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Antonio Andolini :: The Last of the Legends
Ian Butler


Foreword......................................................................Page 1
Palmarès......................................................................Page 2
Chapter 1.....................................................................Page 4
Chapter 2.....................................................................Page 13
Chapter 3.....................................................................Page 27
Edited by Ian Butler on 19-07-2018 12:33
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Ian Butler

Many books have been written on the subject of Antonio Andolini, recently voted 'Best Cyclist of the 21st century'. While it is true that the century is a few decades from being over, we can safely assume the title will be held, despite Italy's strong cycling tradition with riders like Vincenzo Nibali, Francesco Fontana, Tito d'Angelo and Benito Micheli. Ask any man or woman on the street for a famous Italian cyclist and chances are you'll get Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali and, yes, Antonio Andolini. So how did 'Il Ghiottone' gain this immense popularity and fame? In 11 chapters I will explain how and why Andolini gained his fame and why he's referred to as the 'Last of the Legends'.

Unlike most biographies on Andolini, I will not focus much on his private life, nor on the first few seasons of his career. His private life has always remained somewhat of a mystery and most books delve into speculation, but that's not my interest nor my area of expertise. His track cycling career is interesting on itself, but both myself and my publisher did not find it relevant to include a seperate chapter on it.

Chapter 1 will include a basic structure of Andolini's first three years, but it'll be quite limited for the simple reason that I've already written a book on the subject many decades ago, called 'Antonio Andolini: The Early Years'. A new version has been released only three years ago in hardcover, softcover and e-book. So you could also see this book as part II of the Antonio Andolini series, in which case, the title could've been 'Antonio Andolini: The Golden Years' or 'Antonio Andolini: The Later Years'.

It is no coincidence that this book is published around this time. As you may well know, Antonio's 70th birthday is on the 25th of August 2062, just a few weeks away. In writing this book, I've had multiple sessions with ex team-mates, Fabio Idoni (Antonio's manager at Cattelan for almost 10 years), family members and also Antonio himself. I'm very grateful to him for allowing these interviews and these talks that I cherish so much.

This book is part of my Cycling Legends series. With my old age and decline in concentration, it may as well turn out to be my final book on cycling. In that case, I wish to express my gratitude to my loyal readers and I must say Il Ghiottone has been a most thankful subject to write about, and if any rider should complete the Cycling Legends series, I'm glad it's Antonio Andolini.
Ian Butler


2015 - 5 victories
O Milano - San Remo
O GP Ouest France - Plouay
O Stages 2, 3 Tour of Britain
O i.imgur.com/cCF9vg0.jpg General Classification Tour of Britain

2016 - 5 victories
O Boucles de l'Aulne
O Stage 1 Tour de la Mayenne
O i.imgur.com/koKNtpq.jpg National Championship Time Trial
O i.imgur.com/koKNtpq.jpg National Championship Road Race
O Stage 19 Tour de France

2017 - 18 victories
O Trofeo Laiguaglia
O Stage 5 Tirreno - Adriatico
O Stage 6 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
O Amstel Gold Race
O Stages 1, 3, 5, 10, 16, 21 Giro d'Italia
O i.imgur.com/8ijiNW8.jpg Points Classification Giro d'Italia
O i.imgur.com/koKNtpq.jpg National Championship Time Trial
O Coppa Agostoni
O Coppa Bernocchi
O GP Pantaloni
O GP Industria Commercia di Prato
O i.imgur.com/OtoWYsf.jpg World Championships - Road Race
O Il Lombardia
O Paris - Tours

2018 - 21 victories
O Trofeo Laiguaglia
O Strade Bianche
O Stage 6 Tirreno - Adriatico
O Milano - San Remo
O Gent - Wevelgem
O Stages 1, 11, 14, 17 Giro d'Italia
O i.imgur.com/8ijiNW8.jpg Points Classification Giro d'Italia
O i.imgur.com/koKNtpq.jpg National Championship Time Trial
O GP Matteotti
O Stages 5, 6, 7 Eneco Tour
O i.imgur.com/cCF9vg0.jpg General Classification Eneco Tour
O i.imgur.com/oI0Ovxp.jpg Points Classification Eneco Tour
O Stage 1 Vuelta à España
O Tre Valli Varesine
O GP Industria Commercia di Prato
O i.imgur.com/OtoWYsf.jpg World Championships - Time Trial
O i.imgur.com/OtoWYsf.jpg World Championships - Road Race
O Paris - Tours

2019 - 1 victory
O Stage 7 Tirreno - Adriatico

Total: 50 victories (excluding .2 races)

Results in Grand Tours

Results in Major Races

Results in Smaller Races


Results in Championships


Team History

2015 - 2019: Cattelan Italia

Records / Achievements

Edited by Ian Butler on 19-07-2018 12:27
Good to see one of the "dead" stories get new live here.
Good to see there will be a continuation of your story.
Going to be nice to hear more about Antonio Wink
No signature available
Nice to see a story beat Photofuckit Smile
Ian Butler
Tamijo wrote:
Good to see one of the "dead" stories get new live here.

rogvi97 wrote:
Going to be nice to hear more about Antonio Wink

VoetsT wrote:
Good to see there will be a continuation of your story.

sutty68 wrote:
Nice to see a story beat Photofuckit Smile

Thanks. I couldn't possibly let this put an end to the story. But I couldn't continue the same way either. Antonio has come to a point in his career where a change of narrative doesn't hurt anyway, since I'll be moving faster through the game now, simulating lesser races and focusing on the big targets.
Ian Butler

1.1 Early Successes
Antonio Andolini started his cycling career in the winter of 2015. After a reasonable successful final track campaign, he took to the road, riding for the new Italian team Cattelan Italia. At the time, it was a PCT team. Little did he know he'd spend his entire career at the team and both would help each other become great. Cattelan Italia would become one of the top teams in cycling for decades, while Andolini would grow out to be the best cyclist of the 21st century, according to many.

His first taste of victory came surprisingly early, in a (now) historic edition of Milan - San Remo. It was Andolini's third race after Strade Bianche and Tirreno - Adriatico. A late attack over the Pogio assured him of a first victory in La Classicissima. He certainly hadn't missed his career start.


With five wins under his belt, Antonio finished his first season with two top-10 places at the World Championships. The tone was set: this was no ordinary rider...

1.2 Second Season
Where his first season had been one of breakthrough, his second season was necessary for him to confirm his talent, to prove he was no one-hit wonder. Antonio had to wait a while for his first victory of the season, and just when people started forgetting about him, he hit home with four wins within a short time. Two of them include both National Championships.


On a high form, Antonio warmed up to his first Grand Tour, the Tour de France 2016. After finishing 2nd two times, he managed to get a stage win after all, beating Jan Bakelants in a sprint, after breaking away from a larger group in multiple tries.


Antonio finished his season with a second place in Paris - Tours and yet again two top 10 places in the World Championships. Consistency has always been Antonio's favorite dish.

The world didn't know it yet, but Andolini's third season would make these past two seasons look like amateur hour in comparison. 2017 was the year where Antonio Andolini became the best rider of his generation, and where he showed the world what a man of his talent could achieve...
Nice update on what "some" already would know. Wink
Ian Butler
Tamijo wrote:
Nice update on what "some" already would know. Wink

Thanks! I might as well give this recap since it's a different thread and it'd make sense in a book to start at the beginning Smile
Don't worry, though, only one post of past history and then it's back on track with Antonio.
Ian Butler

1.3 The Year 2017 - One for the History Books
Andolini recalls the following of his amazing 2017 season.

At the moment, I was so caught up in doing everything right, that I hardly noticed what was going on. I started winning more easily and more often, I was growing stronger and stronger. Years later, after taking a step back from cycling,
I looked back on that period with amazement. I was only 24 - 25 at the time and doing things nobody else was capable of. I could defy an entire peloton if necessary. The 2017 Giro d'Italia remains one of my finest accomplishments in my career. I'll never forget that stage win in Varese. And then to top it off with a World Title, Il Lombardia and Paris - Tour, in that Rainbow Jersey. Nothing could compare to it.

It's obvious Il Ghiottone thinks fondly of his 2017 season and not without reason. It wasn't his best season, even if that would be hard to believe at the time, but it was certainly his most important. It was a first glimps of the side of Antonio Andolini we would see for the next few years: a dominating man, a one-man army, capable of doing the impossible.

I spend seven chapters in my last book on Andolini about his 2017 season alone. In this book, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Amstel Gold Race.

Giro d'Italia, stages 1, 3, 5, 10, 16, 21.
Picture 1 is of stage 2 in the Pink Jersey.
No picture of stage 1, a prologue.

World Championships in Pau.

Il Lombardia, deceiving the climbers with a long-range attack.

Icing on the cake: Paris - Tours after a late attack.
very glad that this story continues! I also really like the 'book concept' so far!
This is a nice way to catch up with this story Pfft
So happy to see this continue!! I feel this is a better start then the last one!! Lets hope these photos stay normal this time Grin
I like this new format, glad to see the story is not dead!
Ian Butler
FonsDeSpons wrote:
very glad that this story continues! I also really like the 'book concept' so far!

Thanks Smile

VoetsT wrote:
This is a nice way to catch up with this story Pfft

Yeah, for new readers it's good to have the 3-year history repeated in summary!

Jakstar22 wrote:
So happy to see this continue!! I feel this is a better start then the last one!! Lets hope these photos stay normal this time Grin

Thanks a lot, hope it'll stay good and that the pictures remain Smile

Reveille wrote:
I like this new format, glad to see the story is not dead!

I'm glad, too!
Ian Butler

2.1 An Early Spring
Andolini worked hard in the 2017-2018 winter. Despite winning the World Champion jersey, he kept up his work ethic and refused many an opportunity for talk shows or other tv/radio appearances. Little did he know it was this kind of thing that'd lead to his unfortunate relationship with the Italian public and especially the press. But we're getting ahead of ourselves in time.

At the start of the 2018 season, Andolini was considered one of the best riders in the entire peloton, perhaps even the best. An all-rounder who could score all season long, much like riders such as Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet or Alejandro Valverde.

As usual, Andolini started his season with the Italian opening races. It's not a coincidence that Andolini never once rode the Tour Down Under. His traditional season start was in Italy.

In Etruschi, the start of the Italian season, he was 12th in a mass sprint. In the next race, Trofeo Laigueglia, Il Ghiottone secured his first win of the season. Rainbow curse? Didn't think so.

A few weeks later, Andolini finally managed for the first time to win Strade Bianche, another race he wouldn't miss for the world on the calendar. He showed himself during the race around the 10 km-to-go mark and then won the sprint in a small group uphill.


Tirreno-Adriatico, on the other hand, long looked like it'd turn out to be quite a disappointment. Andolini was outside the top 10 after half the race and didn't look in good form at all. That was, until the penultimate stage, where he bagged a stage win and moved up the GC to a 5th place. He'd keep this place and so his preparation for Milan - San Remo looked fairly well, he was ready for the first big goal of the season!


Milan - San Remo, a household name in cycling. The longest classics of the season. The easiest one to finish but the hardest one to win. Andolini had won it in his debut year but hasn't come close since. The tactics to win San Remo in those days was fairly simple: either you won a group sprint or you attacked on the Poggio and stayed away. The peloton was prepared for both scenarios.

And so Andolini decided to play it smart and take a chance...


On the Cipressa, the World Champion attacked out of the peloton. There was no immediate reaction because this was too far from the finish. Experience told them an attack on the Cipressa was doomed. Andolini caught up with the remaining breakaway riders and left them behind instantly.

The peloton was certain they'd reel him back in on the flat section between Cipressa and Poggio. They kept the gap under control, but they didn't gain back time neither.


On the Poggio, the pace in the peloton was too high for attacks. Andolini had managed his efforts well and going over the Poggio, he held a 30 second lead. If one man could finish the job now, it was the World Champion, Antonio Andolini!


And so Andolini's early spring season was a major success. The World Champion was doing exactly what we had to come to expect of him. Winning.
2nd Milano - San Remo, awesome start of the 2018 season, do we do cobbles ?
Great sequel to the story! Love the book concept! Grin

And a second MSR, what a result. Looking forward to the other spring classics Smile
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