José Manuel Fuente climbing Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Giro d’Italia 1974

José Manuel Fuente climbing Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Giro d'Italia 1974

1974 Cima Coppi, the Tre Cime was featured in the 20th stage, a 163 km course from Pordenone to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Fuente was wearing the maglia rosa until the 14th stage. But at that stage, which was relatively flat, he lost the jersey to Eddy Merckx (Molteni). In the middle of the stage, Giambattista Baronchelli (SCIC) atacked on the Merckx/Fuente group. Shoertly after, Merckx and Felice Gimondi (Bianchi) also took off. Somehow, Fuente missed the decisive move. It was like Contador’s 2012 Vuelta attack on Rodriguez. Fuente lost 10 minutes 19 seconds, with the chance of winning the Giro. After the stage, Fuente said that he forgot to eat, a surprisingly common mistake inside the pro peloton.

But he kept attacking. He won stage 16. At the 20th stage, ten kilometers from the top of tre Cime, Fuente attacked and won the stage.

Eddy Merckx was the overall winner. Fuente was fifth, 3 min 22 sec behind Merckx.

The documentary movie named “The Greatest Show on Earth” (by Michael Pfleghar and Hans Gottschalk) tells the story of the 1974 Giro d’Italia.

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