Carlo Clerici, winner of the 1954 Giro d'Italia, passed away last weekend, January 28, after a two-year struggle with cancer. He is only one of two Swiss riders to have won the Giro.
Born in Zurich, in 1929, his father was Italian and mother Swiss, and in fact he raced the 1953 Giro as an Italian according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. A year later he returned, as a Swiss rider with Italian team Guerra - Ursus, and claimed victory.
The winning move was made on the stage from Naples to L'Aquila, 252 kilometres, where Clerici gained an insurmountable time advantage. "We had underestimated him," recalled Fiorenzo Magni, three-time winner of the Giro, to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "We were certain that we could drop him in the Alps, on the other hand, Clerici, who up to that point had won nothing, proved to be a good rider." He closed the 1954 Giro with 24'16" on compatriot Koblet, 26'28" on Assirelli and 31'17" on Coppi.
After 1954, Clerici returned to his domestique duties, claiming his home race, 1955 Züri Metzgete (Championship of Zurich), before retiring after the 1958 season.