If we had to remember only two signs of the rise of the Tour of Italy in the world cycling landscape, they would be of a media nature. The first came in 2017 with the daily live broadcast, with good audiences, of all stages of the Giro by a free French channel (The Team). The second has been in the bookshops for a few days. This is the very first book written in French on the battle of the Italian road, while the Italian books on the great French loop are legion.
This historical work is the work of journalist specialized Pierre Carrey who took over the title of his book a famous formula of a former director of the Giro, Angelo Zomegnan: "The hardest race in the world in the most beautiful country in the world. " The second part of the sentence will be left to the patriotic subjectivity of Angelo Zomegnan.
But the mention of a race more difficult than the Tour de France holds the road. "The riders say that everything is possible on the Giro, supports Pierre Carrey. The weather is harder than on the Tour de France, the roads are less rolling, the conditions of security more random, the race is less locked by the big teams, so the individual exploits are more numerous. "
Open war with the organizer of the Tour de France
An open war rages for years between the two organizers, ASO, publisher of the newspaper The Team on one side of the Alps, and RCS, the mother house of the Gazzetta dello Sport, the other. Last year's highlight was RCS's decision to start its race in Israel before announcing a future start in Tokyo.
The bidding between the two competing houses far exceeds the competition of the most exotic departure. RCS imagined creating a ranking of the best descender, just to make the race progress, before retreating against the rally caused by this dangerous initiative. There was even talk of a buyout of RCS by ASO. Contrary rumors regularly announce the opposite.
The five pillars of the cycling monument
On the merits, the question of sports supremacy deserves to be asked. The Giro offers uneven elevations and amazing altitudes at a time of year when it is not uncommon to encounter snow or ice in the mountains. "The Tour (de France) is a cycling race, the Giro, an adventure. Fog ? Hail ? The snow ? A dirt and gravel road? Everything is possible ", explains the runner Thibaut Pinot, who finished 4e in 2017. The evocation of gravel roads is not insignificant: the Italian organizer has long opted for paved mountain routes. Last year, Chris Froome built his victory on a flight on a path of goats.
Four pretenders to the throne
While the run of the Tour de France 2018 was summarized in an exchange of good procedures between the two Britons of the Sky team (now bought by the oil group Ineos), Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas, the wheel turning In exchange for the services provided to Froome in previous years, conversely, at least four of them will be able to bring back the pink tunic on June 2 to Verona's final podium.
The four contenders all have different passports and teams. There is Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, Slovenian Primoz Roglic, Italian Vincenzo Nibali and Englishman Simon Yates.
The latter is determined to forget his failure last year in the famous goat stage, while the pink jersey seemed securely stowed on his shoulders. He announced his plans for victory with an arrogance that delighted the local press and tifosis, fond of commedia. The dramaturgy of the Giro is since 1909, year of creation of the event, rich of these duels, thrusts, alliances, low maneuvers of the peloton which sometimes transform the race in polar. As in 1984, when the helicopters of the Rai, Italian public television, had been accused of slowing Laurent Fignon by a clever game of blades sending a contrary wind on the French, and push in the back the Italian Francesco Moser.
Gino Bartali, the bicycle spy of Monte Cassino
In forced rest because of the interruption of the races during the war, the champion Gino Bartali, winner of the Giro in 1936 and 1937, took advantage of his trainings to carry false papers hidden in his seat tube, on behalf of a network of exfiltration of the Italian Jews, animated by the cardinal of Florence.
This fact is now well known, but we know less that Bartali also used these sessions to monitor the defenses installed by the German army at Monte Cassino, future theater of a famous battle. Very believer, the rider acted there at the request of another prelate, the Archbishop of Perugia.
(tagsToTranslate) cycling (t) Italy (t) Tour de France 2019 (t) cycling (t) Sport (t) spectacular (t) France