The 1960 Milan-San Remo
Revenge for René Privat

Video (1) The 1960 Milan-San Remo © RAI Video (2) The 1960 Milan-San Remo © RAI

Date: Saturday 19 March 1960
Starters: 203
Classified: 121
Distance: 288 km in 6h 45' 15"
Average speed: 42,640 km/hour
Weather conditions: Fine, dry and sunny
20 Teams participated:

(Miguel Poblet, Pierino Baffi))
(Vito Favero)
(Diego Ronchini)
(Nino Defilippis, Alfred De Bruyne, Yvo Molenaers)
(Aldo Moser, Charly Gaul)
(Rik Van Looy, Raymond Impanis)
Fynsec - Helyett
(Jacques Anquetil, Jean Graczyk, Joseph Groussard) -
(Hans Junkermann, Michelle Gismondi)
(Rino Benedetti)
Groene Leeuw
(Noel Fore', Arthur De Cabooter)
(Carlo Azzini, Arnaldo Pambianco)
Liberia - Grammont
(Germain Derycke)
(Petrus Oellibrandt)
Mercier - BP
(Louis Bobet, René Privat)
(Giuliano Natucci)
(Jean Adriaensens, Emile Daems)
(Roger Riviere, Rudy Altig, Tom Simpson)
San Pellegrino
(Ernesto Bono)
(Adriano Zamboni)
Peugeot - BP
(Pino Cerami)

Non-starter was No 72 André Darrigade

Before the start of the 1960 Milan-San Remo Joseph Ambrosini invited the riders to turn a thought to those who had recently departed - Fausto Coppi, the victim of a tragic fate, Armando Cougnet (Director of the Gazzetta dello Sport and chief organiser of the Giro d'Italia) and cyclist Gérard Saint who had died three days earlier in a car accident. All uncovered their heads and bowed. Then the painful recollection turned into an incentive to do well.

René Privat had come very close to winning two years earlier. He had been in a break that started 13km into the race and had rode alone after the Capo Berta. He was caught with only 3 km remaining on the Capo Verde. 1960 saw him take his revenge.

The first break of the day at Binasco saw the Italians Cleto Maule and Rizzardo Brenioli, along with the Belgian Joseph Vloebergs, gain an advantage of two minutes at km 45. At Tortona (km 77) five Italians, Mario Minieri, Adriano Salviato, Virginio  Pizzali, Marino Fontana and Armando Pellegrini joined them.

Image © La Stampa (19/3/1960)
  Note changes to above - Number 29 Pietro Musone, 141 was Alphonse Hermans, 159 was Jacky Bovet

Maule, Brenioli and Vloebergs at km 15 in the first break

Pozzolo Formigare (km 92) produced the essential phase of the race when 12 men went clear of the peloton in pursuit of the fugitives. They were the Belgians Yvo Molenaers and Noel Foré, the French Robert Cazala and René Privat, Tom Simpson from England, the Spaniard Luis Otano and Italians Fiorenzo Tomasin, Remo Tamagni, Dino Bruni, Dino Liviero, Arnaldo Pambianco and Pierino Baffi. This was a group of good riders and it only took twelve kilometres of chasing to catch the leading eight on the lower slopes of the Turchino. Tom Simpson decided that they were not going fast enough and by raising the speed slightly went off alone going through the town of Rossiglione. Simpson, his face impassive behind dark glasses, seemed astonished by the enthusiasm he received and continued over the top of the Turchino in the lead.

The start of the 1960 Milan-San Remo - Privat can be seen far right

Tom Simpson escaped on the Turchino

Arnaldo Pambianco leads the escape group. René Privat can be seen in third position

Privat attacks on the Capo Berta

At Voltri (km 155) Simpson was still leading with the chasers at 1' 40" and Gastone Nencini and Guido Carlesi at 3 minutes. It took the two Italians only 10 kilometres to join the escape group. Simpson stayed out in front for 45 km before being reintegrated with the Privat group.

Km 215 and the leading group was down to 12 - Pambianco, Nencini, Carlesi, Molenaers, Foré, Privat, Simpson, Cazala, Otano, Bruni, Liviero and Baffi. At Alassio they had 2 minutes advantage.

Over the Capo Mele, Baffi was the first to be dropped. At Capo Berta the leaders were down to 7 - Nencini, Privat, Cazala, Pambianco, Otano, Molenaers and Simpson. Privat said "I could see that they were all finished except Nencini so I attacked on the Capo Berta". His attack was unsuccessful and René Privat would have to wait until the lower slopes of the Poggio.

The Poggio was being used for the first time in 1960 in an attempt by the organisers to prevent a sprint finish becoming the norm. Behind the chasing group with Rik Van Looy, Miguel Poblet, Alfred De Bruyne and Roger Rivière reacted with violence but were not able to overcome the disadvantage. 

Six riders started the ascent of the Poggio with Privat in third position waiting to launch his final race winning move. Behind him the Faema team were on the front in an attempt set up the sprint for Van Looy.
Jean Graczyk riding hard lead the peloton onto the Poggio. Graczyk was rewarded with second place and if it was not for taking a wrong turn he may well have caught Privat!

René Privat wins the 1960 Milan-San Remo

Jean Graczyk in second place

Arthur De Cabooter takes the bunch sprint for fourth

René Privat is almost lost in the crowd as he celebrates

Images © La Gazzetta dello Sport

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