Ugo Colombo is remembered for being Franco Bitossi’s superb domestique. But despite having worked for others for most of his career, he still managed to have a few moments of glory all for himself: he finished 3rd in the 1971 Giro d’Italia and won a total of three stages in the Corsa Rosa, the second of which came in Francavilla al Mare in 1972.

It was stage 3 of that Giro, a rather tricky and hard one to interpret. While heading up towards Chieti with just over 20 km to go, the Maglia Rosa Marino Basso experienced a slight crisis: the Spaniard José Manuel Fuente attacked, Eddy Merckx himself responded, but with 10 km to go, Colombo sprinted on the counter-attack, resisting the return of the big favourites and winning the stage, also taking the Maglia Rosa.

Colombo would lose the Maglia Rosa the following day, in the stage that took the peloton from Francavilla al Mare to Blockhaus, collapsing under the blows of an unstoppable Fuente. That Giro, needless to say, was won by Eddy Merckx who, alone, managed to beat the Spanish team KAS, which placed two men on the podium (Fuente and Francisco Galdós) and five in the Top 10. –

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