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I rode. I won. They call me “Legend” (1).png__PID:7a1ad367-9359-493c-8d55-e51d63626727


  • June 03, 2024
  • Posted By : Maria
  • 0comments

June 3rd

I rode. I won. They call me "Legend."

Several things stand out to the observer:

  • 1. Dogs are allowed everywhere and treated with the utmost respect.
  • 2. The vast number of cyclists. Riders are everywhere, riding alone in pelotons, young and old, on road, mountain, TT, and e-bikes. This leads me to the focus of my writing: Meeting The Legend, Giovanni Battaglin, an Italian former professional road racing cyclist known for his remarkable achievements, particularly in the early 1980s.

1979 Vuelta a España: Battaglin finished third in the 1979 Vuelta a España, marking his arrival as a significant contender in Grand Tours.

1981 Double Victory: One of the most unbelievable achievements in Battaglin's career was winning both the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España in the same year, 1981. This rare double victory is a testament to his extraordinary endurance and skill.

  • • Giro d'Italia 1981: Battaglin won the Giro d'Italia, displaying remarkable climbing abilities and resilience. He took the leader's pink jersey on the 19th, challenging mountain stage, and held onto it until the end.
  • • Vuelta a España 1981: Just a few weeks before his Giro victory, Battaglin secured the overall win in the Vuelta a España. This victory was notable because it came after an intense battle with fellow Italian Marino Lejarreta.

Unique Aspects and Unbelievable Feats

  • • Double Grand Tour Wins: Winning two Grand Tours in a single year is an extraordinary feat achieved by only a few cyclists in history. Battaglin's 1981 victories in the Giro and the Vuelta placed him in the elite company of riders like Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault. The two Grand Tours finished and started within four days of each other, yet normal recovery between races typically takes at least 3-4 weeks. He won both races.
  • • Climbing Prowess: Battaglin was known for his exceptional climbing abilities, which were crucial to his Grand Tour successes. His performance in the mountainous stages often made the difference in the overall standings.
  • • Comeback and Longevity: Despite injuries and setbacks, Battaglin maintained a long and successful career, continuing to race competitively into the mid-1980s and consistently performing well in primary races.


  • • Bicycle Manufacturing: Battaglin ventured into bicycle manufacturing after retiring from professional cycling. He founded "Battaglin Cicli," a company that produces high-quality racing bicycles. His experience and insights as a professional cyclist influenced the design and performance of these bikes. I thought the state-of-the-art designs were unique. Coming from an artistic background, I could easily see myself framing one of these bicycles to be admired in my front room. But the real beauty, I guess, lies in its performance, along with the customized finishing details.
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Back at Battaglin Headquarters

At his headquarters, a welcoming wall reads: "I rode. I won. They call me Legend. Giovanni Battaglin." Two wall corner shelves are loaded with trophies, his attire during his victories, and two bicycles that rest statically, having made history beside him.

As I made my way up the stairs, the wall offered a chronicle of his victories, highlighting all his achievements. I tried to absorb all his achievements while waiting for him, but there were too many, and before I knew it, he made his way into the big room. My first impression was of a composed, calm, and strong presence that wrapped the room in a generous humility within the first few minutes. I noticed people filming his bicycles and interviewing buyers who had flown worldwide to collect their bikes or choose finishing colors.

Without hesitation, I voiced my thoughts: "I am honored to meet you, Mr. Giovanni. I have four questions for you, and proceeded to ask without hesitation"

  • • What makes a champion?

"A champion is built from the right attitude and the respect we have for everything. Along with a strong sense of belonging within your team, you need certain qualities to become a champion. During my time, races were much different; we didn't have today's technology, so understanding and reading the race map was crucial. Only the last 50 km were notified, and most courses were unpredictable."

  • • How do you see the new cyclist generation—better cyclists today or better technology for more average cyclists?

"Every era has its champions. During the 1970s, there were many champions like Felice Gimondi (ITA), Freddy Maertens (BEL), Luis Ocaña (ESP), Eddy Merckx (BEL). Today, there are four or five champions in the world. In the past, there were certainly more champions. Cycling is all about sacrifices, especially being young and dedicated to the sport. Another important factor is that a champion today, after five years of being a dedicated professional cyclist, earns a substantial amount of money compared to past decades. The whole system has changed."

  • • Do you have any regrets?

"No regrets! All my achievements were done with rigor and respect. Even after the unfair incident during the 1979 Valkenburg, Netherlands World Pro Road Championship, where Thurau and Raas breached international regulations by changing direction during the final sprint, causing me to fall 75 meters before the finish line, I hold no hard feelings or regrets."

  • • My final question is: Can you share your most precious anecdote with us?

"Undoubtedly, becoming the unexpected winner of the Italian Giro 1981. Just a few weeks before, I won the Vuelta in Spain. During the Giro, the lead changed hands often; other riders like Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) or Tommy Prim (SWE) were likely to win. I was the last rider in the final time trial, entering the colossal Verona Arena. While crossing the finish line, I had no expectations of winning, but a standing ovation from 15,000 people and my masseur informing me that I had won was an unforgettable experience."

Battaglin's contributions have added prestige to Italian cycling. He continues to spread his legacy by manufacturing high-performance bicycles seen worldwide in international competitions. For those interested in learning more about Battaglin's skillful climbing and incredible endurance, we recommend his book "48 Days," published in 2020. It tells the story of his unique feat in cycling history of winning two Grand Tours in just 48 days.

Finally, I returned home to the UAE to celebrate World Bicycle Day and realize how much of a cycling-friendly country we live in. I have collected some information for those interested in learning more about the latest cycling developments in the UAE.

Safe Cycling Tracks in the UAE

The UAE is making significant strides in enhancing its cycling infrastructure, offering numerous cycling tracks nationwide. Dubai boasts an impressive 544 kilometers of cycling tracks, with plans to expand to 1,000 kilometers by 2030.

Some of the most notable cycling tracks in Dubai include:

  • 1. Al Qudra Cycling Track: One of the most extended continuous cycling tracks glglobally, stretching 80.6 kilometers.
  • 2. Jumeirah Street Track: A 19 km track parallel to the iconic Jumeirah road.
  • 3. Dubai Canal Track: A 7 km scenic route connecting Jumeirah Street and Al Meydan.
  • 4. Dubai Marina Track: A 5 km track dedicated to the bustling Marina area (PropertyNews.ae).

These tracks provide excellent opportunities for recreational and dedicated cyclists.

The UAE is a perfect place to host cycling tours

Elevating cycling through UAE Tour. The 2024 edition of the UAE Tour is set to take place from February 19 to 25. The race covers 980 kilometers over seven stages, starting in Madinat Zayed and concluding with the iconic climb up Jebel Hafeet (cyclingnews.com) (cyclingweekly.com).

The UAE Tour 2024 route includes a mix of flat stages suitable for sprinters and challenging mountain stages. Key stages include:

  • • Stage 1: A 143 km route from Madinat Zayed to Liwa Palace.
  • • Stage 2: A 143 km route from Madinat Zayed to Liwa Palace.

The UAE Tour is exciting for cycling fans and features top international riders. Notable past winners include Primož Roglič, Tadej Pogačar, and Remco Evenepoel. The 2024 edition promises intense competition, with riders like Adam Yates and Brandon McNulty expected to perform well (cyclingnews.com) (Cycling Up to Date).

The UAE also hosts the UAE Tour Women, which will occur from February 8 to 11. This four-day race begins in Dubai and ends in Abu Dhabi, featuring three sprinter stages and one decisive mountain stage atop Jebel Hafeet. The women’s race is becoming a key event in the Women's World Tour calendar (Global Cycling Network).

Cycling in the UAE is not just about the races; the country offers excellent infrastructure for cycling enthusiasts with dedicated cycling tracks like the Al Hudayriyat Island track and the Al Qudra Cycling Track. These facilities cater to professional cyclists and recreational riders, making the UAE an excellent destination for cycling year-round.

For more details on the UAE Tour and cycling in the UAE, you can visit the UAE Tour official website (cyclingweekly.com).

Major announcement for avid cyclists "Dubai Cycle City 2040"

Exciting new cycling projects are coming up in the UAE, further enhancing the country's reputation as a cycling-friendly destination. Notably, Dubai has announced an ambitious plan called "Dubai Cycle City 2040" to make it the most bike-friendly city globally. This plan includes developing a 93 km cycling highway called "THE LOOP," which will revolutionize urban mobility by providing safe and interconnected cycling routes.

Additionally, the annual Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge continues to grow in popularity. The 2024 edition features a 94.1 km race on traffic-free streets, starting and finishing at Expo City Dubai. This event also includes family-friendly rides and junior competitions, making it a comprehensive cycling festival.

Moreover, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is working towards expanding the cycling network to 1,000 km by 2030, with recent additions in Al Khawaneej and Mushrif bringing the current total to 544 km.

These projects and events reflect the UAE's commitment to promoting cycling as a sustainable and healthy mode of transportation (ARN News Centre) (Dubai 92) (Cycle Challenge UAE).

What do you think about the developments? Can suggestions be added?

To order a book copy 48 hours by the legend Giovanni Battaglin,visit the link below :


To elevate yourself by cycling to another level with a Battaglin bike, visit the link below :


Happy World Bicycle Day!

We have many secondhand books on cycling , you could either , purchase only or alternatively, visit our Oasis Mall basement 1, Dubai location. Our used books are mainly priced for AED10/20