Joaquim Agostinho

The greatest Portuguese cyclist.


“Tino” as he was known Joaquim Agostinho was born in an extremely poor family in Brejenjas, Torres Vedras, who lived from agriculture and, from a very early age, with eight years of age, he had to help his parents in the field until military service that he fulfilled in the colonial estate of Mozambique, where he remained for 3 years. Returned to his land at age 24 began to wake up for cycling. It was a fellow countryman – João Roque (former champion of Sporting), who brought him to the sport.

Small, uncouth corridor on the bike, but with a huge heart. Some of his victories are the result of a superb resistance and a mental strength and discipline that made him unique in the international squad. Even Merckx respected the little Portuguese and admired his cycling.

Joaquim Agostinho was a sprinter, described by his sports director Raphael Geminiani as “a muscle ball with an unusual power, he was unaware of his own strength.” It even had several nicknames like “emigrante of the bicycles” or “Quim of the fall” for starting late in the modality of the cycling and for that reason to demonstrate little technique and a very peculiar form of pedaling. He was known for his hard pedaling in the more accentuated stages of the return to France. But Joaquim Agostinho was much more than that he had a sublime kindness and companionship. The victory in Alpe D’Huez on 15 July 1979 was the greatest achievement in Portuguese cycling. Finished this Tour to France guaranteeing a 3rd place for the second time. The rider of Torres Vedras has until today the record of national presence in the return to France, 13 in total, but also counts on 5 victories in stages.

At the age of 41, he returned to Sporting Clube de Portugal, eventually passing away after a major downturn in a Tour of the Algarve on 30 April, due to the appearance of a dog that made him deviate from his career. Even without a helmet he was able to reach the end of the stage, but severe pain due to a head injury took him to the hospital where he died on May 10.

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