BikeRaceInfo: Current and historical race results, plus interviews, bikes, travel, and cycling history

find us on Facebook follow us on twitter See our youtube channel The Story of the Giro d'Italit, volume 1 Cycles BiKyle Schwab Cycles South Salem Cycleworks vintage parts Neugent Cycling Wheels Cycles BiKyle Shade Vise sunglass holder Advertise with us!

Search our site:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter

1963 Giro d'Italia

46th edition: May 19 - June 9

Results, stages with running GC, photos, video and history

1962 Giro | 1964 Giro | Giro d'Italia Database | 1963 Giro Quick Facts | 1963 Giro d'Italia Final GC | Stage results with running GC | The Story of the 1963 Giro d'Italia | Video |

1963 Giro Quick Facts:

4,063 kilometers raced at an average speed of 34.77 km/hr

120 starters and 86 classified finishers

1962 Giro winner Franco Balmamion took over the lead after the stage 12 ascent to Leukerbad, but had to give it up following the stage 16 time trial. The race remained very close, with 24 seconds separating the top five.

Balmamion's brilliantly tactical ride in the mountainous nineteenth stage gave him the final victory. Balmamion became the first rider to successfully defend his Giro Championship since Fausto Coppi in 1953.

Vito Taccone won five difficult stages.

1963 Giro d'Italia Final General Classification:

  1. Franco Balmamion (Carpano): 116hr 50min 16sec
  2. Vittorio Adorni (Cynar) @ 2min 24sec
  3. Giorgio Zancanaro (Spring Oil) @ 3min 15sec
  4. Guido De Rosso (Molteni) @ 6min 34sec
  5. Diego Ronchini (Salvarani) @ 10min 11sec
  6. Vito Taccone (Lygie) @ 11min 50sec
  7. Imerio Massignan (Legnano) @ 16min 52sec
  8. Guido Carlesi (Molteni) @ 17min 8sec
  9. Graziano Battistini (IBAC) @ 23min 38sec
  10. Carlo Brugnami (Gazzola) @ 25min 36sec
  11. Renzo Fontona (IBAC) @ 26mn 16sec
  12. Franco Cribori (Gazzola) @ 32min 2sec
  13. Arnaldo Pambianco (Salvarani) @ 32min 42sec
  14. Vittorio Casati (Legnano) @ 33min 42sec
  15. Jaime Alomar (Cite) @ 35min 45sec
  16. Ernesto Bono (San Pellegrino) @ 38min 5sec
  17. Bruno Mealli (Cynar) @ 40min 0sec
  18. Italo Zilioli (Carpano) @ 41min 6sec
  19. Pietro Partesotti (Lygie) @ 45min 42sec
  20. Giancarlo Ferreti (Legnano) @ 49min 56sec
  21. Marino Fontana (San Pellegrino) @ 50min 23sec
  22. Enzo Moser (San Pellegrino) @ 51min 57sec
  23. Alberto Assirelli (Salvarani) @ 55min 11sec
  24. Roberto Poggiali (Lygie) @ 55min 41sec
  25. Franco Panicelli (IBAC) @ 1hr 0min 59sec
  26. Ercole Baldini (Cynar) @ 1hr 4min 6sec
  27. Angelo Conterno (Carpano) @ 1hr 6min 6sec
  28. Franco Bitossi (Springoil) @ 1hr 7min 45sec
  29. Luigi Maserati (Gazzola) @ 1hr 8min 7sec
  30. Giuseppe Sartore (Carpano) @ 1hr 8min 57sec
  31. Bruno Martinato (Gazzola) @ 1hr 12min 28sec
  32. Germano Barale (Carpano) @ 1hr 16min 27sec
  33. Danilo Ferrari (IBAC) @ 1hr 17min 36sec
  34. Sante Ranucci (Cite) @ 1hr 20min 32sec
  35. Franco Magnani (Salvarani) @ 1hr 24min 10sec
  36. Giancarlo Gentina (Carpano) @ 1hr 24min 34sec
  37. Italo Mazzacurati (Cynar) @ 1hr 28min 16sec
  38. Giancarlo Ceppi (Sprinoil) @ 1hr 30min 50sec
  39. Rino Benedetti (Cynar) @ 1hr 36min 10sec
  40. Arturo Sabbadin (Springoil) @ 1hr 41min 2sec
  41. Peppino Dante (Molteni) @ 1hr 41min 31sec
  42. Antonio Bailetti (Carpano) @ 1hr 43min 33sec
  43. Giuseppe Fallarini (Molteni) @ 1hr 44min 38sec
  44. Giampero Pancini (Lygie) @ 1hr 48min 14sec
  45. Idrio Bui (Lygie) @ 1hr 48min 30sec
  46. Vendriamo Bariviera (Carpano) @ 1hr 54min 0sec
  47. Guido Neri (San Pellegrino) @ 1hr 55min 9sec
  48. Corrado Consigli (Springoil) @ 1hr 55min 9sec
  49. Roberto Falaschi (Molteni) @ 1hr 55min 19sec
  50. Silvano Ciampi (Springoil) @ 1hr 55min 19sec
  51. Mario Minieri (Salvarani) @ 1hr 56min 2sec
  52. Gilberto Vandemiati (Gazzola) @ 1hr 56min 24sec
  53. Giuseppe Fezzardi (Cynar) @ 1hr 58min 32sec
  54. Loris Guernieri (Carpano) @ 1hr 59min 27sec
  55. Lorenzo Carminati (San Pellegrino) @ 2hr 1min 58sec
  56. Battista Babini (Salvarani) @ 2hr 5min 27sec
  57. Vittorio Chiarini (Springoil) @ 2hr 7min 47sec
  58. Luigi Sarti (Salvarani) @ 2hr 11min 18sec
  59. Bruno Gorza (IBAC) @ 2hr 12min 30sec
  60. Jesus Galdeano (Cite) @ 2hr 19min 40sec
  61. Alberto Marzaioli (San Pellegrino) @ 2hr 23min 0sec
  62. Armando Pellegrini (IBAC) @ 2hr 23min 42sec
  63. Emilio Ciolli (Legnano) @ 2hr 26min 17sec
  64. Aldo Pifferi (Lygie) @ 2hr 33min 0sec
  65. Mario Tramontin (IBAC) @ 2hr 35min 26sec
  66. Attilio Moresi (Cynar) @ 2hr 37min 22sec
  67. Nevio Vitali (Springoil) @ 2hr 39min 22sec
  68. Romano Piancastelli (Salvarani) @ 2hr 39min 53sec
  69. Antonio Franchi (Lygie) @ 2hr 40min 40sec
  70. Gabriele Giusti (Salvarani) @ 2hr 46min 21sec
  71. Augusto Marcaletti (Cynar) @ 2hr 50min 28sec
  72. Nello Velucchi (Molteni) @ 3hr 2min 55sec
  73. Alessandro Rimessi (Gazzola) @ 3hr 9min 25sec
  74. Mario Zanchi (Salvarani) @ 3hr 23min 39sec
  75. Luigi Zaimbro (Cite) @ 3hr 24min 15sec
  76. Daniele Alberti (Cite) @ 3hr 24min 33sec
  77. Pierino Baffi (Molteni) @ 3hr 24min 33sec
  78. Ernesto Minetto (IBAC) @ 3hr 33min 30sec
  79. Guerrando Lenzi (Springoil) @ 3hr 34min 23sec
  80. Giacomo Fornoni (Molteni) @ 3hr 35min 57sec
  81. Renato Spinello (Lygie) @ 3hr 57min 57sec
  82. Dino Bruni (Gazzola) @ 3hr 38min 39sec
  83. Luigi Mele (Gazzola) @ 3hr 39min 24sec
  84. Renzo Accordi (Legnano) @ 3hr 46min 43sec
  85. Raffaele Marcoli (Legnano) @ 3hr 55min 14sec
  86. Giuseppe Tonucci (Gazzola) @ 3hr 57min 4sec

Climbers' Competition:

  1. Vito Taccone (Lygie): 520 points
  2. Giorgio Zancanaro (San Pellegrino): 120
  3. Franco Bitossi (Springoil): 100

Team Classification:

  1. Carpano
  2. Lygie
  3. Cynar

1963 Giro stage results with running GC:

Sunday, May 19: Stage 1, Napoli - Potenza, 182 km

  1. Vittorio Adorni: 4hr 57min 42sec
  2. Edgard Sorgeloos @ 2min 46sec
  3. Franco Cribiori s.t.
  4. Huub Zilverberg s.t.
  5. Guido De Rosso s.t.
  6. Carlo Brugnami s.t.
  7. Imerio Massignan s.t.
  8. Franco Balmamion s.t.
  9. Angelo Conterno s.t.
  10. Giorgio Zancanaro s.t.

Monday, May 20: Stage 2, Potenza - Bari, 183 km

  1. Pierino Baffi: 4hr 41min 50sec
  2. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  3. Vendramino Bariviera s.t.
  4. Armando Pellegrini s.t.
  5. Antonio Franchi s.t.
  6. Antonio Bailetti s.t.
  7. Pietro Partesotti s.t.
  8. Giuseppe Sartore s.t.
  9. Raffaele Marcoli s.t.
  10. Franco Bitossi s.t.

GC after stage 2:

  1. Vittorio Adorni: 9h4 44min 34sec
  2. Diego Ronchini @ 31sec
  3. Angelo Conterno, Franco Cribori, Guido de Rosso, Carlo Brugnami, Imerio Massignan, Arnaldo Pambianco, Franco Balmamion, Giorgio Zancanzaro @ 2min 46sec

Tuesday, May 21: Stage 3, Bari - Campobasso, 252 km

  1. Jaime Alomar: 7hr 28min 42sec
  2. Ernesto Bono @ 3min 40sec
  3. Graziano Battistini s.t.
  4. Roberto Poggiali s.t.
  5. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 25sec
  6. Franco Bitossi @ 4min 40sec
  7. Antonio Bailetti @ 5min 0sec
  8. Carlo Brugnami @ 5min 14sec
  9. Diego Ronchini s.t.
  10. Angelo Conterno s.t.

GC after stage 3:

  1. Vittorio Adorni: 17hr 20min 28sec
  2. Diego Ronchini, Angelo Conterno, Franco Cribori, Guido De Rosso, Carlo Brugnami, Imerio Massignan, Arnaldo Pambianco, Franco Balmamion, Giorgio Zancanaro @ 31sec

Wednesday, May 22: Stage 4, Campobasso - Pescara, 210km

Major ascents: Rionero Sannatico, Roccaraso

  1. Guido Carlesi: 6hr 31min 52sec
  2. Vito Taccone s.t.
  3. Imerio Massignan s.t.
  4. Ernesto Bono s.t.
  5. Arnaldo Pambianco s.t.
  6. Carlo Brugnami s.t.
  7. Giorgio Zancanaro s.t.
  8. Franco Cribori s.t.
  9. Vittorio Casati s.t.
  10. Guide De Rosso s.t.

GC after Stage 4:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 24hr 1min 51sec
  2. Franco Cribori, Carlo Brugnami, Giorgio Zancanaro, Imerio Massignan, Guido De Rosso, Arnaldo Pambianco, Franco Balmamion @ 2min 13sec
  3. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 12sec
  4. Ernesto Bono @ 5min 27sec

Thursday, May 23: Stage 5, Pescara - Viterbo, 263 km

  1. Vendramino Bariviera: 7hr 53min 24sec
  2. Marino Fontana s.t.
  3. Bruno Mealli s.t.
  4. Vito Taccone s.t.
  5. Gastone Nencini s.t.
  6. Graziano Battistini s.t.
  7. Giancarlo Gentina s.t.
  8. Giancarlo Ferretti s.t.
  9. Arturo Sabbadin s.t.
  10. Carlo Chiappano s.t.

GC after Stage 5:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 31hr 56min 34sec
  2. Carlo Brugnami, Franco Cribori, Guido De Rosso, Imerio Massignan, Franco Balmamion, Arnaldo Pambianco, Giorgio Zancanaro @ 2mn 13sec
  3. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 12sec
  4. Ernesto Bono @ 5min 27sec

Friday, May 24: Stage 6, Bolsena - Arezzo, 192 km

  1. Vendramino Bariviera: 5hr 46min 53sec
  2. Aldo Pifferi s.t.
  3. Mario Zanchi s.t.
  4. Mario Minieri s.t.
  5. Marino Fontana s.t.
  6. Guido Carlesi s.t.
  7. Antonio Bailetti s.t.
  8. Dino Bruni s.t.
  9. Giancarlo Gentina s.t.
  10. Luigi Zanchetta s.t.

GC after Stage 6:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 37hr 43min 1sec
  2. Carlo Brugnami, Franco Cribori, Guido De Rosso, Arnaldo Pambianco, Imerio Massignan, Franco Balmamion, Giorgio Zancanaro s.t. @ 2min 13sec
  3. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 12sec
  4. Ernesto Bobo @ 5min 27sec

Saturday, May 25: Stage 7, Arezzo - Riolo Terme, 173 km

Major ascent: Cella di Casaglia

  1. Nino Defilippis: 4hr 25min 47sec
  2. Jaime Alomar s.t.
  3. Giancarlo Ceppi s.t.
  4. Vittorio Adorni s.t.
  5. Guido Carlesi @ 1min 40sec
  6. Carlos Brugnami s.t.
  7. Antonio Bailetti s.t.
  8. Giorgio Zancanaro s.t.
  9. Nevio Vitali s.t.
  10. Franco Balmamion s.t.

GC after Stage 7:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 42hr 11min 8sec
  2. Carlo Brugnami, Giorgio Zancanaro, Guido De Rosso, Franco Balmamion @ 2min 13sec
  3. Franco Cribori, Imerio Massignan, Arnaldo Pambianco @ 2min 51sec
  4. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 12sec
  5. Vittorio Adorni @ 5min 51sec

Sunday, May 26: Stage 8, Riolo Terme - Salsomaggiore, 203 km

  1. Adriano Durante: 5hr 14min 2sec
  2. Loris Guernieri s.t.
  3. Giuseppe Fezzardi s.t.
  4. Giovanni Garau s.t.
  5. Danilo Ferrari s.t.
  6. Rino Benedetti @ 1sec
  7. Silvano Ciampi s.t.
  8. Antonio Bailetti s.t.
  9. Vito Taccone @ 15sec
  10. Pierino Baffi @ 1min 5sec

GC after Stage 8:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 47hr 26min 53sec
  2. Carlo Brugnami, Giorgio Zacanaro, Guido De Rosso, Franco Balmamion @ 2min 13sec
  3. Franco Cribori, Imerio Massignan, Arnaldo Pambianco @ 2min 51sec
  4. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 12sec
  5. Vittorio Adorni @ 5min 51sec

Monday, May 27: Stage 9, Salsomaggiore - La Spezia, 173 km

Major ascents: Cisa, Rastrello

  1. Giorgio Zancanaro: 4hr 49min 35sec
  2. Guido Carlesi @ 19sec
  3. Gastone Nencini s.t.
  4. Guido De Rosso s.t.
  5. Giancarlo Ceppi s.t.
  6. Diego Ronchini s.t.
  7. Jaime Alomar @ 31sec
  8. Vito Taccone s.t.
  9. Marino Fontana
  10. Giuseppe Sartore s.t.

GC after Stage 9:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 52hr 18min 17sec
  2. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 1mn 56sec
  3. Guido De Rosso @ 2min 13sec
  4. Carlo Brugnami, Franco Balmamion @ 2min 27sec
  5. Carlo Cribori, Imerio Massignan @ 3min 3sec
  6. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 12sec
  7. Vittorio Adorni @ 6min 3sec
  8. Ernesto Bono @ 6min 38sec

Tuesday, May 28: Stage 10, La Spezia - Asti, 225 km

  1. Vito Taccone: 6hr 19min 1sec
  2. Silvano Ciampi s.t.
  3. Renzo Fontona s.t.
  4. Armando Pellegrini s.t.
  5. Luigi Mele s.t.
  6. Giuseppe Fallarini s.t.
  7. Luigi Zaimbro s.t.
  8. Antonio Bailetti @ 2min 31sec
  9. Giuseppe Fezzardi s.t.
  10. Danilo Ferrari s.t.

GC after Stage 10:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 58hr 40min 28sec
  2. Giorgio Zacanaro @ 1min 56sec
  3. Guido De Rosso @ 2min 13sec
  4. Franco Balmamion, Carlo Brunami @ 2min 27sec
  5. Carlo Cribori, Imerio Massignan @ 3min 3sec
  6. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 12sec
  7. Vittorio Adorni @ 6min 3sec
  8. Ernesto Bono @ 6min 38sec

Wednesday, May 29: Stage 11, Asti - Santuario Oropa, 130 km

Major ascent: Oropa

  1. Vito Taccone: 3hr 26min 42sec
  2. Vittorio Adorni @ 3sec
  3. Franco Balmamion @ 9sec
  4. Bruno Martinato @ 22sec
  5. Renzo Fontona @ 40sec
  6. Guido De Rosso s.t.
  7. Giorgio Zacanaro @ 46sec
  8. Giuseppe Fezzardi s.t.
  9. Carlo Brugnami @ 56sec
  10. Guido Carlesi @ 1min 5sec

GC after Stage 11:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 62hr 9min 19sec
  2. Fraqnco Balmamion @ 29sec
  3. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 33sec
  4. Guido De Rosso @ 46sec
  5. Carlo Brugnami @ 2min 39sec
  6. Imerio Massignan @ 2min 39sec
  7. Carlo Cribori @ 3min 3sec
  8. Guido Carlesi @ 3min 8sec
  9. Vittorio Adorni @ 3min 57sec
  10. Ernesto Bono @ 8min 11sec

Thursday, May 30: Stage 12, Biella - Leukerbad, 214 km

Major ascents: Sempione, Leukerbad

  1. Vito Taccone: 6hr 18min 10sec
  2. Vittorio Adorni s.t.
  3. Giorgio Zancanaro s.t.
  4. Guido De Rosso s.t.
  5. Franco Balmamion s.t.
  6. Carlo Brugnami @ 1min 22sec
  7. Guido Carlesi s.t.
  8. Diego Ronchini s.t.
  9. Pietro Partesotti s.t.
  10. Marino Fontana s.t.

GC after Stage 12:

  1. Franco Balmamion: 68hr 28min 7sec
  2. Giorgio Zacanaro @ 4sec
  3. Guido De Rosso @ 17sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 52sec
  5. Carlo Brugnami @ 2min 7sec
  6. Vittorio Adorni @ 3min 28sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 4min 1sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 5min 43sec
  9. Carlo Cribori @ 6min 13sec
  10. Ernesto Bono @ 10min 27sec

Friday, May 31: Stage 13, Leukerbad - Saint Vincent, 152 km

Major ascent: Gran San Bernardo

  1. Vito Taccone: 4hr 34min 26sec
  2. Giorgio Zacanaro s.t.
  3. Franco Balmamion s.t.
  4. Marino Fontana s.t.
  5. Guido De Rosso s.t.
  6. Vittorio Adorni s.t.
  7. Diego Ronchini s.t.
  8. Carlo Cribori @ 4min 22sec
  9. Angelo Conterno s.t.
  10. Imerio Massignan s.t.

GC after Stage 13:

  1. Franco Balmamion: 73hr 2min 33sec
  2. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 4sec
  3. Guido De Rosso @ 17sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 53sec
  5. Vittorio Adorni @ 3min 28sec
  6. Carlo Brugnami @ 6min 28sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 8min 23sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 10min 5sec
  9. Carlo Cribori @ 10min 35sec
  10. Vito Taccone @ 11min 10sec

Saturday, June 1: Stage 14: Saint Vincent - Cremona, 260 km

  1. Marino Vigna: 6hr 45min 26sec
  2. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  3. Vendramino Bariviera s.t.
  4. Dino Bruni s.t.
  5. Giovanni Garau s.t.
  6. Bruno Mealli s.t.
  7. Romano Piancastelli s.t.
  8. Silvano Ciampi s.t.
  9. Pierino Baffi s.t.
  10. Franco Magnani s.t.

GC after Stage 14:

  1. Franco Balmamion: 79hr 30min 41sec
  2. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 4sec
  3. Guido De Rosso @ 17sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 53sec
  5. Vittorio Adorni @ 3min 26sec
  6. Carlo Brugnami @ 6min 28sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 8min 23sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 10min 5sec
  9. Carlo Cribori @ 10min 35sec
  10. Vito Taccone @ 11min 10sec

Sunday, June 2: Stage 15, Mantova - Treviso, 155 km

  1. Franco Magnani (time of 7hr 30min 21sec is clearly wrong given the 155 km stage and the change to GC)
  2. Dino Bruni @ 2sec
  3. Antonio Bailetti s.t.
  4. Aldo Pifferi s.t.
  5. Giacomo Fornoni s.t.
  6. Jaime Alomar s.t.
  7. Mario Minieri s.t.
  8. Mazzacurati s.t.
  9. Nevio Vitali s.t.
  10. Giovanni Garau s.t.

GC after Stage 15:

  1. Franco Balmamion: 83hr 30min 15sec
  2. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 4sec
  3. Guido De Rosso @ 17sec
  4. Diego Ronchini @ 53sec
  5. Vittorio Adorni @ 3min 26sec
  6. Carlo Brugnami @ 6min 28sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 8min 23sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 10min 5sec
  9. Carlo Cribori @ 10min 35sec
  10. Vito Taccone @ 11min 10sec

Monday, June 3: Rest Day

Tuesday, June 4: Stage 16, Treviso 56 km individual time trial

  1. Vittorio Adorni: 1hr 11min 0sec
  2. Ercole Baldini @ 47sec
  3. Diego Ronchini @ 2min 33sec
  4. Guido De Rosso @ 3min 28sec
  5. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 3min 32sec
  6. Antonio Bailetti s.t.
  7. Franco Balmamion @ 3min 50sec
  8. Guido Carlesi @ 3min 52sec
  9. Loris Guernieri @ 3min 55sec
  10. Carlo Brugnami @ 4min 32sec
  11. Arnaldo Pambianco @ 4min 50sec
  12. Graziano Battistini @ 5min 6sec

GC after Stage 16:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 84hr 30min 41sec
  2. Vittorio Adorni @ 2sec
  3. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 10sec
  4. Guido De Rosso @ 16sec
  5. Franco Balmamion @ 24sec
  6. Carlo Brugnami @ 7min 35sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 8min 49sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 13min 47sec
  9. Graziano Battistini @ 14min 4sec
  10. Vito Taccone @ 15min 9sec

Wednesday, June 5: Stage 17, Treviso - Gorizia, 213 km

  1. Vendramino Bariviera: 5hr 34min 30sec
  2. Battista Babini @ 4sec
  3. Italo Zilioli s.t.
  4. Pietro Partesotti s.t.
  5. Armando Pellegrini s.t.
  6. Giuseppe Tonucci s.t.
  7. Vito Taccone @ 51sec
  8. Jaime Alomar s.t.
  9. Marino Fontana s.t.
  10. Giorgio Zacanaro @ 54sec

GC after Stage 17:

  1. Diego Ronchini: 90hr 26min 5sec
  2. Vittorio Adorni @ 2sec
  3. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 10sec
  4. Guido De Rosso @ 16sec
  5. Franco Balmamion @ 24sec
  6. Carlo Brugnami @ 7min 48sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 9min 2sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 14min 0sec
  9. Graziano Battistini @ 14min 4sec
  10. Vito Taccone @ 15min 6sec

Thursday, June 6: Stage 18, Gorizia - Nevegal, 253 km

Major ascents: Zovo, Nevegal

  1. Arnaldo Pambianco: 7hr 23min 4sec
  2. Italo Zilioli @ 25sec
  3. Franco Balmamion @ 54sec
  4. Vittorio Adorni s.t.
  5. Vito Taccone @ 1min 37sec
  6. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 1min 42sec
  7. Imerio Massignan @ 1min 53sec
  8. Guido De Rosso @ 1min 57sec
  9. Armando Pellegrini @ 2min 21sec
  10. Marino Fontana @ 2min 16sec
  11. Diego Ronchini @ 2min 34sec
  12. Guido Carlesi s.t.

GC after Stage 18:

  1. Vittorio Adorni: 97hr 50min 5sec
  2. Franco Balmamion @ 22sec
  3. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 56sec
  4. Guido De Rosso @ 1min 19sec
  5. Diego Ronchini @ 1min 38sec
  6. Carlo Brugnami @ 9min 49sec
  7. Guido Carlesi @ 10min 40sec
  8. Imerio Massignan @ 14min 57sec
  9. Vito Taccone @ 15min 47sec
  10. Graziano Battistini @ 16min 16sec

Friday, June 7: Stage 19, Belluno - Moena, 194 km

Major ascents: Duran, Staulanza, Cereda, Rolle, Valles, San Pellegrino

  1. Vito Taccone: 7hr 44min 11sec
  2. Enzo Moser @ 4min 7sec
  3. Franco Balmamion s.t.
  4. Imerio Massignan @ 6min 24sec
  5. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 6min 48sec
  6. Vittorio Adorni @ 6min 53sec
  7. Italo Zilioli s.t.
  8. Franco Bitossi @ 6min 54sec
  9. Jaime Alomar @ 8min 14sec
  10. Guido De Rosso @ 9min 46sec

GC after Stage 19:

  1. Franco Balmamion: 105hr 38min 45sec
  2. Vittorio Adorni @ 2min 24sec
  3. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 3min 15sec
  4. Guido De Rosso @ 6min 34sec
  5. Diego Ronchini @ 9min 11sec
  6. Vito Taccone @ 11min 18sec
  7. Imerio Massignan @ 16min 32sec
  8. Guido Carlesi @ 16min 41sec
  9. Graziano Battistini @ 25min 11sec
  10. Carlo Burgnami @ 25min 36sec

Saturday, June 8: Stage 20, Moena - Lumezzane, 240 km

  1. Guido Carlesi: 7hr 33min 28sec
  2. Franco Bitossi s.t.
  3. Graziano Battistini s.t.
  4. Giancarlo Gentina s.t.
  5. Armando Pellegrini s.t.
  6. Ernesto Bono s.t.
  7. Arturo Sabbadin @ 5sec
  8. Gilberto Vendemiati s.t.
  9. Giuseppe Fallarini @ 26sec
  10. Marino Fontana @ 39sec

GC after Stage 20:

  1. Franco Balmamion: 113hr 13min 46sec
  2. Vittorio Adorni @ 2min 24sec
  3. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 3min 15sec
  4. Guido De Rosso @ 6min 34sec
  5. Diego Ronchini @ 10min 11sec
  6. Vito Taccone @ 11min 50sec
  7. Imerio Massignan @ 16min 52sec
  8. Guido Carlesi @ 17min 8sec
  9. Graziano Battistini @ 23min 38sec
  10. Carlo Brugnami @ 25min 30sec

Sunday, June 9: 21st and Final Stage, Brescia - Milano, 130 km

  1. Antonio Bailetti: 3hr 30min 30sec
  2. Rino Benedetti s.t.
  3. Dino Bruni s.t.
  4. Vendramino Bariviera s.t.
  5. Aldo Pifferi s.t.
  6. Ernesto Bono s.t.
  7. Marino Fontana s.t.
  8. Armando Pellegrini s.t.
  9. Luigi Sarti s.t.
  10. Silvano Ciampi s.t.

Complete Final 1963 Giro d'Italia General Classification

The Story of the 1963 Giro d'Italia

This excerpt is from "The Story of the Giro d'Italia", Volume 1. If you enjoy it we hope you will consider purchasing the book, either print or electronic. The Amazon link here will make either purchase easy.

 The players in this race were almost the same as the year before with Balmamion and Defilippis on Carpano. Carpano made a good move by including a young rider they had signed up in September, Italo Zilioli. In his first full year as a pro, the startlingly slender Zilioli would win five major races. After a difficult, winless start to the 1963 season, Zilioli was nevertheless put on Carpano’s Giro squad. He told us, “I was considered promising but also an unknown quantity, so I was left free, without the specific commitments of a gregario.”

For some reason Giacotto seemed to have gotten the idea into his head that Defilippis would be willing to work for Balmamion in the General Classification or be content with stage wins, even though Defilippis had made it entirely clear that he felt robbed of his rightful place as the team leader. In 1962 he was the reigning Italian Champion and one of the world’s most accomplished road riders. To think that over the winter he would reconsider his position and relinquish his personal ambitions was an odd bit of wishful thinking. Zilioli said that Balmamion was the team’s undisputed General Classification leader and that Defilippis and Vendramino Bariviera were to race for stage wins.

The Legnano team no longer had the money to keep two great riders on the payroll so they kept Massignan, and Battistini moved to IBAC.

Like 1962, this edition was almost entirely an Italian race with van Looy’s GBC squad the only foreigners. Italo Zilioli was kind enough to throw some light on the 1963 Giro. When asked about the lack of foreign participation in Giri of the early 1960s, he explained: “Koblet and Gaul, who left their mark in the Giro, were fading away. While other great riders such as Bobet and Bahamontes won the Tour in those years, they never led at the Giro. And Poulidor never even took part in it. Thus the only foreign racer who inspired fear in those years at the Giro was Anquetil. In 1962 and 1963 he didn’t participate, for reasons that could have been either personal or because of sponsors’ demands. The Giri of those two years were open and hard-fought competitions where the young Italian racers could show their skills.”

It is interesting to look at the names of some of the Directors Sportif of the 1963 Giro teams. Nencini’s Springoil-Fuchs squad was bossed by the soon-to-be-legendary framebuilder Faliero Masi, Gazzola by Luciano Pezzi who would go on to run the Salvarani teams of Felice Gimondi of the 1960s and early 1970s as well as Mercatone Uno with Marco Pantani in the 1990s. Van Looy’s GBC squad was run by Guillaume Driessens who would gain fame later as Merckx’s director (and whom Merckx detested). Legnano still had Eberardo Pavesi, now in his 80s and thought by some of his riders to have lost his edge. Molteni’s Giorgio Albani had also achieved fame as a racer and would also go on to manage Merckx.

Taccone’s Lygie team was directed by the highly experienced Alfredo Sivocci who was now over 70. Battistini’s IBAC team was managed by Pino Favero, whose career had been largely spent as a Coppi gregario. Another former Coppi lieutenant, Michele Gismondi, directed the minor Cite team. And of course there was Ettore Milano as the on-the-road director assisting Giacotto with running the explosive Carpano team of Balmamion and Defilippis.

Italian racing was undergoing a ferocious dispute which was nowhere near being resolved when the Giro began on May 19. In 1963 the Italian Championship was for the third time decided by the Giro di Romagna, held on April 25. Cynar rider Bruno Mealli won the title in front of Pierino Baffi and Marino Fontana. Mealli showed up to start the first Giro stage in Naples in a tricolore jersey, as was his privilege. Meanwhile the Italian League of Professionals was trying to assert its independence and named Marino Fontana, the best finishing member of the league, the Italian Champion. He too, showed up in Naples looking good in a maglia biancorossoverde.

This was an impossible situation and the dispute blazed white-hot. The Italian Cycling Federation wanted CONI (the Italian Olympic Committee, an organization with wide powers over Italian cycling) to suspend the Giro, holding that the race could not continue with two riders wearing the Italian Champion’s jersey. By the fifth stage the judges had abandoned the race. The Giro looked to be about dead. But this was Italy where a crisis that is judged by all to be immediately and extremely fatal (yes, in Italy there can be degrees of death) can instead carry on seemingly forever. At the end of the fifth stage representatives of the League met in Rome with those of the Federation. The result was an agreement that Mealli was the champion and furthermore, the rules involving professional racing would be reformed. The Giro was saved and the judges returned to the race. It wasn’t all hearts and flowers, as Fontana and his San Pellegrino team, furious over what they viewed as an unfair resolution, quit the race. It was decided those San Pellegrino riders who wanted to continue riding the Giro, could. They rode as the Squadra Nera (Black Team), wearing black jerseys. The able Giorgio Zancanaro chose to don a black jersey and try to win the Giro.

The original design for the 1963 route had a Venice start, but a grand shuffling of the stages ended up with the Giro leaving from Naples and heading to Italy’s deep south, with the first stage finishing way down in Potenza.

The man who the year before had won the big fifteenth stage to Aprica (but which hadn’t affected the standings) and come in fifth overall laid down the law in this year’s first stage. Vittorio Adorni broke away and soloed in 2 minutes 46 seconds ahead of a group of eleven chasers. The pursuing group included Balmamion, Massignan, Pambianco, Zancanaro and Guido De Rosso. Ronchini arrived alone 5 minutes 32 seconds after Adorni while Carlesi and Zilioli were another minute behind. The rest of the pack started dribbling in nine minutes after Adorni. It was an impressive ride that gave the young man from Parma the year’s first maglia rosa.

Adorni chased by Taccone

Vittorio Adorni tries to escape, chased by Vito Taccone

But he wasn’t yet quite the heads-up savvy tactician he would later become. It takes time to learn one’s craft. The next day he squandered most of his advantage when he missed a break containing Ronchini, losing five minutes. Adorni was still in pink, but now by only 31 seconds over Ronchini. In stage four he again let a move with most of the contenders get away. His eight-minute loss in this stage was tragic, given the final finishing times. That day he lost the Giro. Ronchini took the lead with Zancanaro, Massignan, Pambianco and Balmamion among the next seven riders who were tied, all a little more than two minutes behind Ronchini.

That next day, the day the Italian Championship dispute was settled, had an interesting podium: Vendramino Bariviera won the stage, but Fontana was second and Mealli was third.

It was in stage seven, going from Arezzo to the Emilia-Romagna village of Riolo Terme, that Carpano’s gamble of including Nino Defilippis in their Giro team came up snake eyes. Four excellent racers broke away: Adorni, Defilippis, Giancarlo Ceppi and Jaime Alomar. Normally, team tactics would assume that Defilippis would sit in on the other three riders as Adorni, even with his time loss, was a dangerous rival to Balmamion’s General Classification ambitions. Still, Defilippis put his shoulder to the wheel and helped the break beat the chasing Balmamion group by 100 seconds. Defilippis won the stage and Adorni was now in the top ten at 5 minutes 51 seconds.

The often-betrayed Balmamion was livid. There was no explanation given beyond the usual formulaic one of a sudden onset of illness, but Defilippis did not start stage eight.

Hold on. Zilioli says it wasn’t that way. I asked him if the other Carpano riders chased the break and if Defilippis had been sent home by the team management. His answer:“I can only say that Balmamion’s adversary was not Defilippis but Adorni. Nino Defilippis’ role in that break was not to work for the team but to win the stage. The Giro still had a long way to go and in the other teams Balmamion found several good adversaries of Adorni, such as De Rosso and Zancanaro [I assume that means ad hoc allies]. I believe that Defilippis withdrew for some kind of physical problems. For sure he was not removed by Giacotto.”

The real fight for the right to wear the maglia rosa in Milan commenced in stage eleven, going from Asti up to the Santuario di Oropa in Piedmont. While the hilltop finish allowed Balmamion to shine, it was Vito Taccone who was riding in a state of grace. He had lost gobs of time earlier in the race but now he was on fire. He had won stage ten to Asti and now beat everyone to Oropa.

When they arrived in Oropa, Adorni was close to Taccone’s heels at 3 seconds and Balmamion was third, 9 seconds back. Ronchini showed signs of his vulnerability in the upcoming mountains stage by placing 30th, 2 minutes 9 seconds behind Taccone.

That shook up the General Classification:
1. Diego Ronchini
2. Franco Balmamion @ 29 seconds
3. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 33 seconds
4. Guido De Rosso @ 46 seconds
5. Carlo Brugnami @ 1 minute 14 seconds

The next day was a more difficult session of racing in the high Alps. The race left Biella in Piedmont and went north over the Sempione Pass and kept going all the way to Leukerbad in Switzerland. The best five riders: Taccone, Adorni, Zancanaro, De Rosso and Balmamion finished together with Taccone getting his third stage win in a row while Ronchini lost another 82 seconds. Balmamion was in pink and Adorni had come back from the dead, fighting his way back to sixth place.

This was turning into a terrifically close race:
1. Franco Balmamion
2. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 4 seconds
3. Guido De Rosso @ 17 seconds
4. Diego Ronchini @ 52 seconds
5. Carlo Brugnami @ 2 minutes 7 seconds
6. Vittorio Adorni @ 3 minutes 28 seconds

Stage thirteen went south, back into Italy over the Gran San Bernardo pass. The winning break of seven contained the top five Classification riders and again, for the fourth time in a row Taccone took the win. There was no change to the top ranks in the Overall, except that Taccone had moved up to tenth place, eleven minutes behind Balmamion.

Battistini and Pambianco

Graziano Battistini and Arnaldo Pambianco

A big fuga di bidone succeeded in stage fifteen that finished in Treviso. Zilioli was in it, but he got a message from one of the motorcyclists that his director wanted him to leave the break and go back to the pack. Upon being reabsorbed by the field, he couldn’t find who needed him so badly that he had to leave a break that finished fifteen minutes ahead of the field. We asked him if he ever found out who sent the message.

“Giacotto was our manager and supervisor, while Milano was the Director Sportif who decided the strategy during the race. That was an inexplicable episode. In the evening Giacotto said he was not the one who told the motorcyclist to stop me. Very likely it was a bad joke on a young racer who was starting to stand out. I did what I was told, believing that I was being correct and respecting my place in the team. But today, with a cold mind, I see that even if I had stayed in the break, Balmamion wouldn’t have been at risk in that stage, which was flat and without difficulties. The only thing that I regret is that had I stayed in the break I could have finished the Giro in seventh or eighth place.”

The race turned eastward. Before climbing the Dolomites the riders had to ride the stage sixteen individual time trial. At 56 kilometers it was more than long enough to affect the race’s outcome. Adorni was always good at these events and this was no exception, he beat Ercole Baldini by almost a minute.

Fortunately for Balmamion the 1962 edition hadn’t had a time trial, but there was no such luck for Franco this year. He lost 3 minutes 50 seconds. The time trial’s effect was to actually tighten the race up even further.
1. Diego Ronchini
2. Vittorio Adorni @ 2 seconds
3. Giorgio Zancanaro @ 10 seconds
4. Guido De Rosso @ 16 seconds
5. Franco Balmamion @ 24 seconds

There were now two Dolomite stages left. Given the paper-thin time differences, the 1963 Giro could go to any of the five classification leaders. Zilioli said that during the first half of the race he had been suffering and, while usually a natural climber, he was unable to stay with the front groups during the climbs. By the third week he found his legs and was in the thick of the action during the most important stages.

Stage eighteen was 248 kilometers long with an ascent of the 1480-meter high Zovo before finishing at the Nevegal ski resort. Pambianco won the stage but Balmamion and Adorni finished together, about a minute later. Ronchini came in eleventh, two and a half minutes behind Pambianco. That cost him his Pink Jersey, which Adorni assumed with a 22 second lead over Balmamion.
This was a stage race planner’s dream. The top five riders were within 98 seconds of each other with one last, magnificent mountain stage to decide the race’s outcome. Over the next 194 kilometers the riders had to get over six major passes: Duran, Staulanza, Cereda, Rolle, Valles and San Pellegrino. This was the same route as 1962’s stage fourteen which had to be shortened because of bad weather.

Taccone took off early in the stage with Zilioli and Enzo Moser for company. Partway into the stage Zilioli let the two go, his job was to be ahead of the peloton and available in case his team captain Balmamion needed him. Taccone was first over all six climbs and won the stage. Further back Adorni asked Balmamion for help chasing Taccone. Balmamion declined, deciding in a high-stakes gamble to let Adorni, the maglia rosa, do the work. Joop Zoetemelk tried this same strategy once in the Tour and lost his bet because he insisted on sitting on a Yellow Jersey who simply could not close the gap. Balmamion was too good a tactician to make that mistake. After using Adorni to close in on Taccone, he took off, dropping Adorni and passing Zilioli, but Taccone was not to be caught that day. Balmamion finished with Moser and regained the lead. Adorni, with Zilioli, finished 2 minutes 46 seconds behind Balmamion. That was the race.

Franco Balmamion

Franco Balmamion, the new maglia rosa

Taccone’s winning five road stages, some of them over the most difficult racing terrain in cycling, was a historic accomplishment and elevated him to sixth place in the General Classification.

If Adorni hadn’t suffered that tragic loss of time in stage four when he let most of the contenders ride away, it’s likely he would have won the Giro. And if frogs had pockets they could carry guns.

Balmamion rode a faultless race and became the first rider since Coppi to win consecutive Giri.

1963 was a media milestone for the Giro. Now the final ten kilometers of each stage were televised live.

Final 1963 Giro d’Italia General Classification:
1. Franco Balmamion (Carpano) 116 hours 50 minutes 16 seconds
2. Vittorio Adorni (Cynar) @ 2 minutes 24 seconds
3. Giorgio Zancanaro (San Pellegrino/Squadra Nera) @ 3 minutes 15 seconds
4. Giorgio De Rosso (Molteni) @ 6 minutes 34 seconds
5. Diego Ronchini (Salvarani) @ 10 minutes 11 seconds
6. Vito Taccone (Lygie) @ 11 minutes 50 seconds

Climbers’ Competition:
1. Vito Taccone (Lygie)
2. Giorgio Zancanaro (San Pellegrino/Squadra Nera)
3. Franco Bitossi (Springoil-Fuchs)

When asked about the troubles within the Carpano team, Zilioli’s reply was direct:
“I consider the supposed rivalry between Balmamion and Defilippis in the Carpano team just hype, because the two champions were too different. Balmamion was suited for stage races, even though he won an Italian Championship. Defilippis was instead suited for Classic races and for single stage wins.
“I knew I was part of a great team with great champions. Nevertheless, for the skills I showed as amateur, I was left free to race, while still respecting the team’s hierarchy.
“I wanted to show off and take the lead as every young racer does, but I didn’t make ambitious plans. I always tried to do my best, in order to feel good about myself, but without overemphasizing things.”

That summer and fall Zilioli sent all of Italy into ecstasy when he won the Tre Valle Varesine, Tour of the Apennines, Tour of Veneto and the Tour of Emilia. It was a magnificent run, especially for a neo-pro, and the tifosi were sure that finally the good God had sent them another Coppi. He hadn’t.

Italian video of the 1963 Giro d'Italia