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Giro rebel Magni dies at 91

Fiorenzo Magni, one of the most controversial names from Italian cycling, died yesterday at the age of 91.

The Tuscan won the Giro D'Italia in 1948, 1951 and 1955. Magni, who joined Mussolini's National Fascist Party in 1943, was part of the golden age of Italian cycling.

He will arguably best be remembered for an extraordinary act of bravery on the 1956 Giro when he broke his collarbone and carried on racing. Tying a rope to his bike and holding it with his teeth in order to give himself pedalling leverage, he amazingly finished second overall.

A controversial figure, Magni was accused of cheating his way to his first Giro victory. He was docked two minutes for being helped up the Pordoi mountain stage amid claims fans had been strategically placed to push him up the hill.

Magni was banned from cycling in 1946 and later put on trial for allegedly fighting partisans in Tuscany.


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