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Sad News – Renowned Quebec Bike Race Organizer and Builder Federico Corneli Passes Away

by John Symon

January 12, 2016 (Montreal, QC) – Federico Corneli, a long-time bike event organizer based in Montreal, recently passed away at age 82. The news was confirmed by Quebec Cycling Federation (FQSC) Director General, Louis Barbeau.

According to the FQSC website, Corneli was a builder in the cycling community since 1958. In 1964, he organized the first Corneli Omnium that featured Italian cycling celebrity, Gino Bartali, and crowds of 50,000. This Omnium continued through 1975 while Corneli also helped organize many other notable cycling events.

2007 Coupe de la Paix press conference (l-r) Corneli, Salvatore, Infantino, Bessette, Clermont, Cantin, Heziol  ©  John Symon

“Federico Corneli has been an important builder for cycling in Quebec. I have known him since my arrival at the FQSC in 1986,” Barbeau wrote Pedal.

“He was responsible for bringing back the Quebec (City)-Montreal race (after a 13-year absence), which he organized between 1988 and 1997. He stepped down from the organization mainly for health reasons. In about 2003 or 2004, he came back with the organization of La Coupe de la Paix (2004 to 2008). After that, he helped Joe Cappadocia with his series of races for masters in Laval for several years, until the series was recuperated by the club Espoirs Laval in 2012. In 2010, he also managed to get a circuit (800m long) at the Centre de la Nature (park in Laval, QC), which is being used for training by the club Espoirs Laval as well as for regional races.”

“Mr. Corneli was very passionate about cycling. In the early 80s, he also managed to invite some professional Italian cyclists like Giuseppe Saronni to come to Montreal after he had won the Road World Championships (1982). Even though he was no longer active in cycling in the last few years, mainly because of health issues, he remained informed of what was going on in Quebec.”

Corneli was president and sponsor of the Corneli Cycling Club from 1962-1972. He also served as VP of the national racing committee of the Canadian Cycling Association (now Cycling Canada Cyclisme). In 1989, Corneli was inducted into the FQSC’s Cycling Hall of Fame as a builder.

Corneli also played a key role in helping Giuseppe Marinoni set up his bicycle manufacturing business in Montreal (Cycles Marinoni). Corneli was also involved in the restaurant business.

For funeral details please click here.

Pedal joins the cycling community in expressing its condolences to Corneli’s family and friends.

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