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Alberto Minetti: YOUNG, GIFTED… & BROKEN

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Thirty-four years ago a horrific accident extinguished a luminous talent. Procycling recalls Alberto Minetti, the champion who never was…
Writer: Herbie Sykes
Procycling #204, June 2015

On the morning of Monday 10 August 1981, a first-year professional cyclist named Alberto Minetti took a call from his sports director. Minetti was due to ride the Giro del Friuli on the Thursday, for his Famcucine team. However, venerable old Luciano Pezzi now informed him that, all things considered, he’d be as well to give it a miss. Two days earlier he’d climbed off at the Coppa Placci in Imola, just as he’d climbed off at his two previous races. It had been a long, hard season, Pezzi informed him, and the workload was clearly catching up with him. Hugely gifted or otherwise, Minetti was running on empty. There was no value in him driving 500 kilometres to Pordenone for another pasting.

Best, therefore, that he turn his legs over at home for 10 days. That way he’d be fresh at Tre Valli Varesine, the f…