The favorites, on the eve, seemed to be the Frenchman Anquetil, who won in ‘64, and the unchallenged ruler of the previous seasons on the roads of the Tour de France, Gimondi.
He was the tour ’65 winner, and Adorni, winner of the previous Giro. Also favored was another Spanish rider, Jimenez, who would be the one that would annoy most of all on the climbs. But, from the drop of the hat, the leader of the Giro appeared to be Gianni Motta. The Lombard forced the Piedmontese, Zilioli, off the top step of the podium (3 ‘57”) and highlighted the rivalry triggered earlier with Felice Gimondi who was third a year ago behind both Adorni and Zilioli. Anquetil had to settle for third place at 4’40”.
In the ‘66 race, Motta won the stages at Riva del Garda, Levico-Terme, and Bolzano-Moena. The village in which he was victorious in front of more than a million Italians, watching both on television and by the roadside, was the Arona-Brescia – one in which the riders traversed the terrible “Muratello Maddalena.”
The stage win went to Jimenez, and Motta was second. In Trieste, where the Giro ended is where he triumphed. La Gazzetta dello Sport wrote: A BIG WIN AT DIFFICULT TOUR FOR MOTTA. AT Groppello d’Adda, where Motta was born, was a big party. “Few have been as beautiful as him in success. His victories, in the uphill time trial, on the pace, and in sprint-finishes were always spectacular and sublime. In his career he has been very much himself: with swagger, but never arrogant (Ernesto Colnago, based on the book “Colnago, the Bicycle”).