1938 Giro d'Italia

1938 Giro d'Italia
Race details
Dates May 7–29
Stages 18, including three split stages
Distance 3,645.8 km (2,265 mi)
Winning time 112h 49' 28"
Winner  Giovanni Valetti (ITA) (Fréjus)
Second  Ezio Cecchi (ITA) (Gloria)
Third  Severino Canavesi (ITA) (Gloria)

Mountains  Giovanni Valetti (ITA) (Fréjus)
Team Gloria - Ambrosiana

The 1938 Giro d'Italia was the 26th edition of the Giro d'Italia, a cycling race organized and sponsored by the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. The race began on 7 May in Milan with a stage that stretched 182 km (113 mi) to Turin, finishing back in Milan on 29 May after a split stage and a total distance covered of 3,645.8 km (2,265 mi). The race was won by the Italian rider Giovanni Valetti of the Fréjus team, with fellow Italians Ezio Cecchi and Severino Canavesi coming in second and third respectively.[1]


Of the 94 riders that began the Giro d'Italia on 7 May,[2] 50 of them made it to the finish in Milan on 29 May.[3] Riders were allowed to ride as a member of a team or group; 61 riders competed as part of a team, while the remaining 33 competed as a part of a group.[2] The nine teams that partook in the race were: Bianchi, Dei, Fréjus, Ganna, Gloria-Ambrosiana, Lygie-Settebello, Legnano, Olympia, and Wolsit-Binda.[2][3] The teams ranged from six to eight riders each.[2] There were also seven groups, made up of three to five riders each, that participated in the race.[2] Those groups were: U. C. Modenese, Il Littoriale, La Voce di Mantova, U.S. Azzini, U.S. Canelli, Dopolavoro Mater, and Gruppo A.[2][3]

The peloton was composed primarily of Italian riders.[3] The field featured one former Giro d'Italia winners with Francesco Camusso who won the race in 1931.[2][3] Reigning champion Gino Bartali did not enter the race because the Italian government ordered him to race the Tour de France instead.[3] Other notable Italian riders included Olimpio Bizzi, Giovanni Valetti, Ezio Cecchi, and Giuseppe Olmo.[2][3] Swiss rider Leo Amberg who placed high at the 1936 and 1937 Tours de France competed in the race.[2][3][4]

Route and stages

Stage results[3]
Stage Date Course Distance Type[Notes 1] Winner
1 May 7 Milan to Turin 182 km (113 mi) Plain stage  Marco Cimatti (ITA)
2 May 8 Turin to Sanremo 204 km (127 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Mario Vicini (ITA)
3 May 9 Sanremo to Santa Margherita Ligure 172 km (107 mi) Plain stage  Giovanni Gotti (ITA)
4a May 10 Santa Margherita Ligure to La Spezia 81 km (50 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Giovanni Valetti (ITA)
4b La Spezia to Montecatini Terme 110 km (68 mi) Plain stage  Walter Generati (ITA)
May 11 Rest day
5 May 12 Montecatini Terme to Chianciano Terme 184 km (114 mi) Plain stage  Salvatore Crippa (ITA)
6 May 13 Chianciano Terme to Rieti 160 km (99 mi) Plain stage  Adolfo Leoni (ITA)
7a May 14 Rieti to Monte Terminillo 19.8 km (12 mi) Individual time trial  Giovanni Valetti (ITA)
7b Rieti to Rome 152 km (94 mi) Plain stage  Cino Cinelli (ITA)
8 May 15 Rome to Naples 234 km (145 mi) Plain stage  Raffaele Di Paco (ITA)
May 16 Rest day
9 May 17 Naples to Lanciano 221 km (137 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Giordano Cottur (ITA)
10 May 18 Lanciano to Ascoli Piceno 149 km (93 mi) Plain stage  Raffaele Di Paco (ITA)
11 May 19 Ascoli Piceno to Ravenna 268 km (167 mi) Plain stage  Cino Cinelli (ITA)
12 May 20 Ravenna to Treviso 199 km (124 mi) Plain stage  Raffaele Di Paco (ITA)
May 21 Rest day
13 May 22 Treviso to Trieste 207 km (129 mi) Plain stage  Cesare Del Cancia (ITA)
14 May 23 Trieste to Belluno 243 km (151 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Olimpio Bizzi (ITA)
May 24 Rest day
15 May 25 Belluno to Recoaro Terme 154 km (96 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Giovanni Valetti (ITA)
May 26 Rest day
16 May 27 Recoaro Terme to Bergamo 272 km (169 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Diego Marabelli (ITA)
17 May 28 Bergamo to Varese 154 km (96 mi) Plain stage  Cesare Del Cancia (ITA)
18a May 29 Varese to Locarno 100 km (62 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Leo Amberg (SUI)
18b Locarno to Milan 180 km (112 mi) Stage with mountain(s)  Olimpio Bizzi (ITA)
Total 3,645.8 km (2,265 mi)

Classification leadership

The leader of the general classification – calculated by adding the stage finish times of each rider – wore a pink jersey. This classification is the most important of the race, and its winner is considered as the winner of the Giro.[5]

In the mountains classification, the race organizers selected different mountains that the route crossed and awarded points to the riders who crossed them first.[5]

The winner of the team classification was determined by adding the finish times of the best three cyclists per team together and the team with the lowest total time was the winner.[3][6] If a team had fewer than three riders finish, they were not eligible for the classification.[6] The group classification was decided in the same manner, but the classification was exclusive to the competing groups.[6]

The rows in the following table correspond to the jerseys awarded after that stage was run.

Stage Winner General classification
Mountains classification Team classification Group classification
1 Marco Cimatti Marco Cimatti not awarded Bianchi Il Littoriale
2 Mario Vicini Mario Vicini Mario Vicini U.S. Canelli
3 Giovanni Gotti Cesare Del Cancia Il Littoriale
4a Giovanni Valetti Dopolavoro Mater
4b Walter Generati
5 Salvatore Crippa Giovanni Valetti U.S. Canelli
6 Adolfo Leoni Il Littoriale
7a Giovanni Valetti
7b Cino Cinelli
8 Raffaele Di Paco
9 Giordano Cottur Giovanni Valetti Fréjus Dopolavoro Mater
10 Raffaele Di Paco Il Littoriale
11 Cino Cinelli
12 Raffaele Di Paco U.S. Canelli
13 Cesare Del Cancia Bianchi
14 Olimpio Bizzi
15 Giovanni Valetti Gloria-Ambrosiana
16 Diego Marabelli
17 Cesare Del Cancia
18a Leo Amberg
18b Olimpio Bizzi
Final Giovanni Valetti Giovanni Valetti Gloria-Ambrosiana U.S. Canelli

Final standings

  A pink jersey   Denotes the winner of the General classification

General classification

Final general classification (1–10)[3][7]
Rank Name Team Time
1  Giovanni Valetti (ITA) Pink jersey Fréjus 112h 49' 28"
2  Ezio Cecchi (ITA) Gloria + 8' 52"
3  Severino Canavesi (ITA) Gloria + 9' 06"
4  Settimio Simonini (ITA) U.S. Canelli + 15' 50"
5  Michele Benente (ITA) U.S. Canelli + 19' 40"
6  Walter Generati (ITA) Bianchi + 22' 02"
7  Cesare Del Cancia (ITA) Ganna + 24' 07"
8  Karl Litschi (SUI) Olympia + 29' 24"
9  Ruggero Balli (ITA) Bianchi + 32' 23"
10  Adalino Mealli (ITA) Wolsit + 38' 38"

Mountains classification

Final mountains classification (1–8)[3][7]
Name Team Points
1  Giovanni Valetti (ITA) Pink jersey Fréjus 29
2  Giordano Cottur (ITA) Lygie 26
3  Ezio Cecchi (ITA) Gloria 18
4  Settimio Simonini (ITA) U.S. Canelli 13
5  Karl Litschi (SUI) Olympia 9
 Adalino Mealli (ITA) Wolsit
7  Severino Canavesi (ITA) Gloria 8
8  Bernardo Rogora (ITA) Gloria 5
 Michele Benente (ITA) U.S. Canelli
 Olimpio Bizzi (ITA) Fréjus

Team classification

Final team classification (1–7)[3][6]
Team Time
1 Gloria-Ambrosiana 340h 5' 28"
2 Bianchi + 3' 06"
3 Fréjus + 51' 18"
4 Ganna + 1h 49' 00"
5 Wolsit-S.C. Binda + 4h 22' 32"
6 Dei + 5h 15' 52"
7 Olympia + 9h 11' 44"

Group classification

Final group classification (1–3)[6]
Rank Team Time
1 U.S. Canelli 243h 17' 44"
2 Il Littoriale + 2h 53' 47"
3 Dopolavoro Mater + 3h 36' 32"


  1. In 1938, there was no distinction in the rules between plain stages and mountain stages; the icons shown here indicate that the stages 2, 4a, 9, 14, 15, 16, 18a, and 18b included major mountains. The stage 7a individual time trial also contained a summit finish.
  1. "La Stampa - Consultazione Archivio". Archived from the original on 2013-07-05. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "I corridori iscritti" [The runners registered]. Il Littoriale (in Italian). 7 May 1938. p. 4. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Bill and Carol McGann. "1938 Giro d'Italia". Bike Race Info. Dog Ear Publishing. Archived from the original on 2013-07-05. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  4. Bill and Carol McGann. "1937 Giro d'Italia". Bike Race Info. Dog Ear Publishing. Archived from the original on 2013-06-30. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
  5. 1 2 Laura Weislo (13 May 2008). "Giro d'Italia classifications demystified". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Archived from the original on 17 June 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "Il valore del rinnovato spirito di gara nelle cifre del XXVI Giro d'Italia" [The value of the renewed spirit of competition in the figures of the XXVI Tour of Italy]. Il Littoriale (in Italian). Milan, Italy. 30 May 1938. p. 3. Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  7. 1 2 "Il Giro-Primato: 3754km. percorsi a 33,272 all'ora è vinto da Valetti" [The Tour-Primacy: 3,754 km ridden at 33.272 km per hour was won by Valetti]. Il Littoriale (in Italian). Milan, Italy. 30 May 1938. p. 1. Archived from the original on 14 July 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
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