Alfredo Binda

Alfredo Binda (11 August 1902 – 19 July 1986) was an Italian cyclist of the 1920s and 1930s, later trainer of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali. Binda was the first multiple Giro d'Italia champion, securing five victories between 1925 and 1933 that redefined the way stage races were ridden. Handsome, rugged and talented, Alfredo Binda was undoubtedly the first superstar of the Giro d'Italia. A popular rider, Binda essentially became the archetypal modern stage racer way before his time. The legacy he left cycling with was his ability to combine the strength of a one-day Classics rider with an incredible climbing prowess.

Three road world championship titles, five Giro wins, two Milan – San Remo crowns and four Giro di Lombardia victories all indicate the immense capabilities Binda possessed. His record of overall Giro titles wasn't equalled until another legendary Italian rider, Fausto Coppi, took his fifth title in 1953, and it has never been surpassed.

Although born in Cittiglio near Varese, Binda grew up in Nice, in southern France. Learning to become a plasterer, Binda could often be found at the cycling track. A real cycling talent, strong both in the mountains and in the individual time trialing, he was an all-arounder.

Binda became a professional in 1922, and although he scored several victories, his breakthrough came in 1925. First, he won the Giro d'Italia stage race (beating Costante Girardengo, the dominant cyclist at that time), and then the Giro di Lombardia classic. In both races, he would dominate in the years to come. He won the Giro a record five times in 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1933 (1933 was also the first year the Giro held a "King of the Mountains" competition, which Binda won too); he also won the Giro di Lombardia in 1925, 1926, 1927 and 1931. His dominance in the Giro was overwhelming: besides the five overall victories, he won 41 stages (a record only broken in 2003 by Mario Cipollini). In 1927, he won 12 out of 15 stages, and in 1929 he won 8 consecutive stages. Because of this domination, he was offered money not to compete in the Giro of 1930. Instead, he took part in that year's Tour de France, winning two stages.

In the World Championships, Binda was also very successful. He won the title three times in 1927, 1930 and 1932 (a record later equalled by Belgians Rik Van Steenbergen and Eddy Merckx and Spaniard Óscar Freire). In addition, he placed third in 1929. Other victories of Binda include the Italian Championships (four times), and Milan – San Remo (twice).

Società Ciclistica Alfredo Binda is named in his honor.

Read more about Alfredo Binda:  Cycling Biography, Palmarès