Winner of the 1974 Giro d'Italia mountain classification - José Manuel Fuente
by Matthias Van Milders on 17 June 2021
It was on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo that José Manuel Fuente set about tying up some loose ends. He and he alone emerged as the best climber in the 1974 Giro. Two days later, he scored his fourth final victory in a row in the mountain classification. Fuente was miles ahead of Eddy Merckx, who went on to triumph at the Giro. On the way to his stage victory on the iconic three-headed mountain in the Dolomites, Fuente did not encounter too much opposition from the top competitors. Although they were mainly exchanging looks, the leader Eddy Merckx saw the young Italian Gibi Baronchelli nearing 12 seconds in the standings. Two days later in the final tally the difference was just as big, or small if you prefer. José Manuel Fuente finished in fifth place, which is the same number of stages he won in the 1974 Giro.