Luigi Ganna

Luigi Ganna, nicknamed El Luisin or Luison born in Induno Olona on the 1st of December 1883 and has gone down in history as the first winner of the Tour of Italy in 1909.
Farmer's son, left school after the second elementary, he began working as a bricklayer in Milan: to reach the place of work every day he runs 110 km by bicycle.

To this effort decided to give another meaning, using it as a hard and serious training for the sport cycling.
In 1904 therefore, he participates in his first race as a professional. His first success came in 1905, the year in which he earns the third place in the Tour of Lombardy: in addition to the cash prize (18 Lire), he signed a contract for 200 lire per month with Bianchi.

The first victory came in 1906 in the Milan-Piano.
The following year, after having successfully passed the first stages of the Tour de France was forced to retire. In 1908, a drill and a level crossing closed deny the success of the Milan-San Remo, coming second to Cyrille Van Houwaert, after a chase that lasted one hundred kilometers.

In the same year establishes the Italian record and finished fifth in the Tour
The great victories coming in 1909, when he won the Milan-Sanremo in 9 hours and 32 minutes and the first edition of the Tour of Italy

After the race, he gets married and thanks to sporting success opened a bicycle factory, continuing to run just to promote the brand.
The rise of the company is fast and in a few years the shop expanded and production increased from handicraft industry.

Unable to win back the Giro (finished third in 1910) and Milan-Sanremo (third place in 1911), the 7th of December 1912 stands out in the legendary Seicento Chilometri.
In 1914, however, decides to quit racing to focus on his business and after the constitution of the first team "Ganna", getting numerous victories, including the one of Fiorenzo Magni in the Tour of Italy in 1951, particularly significant because he participated riding his bicycle.

To Luigi Ganna, who died in Varese in 1957, is named after the velodrome of Varese, which is located inside the Stadio Franco Ossola.

Sources:, Wikipedia,