The original Swedish sensation

Gösta Pettersson was the first cyclist born north of the Rhine to win the Giro d'Italia when he passed the finish line on the Swedish pine boards of the Vigorello velodrome in Milan on June 10, 1971. It was and is Sweden's first and only Grand Tour victory. Cyclingnews'  brings Pettersson's story to the internet age.

Swedish riders have enjoyed plenty of success in recent years. From Magnus Backstedt's Paris-Roubaix win to Gustav Eric Larsson's silver medal in the Beijing Olympics and Thomas Lövkvist's stint in the Giro's best young rider jersey. These riders were not even born when Gösta Pettersson took his Giro win and when, the year before, he was the first northerner on the Tour podium when he finished third behind Eddy Merckx and Joop Zoetemelk.

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