Giro d’Italia winner, world champion Vittorio Adorni dies at 85

The Italian rider won the Giro in 1965 and the world title in 1968, and later played a key role at the UCI to help create the WorldTour.

Photo: Roger Viollet via Getty Images

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Vittorio Adorni, the Italian rider who won the Giro d’Italia and the world title, died overnight in Italy. He was 85.

Adorni won the 1965 Giro and the 1968 world title in a career that spanned from 1961 to 1970. He later worked as a sport director and served on the UCI’s management committee as a behind-the-scenes negotiator in the early 2000s.

Adorni was often a top-level domestique, and rode with Eddy Merckx on the Faema team in 1968.

In fact, Adorni won the 1968 worlds in part because Merckx did not chase down his pro teammate in Imola, Italy.

Other big wins came at the Tour de Romandie, the Tour de Swiss, and the Belgian tour. He also won the Italian national championship in 1969.

Adorni was part of an Italian generation that came after Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali. He was teammates with Felice Gimondi, who won the Tour de France in 1965.

Adorni, shown here with Formula One star Fernando Alonso in 2014, was a key figure behind the scenes after his racing career. (Photo: Bryn Lennon – Velo/Getty Images)

The affable Adorni seemed to get along with everyone, skills that helped him later in his career when the served on the UCI’s management committee.

Adorni helped smooth some feathers during some turbulent times with struggles between the cycling governing body and Tour de France owners ASO, and helped usher in what is now the WorldTour.

Adorni’s biggest pro win came in the 1965 Giro, when he beat back a peloton of compatriots to claim the pink jersey en route to winning three stages that year.

He would win 11 Giro stages across the arc of his career, with 60 pro wins.

Family members confirmed via social media that Adorni entered the hospital Friday, and died overnight. A cause of death was not revealed.

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