loyal, aware of the principle by which true nobility transcends the social class and is the nobility of soul. And it is a very lofty moral concept, really for a few. But Arnaldo was so extraordinary in his humanity, in his sensitivity, that he always left you breathless.
After all, like all self-respecting sportsmen, he knew the rules of sport. Or, perhaps, more simply like Girardengo in the 1921 Giro d’Italia, after winning four stages, he stopped at the Piano delle Cinque Miglia. Emilio Colombo, the director of the Gazzetta dello Sport, told him not to give up, to resist, but in the end Costante Girardengo was tired of hearing that ejaculation, he got off his bicycle and with a stone he drew a cross in the dust of the road. “I stop here. And there is no joking in front of the cross “.
On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Giro victory, the Forlì director Riccardo Salvetti dedicated the documentary film “Gabanì – twice champion” to Pambianco, which brings Pambianco’s sporting achievements and human qualities to the big screen, from the victory of the Giro of Italy in 1961 to the relationship with champions and followers of his time, also paying attention to the family profile and his country, Bertinoro.
Biography from Wikipedia
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