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"It was the last stage of the Giro, just one time-trial. Forty one kilometers from Soave to the Arena of Verona, the entire route wound through the the midst of two wings of the cheering crowd. It was the first time that the Classic 'Pink' Race ended in the ancient Roman city. I was wearing the pink jersey, but there were three of us within 38 seconds of first place. When I entered the Roman amphitheater, the roar of the crowd made me realize that I had won. I was overjoyed: just two days before the start of the tour I had won the Vuelta leader's Green Jersey, but the victory that I dreamed of the most and aspired to for my entire career was in the Italian Giro. Also, I was the first Venetan who prevailed, making this triumph, on the streets of my Region, an even grander victory."
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With these words Giovanni Battaglin, from Marostica, born in 1951, enthusiasm in his voice and eyes, tells of his victory in the 1981 Giro d'Italia.

During his professional career, Battaglin participated in the Giro d'Italia 10 times, the Tour of Switzerland 6 times, the Tour de France 5 times, the Vuelta a Espaņa once and the World Championships 8 times. As an amateur he scored numerous victories, including Giro d'Italia dilettante, the Trofeo Tricolore and the World Championships in Mendrisio.

1973: Raced his first Giro d'Italia, placing third. The accomplishment was noted by all and gained him a reputation as a remarkable pacer-climber. In the same year, thanks to numerous victories, becomes the best new professional.

1974: Winner of the Giro dell'Appennino. Participates in his first Tour de France..

1975: More victories. As captain of the Jolly Ceramica team, wore the pink jersey for 5 stages of the Giro and won the Coppa Sabatini.

1976: First time in the yellow jersey, the Caen stage of the Tour.

1978: Victory in the Coppa Bernocchi.

1979: Battaglin is Captain of Inoxpran, winning the best climber competition in the Tour and wins sixth place overall.

1980: Victory in the Milano-Vignola, the extremely tough Pecol stage of the Giro d'Italia, the Milano-Torino and the Coppa Placci. Was third overall in the Giro d'Italia.

1981: Marks the apex of Giovanni's racing career: first place in the Vuelta, winning the time-trial stage as well as attaining his personal goal-conquest of the pink jersey, winner the 64th Giro d'Italia.

Battaglin had thus earned the triumphant victory of his career and proper recognition for his exceptional talent. He was a true champion, a skillful, first-class climber and capable of exceptional performance against the clock as a time-trialer. Yet his list of victories, however impressive, does not do adequate justice to his character and tenacity as an athlete. Only an individual with remarkable fortitude and determination could overcome a series of incidents that cost him a Giro d'Italia, a podium at the Tour and perhaps a World Championship in Valkenburg.

Despite his series of misfortunes, Giovanni was able to come back with a prodigious season in 1981, succeeding in achieving two consecutive victories, the Vuelta and Giro d'Italia, which only Merckx had been able to obtain.
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