“The 1983 Lombardia was a special memory as it was my first win in a classic, and it was such a close finish that I did not know I had won it. I had my head down and did a throw to the line. I think in the final two or three metres I had my eyes closed with the effort, so it wasn’t until afterwards that it came through that

I had beaten Greg LeMond by the tiniest of margins.

For my second victory, in 1985, we were a group that arrived onto the Vigorelli track. It was a tense run into the final because a track sprint is always a bit more complicate­d than on the road, but in the end it went as I would have liked it to go. In 1991, I wasn’t one of the big favourites because I was getting towards the end of my career. I couldn’t leave it until the final, so I went into an early breakaway with Gayant, Ballerini, Sørensen and others, and hoped it would go all the way. I had to do that because I wasn’t as explosive and I knew if I went into the final with the real top guys at that time I wouldn’t be able to manage them. When Gayant attacked on the final climb, I went with him, knowing that if we could stay ahead of the chase, I could win the sprint comfortabl­y.”

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