Giuseppe Martinelli: the director who beat Sean Kelly

Cullera was already part of the Tour of the Tour in 1980 and was a crossroads of three important cycling names: Sean Kelly, Roberto Visentini and Giuseppe Martinelli.


Cullera was already part of the route of Vuelta in 1980 and was a crossroads of three transcendent names of cycling: Sean Kelly, Roberto Visentini and Giuseppe Martinelli2222221121 Visentini, a promising 22-year-old Italian who had conquered junior world gold in 1975 and who would eventually be crowned in Giro in 1986. In that Vuelta he added one more stage, in León, and dressed five days the jersey.

The other two protagonists. Kelly won the first stage to sprint in Benidorm. "I settle for a couple more," said the then only professional Irishman. He fell short: he added a total of five. The next win was swift, he reached the next day at Cullera, ahead of Martinelli. During his career, Kelly made Vuelta his best farmland with 16 stages, four jerseys per points and the final general in 1988, which he could also have caught in 1987 if he had not abandoned a boil.

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Returning to Spain from 1980, Martinelli took revenge in the third stage, between Cullera and Vinaroz. In his defeat of the previous day he had observed that Kelly was sprinting with a development of 12, while he was doing it with 13. He imitated his rival and was finally able to beat him. It was the only victory in the Turn of a cyclist who also hung the Olympic silver in Montreal 1976 and added three stages in the Giro d'Italia, although his main collection collected it after his retirement, when he became a sports director of great champions like Pantani, Nibali, Garzelli, Simoni, Cunego and Aru.



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