Mario "Gaibera" Vicini
Picture courtesy Magnus Manske
But for Gino Bartali, Vicini’s exploits might be better remembered. In 1939 he contested the sprint for the finish of Milan San Remo. Being primarily a climber, he finished fifth out of the front group of five. Bartali won that one. But Vicini came in 2 places and 2’25” ahead of Cino Cinelli! Vicini also contested two TdFs,
finishing 2nd in ’37 (the only rider within shouting distance of Roger Lapebie) and 6th in ’38. He won the Italian road championship in ’39 and finished 3rd in that year’s Giro. In 1940 Vicini, Cinelli and Olmo were teammates on the Bianchi squad.
Vicini started selling racing bicycles 10 years before his retirement from the peloton in 1952, then going full-time in the bike business. The family has continued in the business since Mario’s death in 1995.