Gino Bambagiotti

Gino Bambagiotti was born 17th, March 1914 in Italy.
Bambagiotti was recognised as the long distance cycling champion in Italy in 1934, he specialized in three, four and six-day races and was a multiple winner of important races all over Europe.
Bambagiotti rode a tandem in 1935 and won the Hams tandem pace race covering
31-miles, the Grand Prix at Rome (ITALY), Nice (FRANCE) and Buenos Aires (ARGENTINA). Bambagiotti became professional in the years 1937-38.
In 1938 Bruce Small invited international cycling stars to Australia, chosen were Gino Bambagiotti and Charles Rampbellberg (FRANCE), they travelled by ocean liner on the way to Sydney where they were to ride under contract at the Sydney Sports Arena.
In 1939 at Sydney Sports Arena, the Australian pair of Lennie Rogers and Joe Parmley won the International six-day race with a point score of 1724 to Bambagiotti and Ern Greig finishing second with 931, Bambagiotti had won two out of three heats but not enough to take victory honors. Bambagiotti earnt the name “The Italian Tiger” because of his terrific sprinting ability.
During the year Bambagiotti took part in other racing events, at an event Bambagiotti was fined £2 and cautioned by the referee for not doing his best, he later protested and made a counter charge of victimization, he said that in every country he has raced has always tried. In June Mrs. Bambagiotti joined her Husband.
Bambagiotti travelled in various country championships and in the same year in December, Bambagiotti took part in the Centenary Derby held at Wayville Showgrounds (S.A), more than 10,000 spectators’ were there to witness an outstanding field of competitor’s which included cycling greats Deane Toseland and Hubert Opperman. Heats were run in Continental style which suited Bambagiotti. Toseland was eventual winner of the event with Bambagiotti puncturing and also fined with unnecessary rough riding in the final lap.
Following the derby Bambagiotti took part at a 5-mile with more bad luck resulting with many punctures.  Bambagiotti said “It had been a disaster day” for him; he was using new singles and could not account for his ill-fortune “It is just my bad luck”.
On his outing he had five punctures and it appeared that every time he took to the track he was destined to return with one or two flat tyres.
During the emerging War years Bambagiotti offered to give half of any prize money won to the Red Cross Society, he and Nino Borsari, another Italian made the offer while the war would last. Mrs. Bambagiotti was a member of the Red Cross in France and suggested the idea to Bambagiotti.
Bambagiotti rode for Malvern Star; his name appeared with other champions using the Malvern Star bicycle in many advertising promotions.
During the late 1940’s to early 1950’s Bambagiotti became a team Manager who planned to put Australian cycling on a world map, managing the efforts of Dean Whitehorn, John Beasley, Peter Anthony and Eddie Smith they travelled to Europe to competing in the biggest races including the Tour De France, though the team was unsuccessful winning races the experience was invaluable to them all.
Mrs. Bambagiotti looked after her husband’s diet, which consisted of lots of vegetables and fruit, very little meat, no bread, and sugar cakes to give him energy.
Bambagiotti and his wife would often ride tandem which she brought over from France. Mrs. Bambagiotti said “It was the accepted thing for husband and wife to ride tandem in France, and on Sundays the roads were full of cyclists”.
Gino Bambagiotti died at the age of 98.