1981 Giro d'Italia

The 1981 Giro d'Italia was the 64th running of the Giro. It started in Brescia, on 13 May, with a 6.6 km (4.1 mi) prologue and concluded in Verona, on 7 June, with a 42 km (26.1 mi) individual time trial. A total of 130 riders from thirteen teams entered the 22-stage race, that was won by Italian Giovanni Battaglin of the Inoxpran team. The second and third places were taken by Swede Tommy Prim and Italian Giuseppe Saronni, respectively.[1]

1981 Giro d'Italia
Race details
Dates13 May – 7 June 1981
Stages22 + Prologue, including one split stage
Distance3,895.6 km (2,421 mi)
Winning time104h 50' 36"
Winner  Giovanni Battaglin (ITA) (Inoxpran)
  Second  Tommy Prim (SWE) (Bianchi-Piaggio)
  Third  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) (Gis Gelati-Campagnolo)

Points  Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) (Gis Gelati-Campagnolo)
Mountains  Claudio Bortolotto (ITA) (Santini)
  Youth  Giuseppe Faraca (ITA) (Hoonved-Bottecchia)
  Team Bianchi-Piaggio
  Team points Bianchi-Piaggio
← 1980
1982 →

Amongst the other classifications that the race awarded, Gis Gelati-Campagnolo's Saronni won the points classification, Claudio Bortolotto of Santini-Selle Italia won the mountains classification, and Hoonved-Bottecchia's Giuseppe Faraca completed the Giro as the best neo-professional in the general classification, finishing eleventh overall. Bianchi-Piaggio finishing as the winners of the team classification, ranking each of the twenty teams contesting the race by lowest cumulative time. In addition, Bianchi-Piaggio won the team points classification.


A total of thirteen teams were invited to participate in the 1981 Giro d'Italia.[2] Each team sent a squad of nine riders, which meant that the race started with a peloton of 130 cyclists.[2][3] From the riders that began this edition, 104 made it to the finish in Verona.[3][4][5]

The teams entering the race were:

  • Hoonved-Bottecchia
  • Inoxpran
  • Kotter's-G.B.C.
  • Magniflex-Olmo
  • Safir-Galli-Maillard
  • Sammontana-Benotto
  • Santini-Selle Italia
  • Selle San Marco-Gabrielli

Route and stagesEdit

Borno hosted the end of the 215 km (134 mi) seventeenth stage.

The route for the 1981 edition of the Giro d'Italia was revealed to the public by head organizer Vincenzo Torriani on 21 February 1981.[6][7][8][9] Covering a total of 3,895.6 km (2,420.6 mi), it included four time trials (three individual and one for teams), and ten stages with categorized climbs that awarded mountains classification points.[3] Two of these ten stages had summit finishes: stage 17, to Borno; and stage 20, to Tre Cime di Lavaredo.[10] The organizers chose to include two rest days. When compared to the previous year's race, the race was 129.4 km (80 mi) shorter and contained one more time trial. In addition, this race contained one more set of split stages.

Stage characteristics and winners[3][7][10][11]
Stage Date Course Distance Type Winner
P 13 May Trieste 6.6 km (4 mi)   Individual time trial   Knut Knudsen (NOR)
1a 14 May Trieste to Bibione 100 km (62 mi)   Plain stage   Guido Bontempi (ITA)
1b Lignano Sabbiadoro to Bibione 15 km (9 mi)   Team time trial Hoonved-Bottecchia
2 15 May Bibione to Ferrara 211 km (131 mi)   Plain stage   Paolo Rosola (ITA)
3 16 May Bologna to Recanati 255 km (158 mi)   Plain stage   Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)
17 May Rest day
4 18 May Recanati to Lanciano 214 km (133 mi)   Plain stage   Mario Beccia (ITA)
5 19 May Marina di San Vito to Rodi Garganico 180 km (112 mi)   Plain stage   Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)
6 20 May Rodi Garganico to Bari 225 km (140 mi)   Plain stage   Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)
7 21 May Bari to Potenza 143 km (89 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Palmiro Masciarelli (ITA)
8 22 May Sala Consilina to Cosenza 202 km (126 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Moreno Argentin (ITA)
9 23 May Cosenza to Reggio Calabria 231 km (144 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Serge Parsani (ITA)
24 May Rest day
10 25 May Rome to Cascia 166 km (103 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Gianbattista Baronchelli (ITA)
11 26 May Cascia to Arezzo 199 km (124 mi)   Plain stage   Giovanni Renosto (ITA)
12 27 May Arezzo to Livorno Montenero 224 km (139 mi)   Plain stage   Moreno Argentin (ITA)
13 28 May Empoli to Montecatini Terme 35 km (22 mi)   Individual time trial   Knut Knudsen (NOR)
14 29 May Montecatini Terme to Salsomaggiore Terme 224 km (139 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Francesco Moser (ITA)
15 30 May Salsomaggiore Terme to Pavia 198 km (123 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Daniel Gisiger (SUI)
16 31 May Milan to Mantua 178 km (111 mi)   Plain stage   Claudio Torelli (ITA)
17 1 June Mantua to Borno 215 km (134 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Benedetto Patellaro (ITA)
18 2 June Borno to Dimaro 127 km (79 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Miguel María Lasa (ESP)
3 June Rest day
19 4 June Dimaro to San Vigilio di Marebbe 208 km (129 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Giovanni Battaglin (ITA)
20 5 June San Vigilio di Marebbe to Tre Cime di Lavaredo 100 km (62 mi)   Stage with mountain(s)   Beat Breu (SUI)
21 6 June Auronzo di Cadore to Arzignano 197 km (122 mi)   Plain stage   Pierino Gavazzi (ITA)
22 7 June Soave to Verona 42 km (26 mi)   Individual time trial   Knut Knudsen (NOR)
Total 3,895.6 km (2,421 mi)

Classification leadershipEdit

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo was the Cima Coppi for the 1981 running of the Giro d'Italia.

Three different jerseys were worn during the 1981 Giro d'Italia. The leader of the general classification – calculated by adding the stage finish times of each rider, and allowing time bonuses for the first three finishers on mass-start stages – wore a pink jersey. The time bonuses for the 1981 Giro were thirty seconds for first, twenty seconds for second, and ten seconds for third place on the stage.[12][13] This classification is the most important of the race, and its winner is considered as the winner of the Giro.[14]

For the points classification, which awarded a purple (or cyclamen) jersey to its leader, cyclists were given points for finishing a stage in the top 15; additional points could also be won in intermediate sprints. The green jersey was awarded to the mountains classification leader. In this ranking, points were won by reaching the summit of a climb ahead of other cyclists. Each climb was ranked as either first, second or third category, with more points available for higher category climbs. The Cima Coppi, the race's highest point of elevation, awarded more points than the other first category climbs.[14] The Cima Coppi for this Giro was the Tre Cime di Lavaredo.[10] The first rider to cross the Tre Cime di Lavaredo was Swiss rider Beat Breu. The white jersey was worn by the leader of young rider classification, a ranking decided the same way as the general classification, but considering only neo-professional cyclists (in their first three years of professional racing).[14]

Although no jersey was awarded, there was also one classification for the teams, in which the stage finish times of the best three cyclists per team were added; the leading team was the one with the lowest total time.[14] There was another team classification that awarded points to each team based on their riding's finishing position in every stage.[14] The team with the highest total of points was the leader of the classification.[14]

The rows in the following table correspond to the jerseys awarded after that stage was run.

Classification leadership by stage
Stage Winner General classification
Points classification
Mountains classification
Young rider classification Team classification
P Knut Knudsen Knut Knudsen Knut Knudsen not awarded ? not awarded
1a Guido Bontempi Guido Bontempi Giovanni Mantovani
1b Hoonved-Bottecchia Francesco Moser Hoonved-Bottecchia
2 Paolo Rosola Gregor Braun Famcucine-Campagnolo
3 Giuseppe Saronni Francesco Moser
4 Mario Beccia Hoonved-Bottecchia
5 Giuseppe Saronni Giuseppe Saronni Famcucine-Campagnolo
6 Giuseppe Saronni Giuseppe Saronni
7 Palmiro Masciarelli Beat Breu
8 Moreno Argentin Bruno Wolfer
9 Serge Parsani Claudio Bortolotto
10 Gianbattista Baronchelli Giuseppe Faraca Bianchi-Piaggio
11 Giovanni Renosto
12 Moreno Argentin
13 Knut Knudsen Roberto Visentini
14 Francesco Moser Silvano Contini
15 Daniel Gisiger
16 Claudio Torelli
17 Benedetto Patellaro
18 Miguel María Lasa
19 Giovanni Battaglin
20 Beat Breu Giovanni Battaglin
21 Pierino Gavazzi
22 Knut Knudsen
Final Giovanni Battaglin Giuseppe Saronni Claudio Bortolotto Giuseppe Faraca Bianchi-Piaggio

Final standingsEdit

      Denotes the winner of the General classification[3][15]       Denotes the winner of the Mountains classification[3][15]
      Denotes the winner of the Points classification[3][15]

General classificationEdit

Final general classification (1–10)[3][15]
Rank Name Team Time
1   Giovanni Battaglin (ITA)   Inoxpran 104h 50' 36"
2   Tommy Prim (SWE) Bianchi-Piaggio + 38"
3   Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)   Gis Gelati-Campagnolo + 50"
4   Silvano Contini (ITA) Bianchi-Piaggio + 1' 59"
5   Josef Fuchs (SUI) Cilo-Aufina + 2' 19"
6   Roberto Visentini (ITA) Sammontana-Benotto + 5' 37"
7   Alfio Vandi (ITA) Selle San Marco-Gabrielli + 9' 32"
8   Beat Breu (SUI) Cilo-Aufina + 10' 02"
9   Claudio Bortolotto (ITA)   Santini-Selle Italia + 10' 12"
10   Gianbattista Baronchelli (ITA) Bianchi-Piaggio + 12' 01"

Points classificationEdit

Final points classification (1–5)[3][15]
Rider Team Points
1   Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)   Gis Gelati-Campagnolo 215
2   Tommy Prim (SWE) Bianchi-Piaggio 133
3   Giovanni Mantovani (ITA) Hoonved-Bottecchia 127
4   Francesco Moser (ITA) Famcucine-Campagnolo 117
5   Silvano Contini (ITA) Bianchi-Piaggio 112

Mountains classificationEdit

Final mountains classification (1–10)[3][15]
Rider Team Points
1   Claudio Bortolotto (ITA)   Santini-Selle Italia 510
2   Beat Breu (SUI) Cilo-Aufina 500
3   Benedetto Patellaro (ITA) Hoonved-Bottecchia 290
4   Giovanni Battaglin (ITA)   Inoxpran 265
5   Leonardo Natale (ITA) Magniflex-Olmo 180
6   Josef Fuchs (SUI) Cilo-Aufina 150
7   Mario Noris (ITA) Magniflex-Olmo 125
8   Guillermo De La Pena (ESP) Gemeaz Cusin-Zor-Helios 120
  Francesco Moser (ITA) Famcucine-Campagnolo
10   Alfio Vandi (ITA) Selle San Marco-Gabrielli 115

Young rider classificationEdit

Final young rider classification (1–5)[3][15]
Rider Team Time
1   Giuseppe Faraca (ITA) Hoonved-Bottecchia 105h 05' 30"
2   Alberto Minetti (ITA) Famcucine-Campagnolo + 23' 51"
3   George Mount (USA) Sammontana-Benotto + 25' 46"
4   Moreno Argentin (ITA) Sammontana-Benotto + 46' 12"
5   Maurizio Piovani (ITA) Gis Gelati-Campagnolo + 46' 40"

Traguardi Fiat classificationEdit

Final traguardi fiat classification (1–5)[15]
Rider Team Points
1   Paolo Rosola (ITA) Magniflex-Olmo 128
2   Dante Morandi (ITA) Famcucine-Campagnolo 70
3   Giovanni Renosto (ITA) Magniflex-Olmo 48
4   Benny Schepmans (BEL) Safir-Galli-Maillard 33
5   Alessio Antonini (ITA) Santini-Selle Italia 32

Team classificationEdit

Final team classification (1–3)[3][15]
Team Time
1 Bianchi-Piaggio 313h 55' 08"
2 Cilo-Aufina + 25' 01"
3 Inoxpran + 44' 32"

Team points classificationEdit

Final team points classification (1–3)[15]
Team Points
1 Bianchi-Piaggio 189
2 Famcucine-Campagnolo 137
3 Hoonved-Bottecchia 129


With his Giro victory, Battaglin completed the Vuelta–Giro double, the second rider to achieve the feat (Eddy Merckx was the first in 1973).[16] Only 48 days separated the Vuelta's start on 21 April from the Giro's end on 7 June.[16]



  1. ^ "Battaglin: Despues de la <<Vuelta>>... El <<Giro>>" [Battaglin: After the <<Vuelta>>... the <<Giro>>] (PDF) (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo. 8 June 1981. p. 30. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Centotrenta al via" [One hundred and thirty at the start] (PDF). Stampa Sera (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. 13 May 1981. p. 13. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bill and Carol McGann. "1981 Giro d'Italia". Bike Race Info. Dog Ear Publishing. Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  4. ^ "La dernière chance de Franceso Moser" (PDF). La Liberté. 13 May 1981.
  5. ^ "Le Tour cycliste d'Italie débute ce jour par le prologue" (PDF). L'Impartial. 13 May 1981.
  6. ^ Maurizio Caravella (21 February 1981). "Giro, oggi la presentazione" [Tour, Today the Presentation] (PDF). Stampa Sera (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. p. 31. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  7. ^ a b Gian Paolo Ormezzano (22 February 1981). "Il Giro con abbuoni chiama Saronni" [The Giro with rebates called Saronni] (PDF). La Stampa (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. p. 21. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  8. ^ Gino Sala (22 February 1981). "Una corsa dal finale tremendo" [A ride from the tremendous final] (PDF). l'Unità (in Italian). PCI. p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Presentado El Giro – 81" [Presenting the Tour – 81] (PDF). El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo S.A. EFE. 22 February 1981. p. 33. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b c "Le tappe e le montagne" [The stages and the mountains] (PDF). l'Unità (in Italian). PCI. 22 February 1981. p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  11. ^ "Un'avventura di 3873 km" [An Adventure of 3873 km] (PDF). Stampa Sera (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. 13 May 1981. p. 28. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  12. ^ Javier (13 May 1981). "Un <<Giro>> Que <<Fila Prim>>" [A <<Tour>> That <<Fila Prim>>] (PDF). El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). El Mundo Deportivo S.A. p. 24. Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 February 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  13. ^ Gian Paolo Ormezzano (13 May 1981). "Trieste offre al Giro la prima maglia rosa" [Trieste offers the Tour's first pink jersey] (PDF). La Stampa (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. p. 23. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d e f Laura Weislo (13 May 2008). "Giro d'Italia classifications demystified". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gian Paolo Ormezzano (8 June 1981). "Giro: i protagonisti divisi da tre secondi" [Tour: the protagonists divided by three seconds] (PDF). La Stampa (in Italian). Editrice La Stampa. p. 12. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  16. ^ a b Barry Ryan (11 May 2020). "The Smoking Kangaroo: John Trevorrow and the 1981 Giro d'Italia". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Archived from the original on 11 May 2020. Retrieved 11 May 2020.