19 May, 2022

Giordano Cottur: local hero

Edited by De Marchi

76 years ago the first post-war Giro was one to remember.  It’s June 30, 1946 and what seemed to be a quiet, flat stage from Rovigo to Trieste would become an historic moment in Italy’s iron curtain’s border town. Giordano Cottur, leader of the local team with a white halberd embroidery popping out their Ferrari red De Marchi jersey was going quietly without ambitions, when in Pieris, about to enter Trieste, the group was bombarded by a shower of stones thrown by the Slavic separatists. Few riders were hit and it was total chaos so the organization quickly decided that the stage was cancelled and that riders should be escorted to their hotels by local US troops based on the Yugoslavian border nearby. But Cottur refused to obey and with a handful of other riders decided to continue until they reached Trieste where they were acclaimed as heroes by the population who heard what happened on their radios. Wrapped in an Italian flag and carried in triumph, Cottur said that was his finest hour.

Giordano Cottur at the Trieste stadium

After he retired as a pro, Cottur became manager of Wilier team, Bottecchia and Leo-Chlorodont, all in De Marchi jerseys.

Giordano Cottur and Emilio De Marchi at the 1952 Giro d’Italia

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