Gianni Bugno

In the 1990 Giro d’Italia he led from the first stage right through to the last. Only a few men have done so. Bugno was the last. He didn’t mind a little pain. He was a Straight Baller.



The man rode a Moser equipped with Shimano Dura Ace. Out in the garage, I’ve got a Moser. With Dura Ace. Everyone always tells me, you can’t ride anything but Campy on an Italian bike. Yeah. Bugno didn’t.

Tappa Passo Pordoi Giro d’Italia 1990

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1991 World Championship

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Old man has more class in his little finger than some men have in their entire bodies.



An Evening with Gianni Bugno:

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

22 thoughts on “Gianni Bugno

  1. That pink paint scheme on the MOSER Leader AX is sweet looking. “steel is real” is defined by frameset.

  2. Bugnos is still a mega hero in Lombardy. His name is still painted in three ft high letters on the climb up Mortirolo. There were only three persons names painted on that climb for this years Giro that weren’t currently racing.
    Coppi, Pantani, & Bugno.

    Pretty good company..

    The good people at Casati (sponsored him as a youth, national champion) still speak highly of him. Apart from the accomplishments, I got the sense he’s considered a true gentleman.
    I didn’t actually hear them mention “Baller” tho.
    ..must’ve been lost in translation.

  3. …that’s class in ‘italia’ for ya…

    …where the hard man, the race leader, stylishly wears pink & is forever regarded as a treasure…

    …nice…as it ought a’ be…

  4. and doesn’t he fly rescue helicopters now as his job? I believe he started that right after he retired in the late 90’s.

  5. Watch him throw elbows at the press and the crush of fans at the end of the race…baller.

  6. Nothing wrong with Dura Ace on an Italian bike. It seemed to work pretty well for the Mapei and Rabobank boys back in the Colnago years. Sven Nys doesn’t have a problem mixing the two.

  7. Bugno… now those where the days of doping! Remember when a few extra espressos could get you a caffeine positive?

  8. …re: gianni’s comment regarding bikes from ‘italia’ with dura-ace…

    …ya, i can accept the reality of mapie, rabobank & others throughout the years…

    …but it still makes me throw up in my mouth a teensy bit…

  9. re Shimano on an Italian bike.
    It’s like my old dad used to say. There are lots of things you can do but only a few things you should do.

    Campy just finishes the artwork on something like this.

  10. i had posters of him on my wall in high school. he had his tdf champ script sogged out by indurain. needles ahead of the pack, mig was. i always looked up to boog for his sit-sown crush mode style, and his lone-wolf mentality.

    thanks for the inspo, big kitchen.

  11. Bugno was a hero of mine too at the time. Although I now look at his insta rise in the group (something I wanted and was fascinated by) and have to say early EPO dabbler, no doubt. At the time he thanked his trainer for turning him on to a book -Psycho Cybernetics; I loved the book and ate that shit up as a 22 y.o. punk. Now it seems like the same old shit. Had to be a psychological breakthrough, because there was no way he was going to say it was a new training trick, there aren’t any. He slipped right back to the middle when everybody else caught up with him and his EPO. Tell it like it is now big G, you’re due.

  12. you guys remember when, during the tour (which one, i’m not sure of anymore) when bugno and robert millar were climbing…hit a hairpin and some photographer got too close…bugno hits the deck and millar put the stoppers on so hard his rear wheel came up off the ground and pedaled a full rotation up in the air…

  13. I agree with AA. He kind of exploded on the scene and then drifted off the stage races podiums. He continued to win some big single-day races but seemed largely packfill or domestique. Perhaps he just didn’t have the motivation for that extra 10%.

    Sometimes I wonder if these top guys are so humble because they know it was the dope that won them the races. Wouldn’t surprise me if Tyler Hamilton’s depression was a result of a profoundly guilty conscience.

  14. Big Johnny,

    Interesting stuff. As a helicopter pilot, though, I doubt that he would be able to keep his pilot’s license with that kind of health/heart condition… even in Italy.

  15. he won because he was an Early Italian EPO Clique Member from the Concini to Ferrari lineage days