This Friday, September 14th, the 55th edition of the Coppa Sabatini, scheduled for October 11th, will have an official launch. The name giver of the race, Giuseppe Sabatini, was a cyclist who hailed from Peccioli, in the Pisa province.
He was born in 1915 and showed an extreme desire for cycling, eventually turning pro in 1939. Mandatory military service interfered with his training and plans to already become a professional in 1936. While he took his team duties serious and was well respected, a fallout with team management ended his season prematurely.
He kept training by himself, hoping to get to go to the Giro d'Italia in 1940, but instead ended up having to spend four years on the front lines in World War II. He was back training and racing in the dilettanti category, winning the Coppa Perozzi in 1946. This was the last race won by Sabatini, as he retired the year after. He died in 1951, at only 36 years of age, after a six-month illness.
This race was won by many Italian greats in the past, like Francesco Moser, Gianni Bugno, Claudio Chiappucci or still current racers like Paolo Bettini and most recently in 2006, the current Italian champion Giovanni Visconti. Teams like Saunier Duval, Quick.Step-Innergetic, Lampre, Milram and Liquigas have already indicated to be present for the launch event.