The rivalry between the Tour of Italy and the Tour de France is an old story. Thanks to the French cycling race, born in 1903, you will acquire the idea of an Italian tour. In fact, for Big Loop, Giro was born out of a rival of two Italian newspapers. The Gazzetta dello Sport She wanted to stand out from her main competitor, Corriere della Sera, Which was then organizing a car tour in Italy. Tullo Morgagni, editor-in-chief of the newspaper magazine, Will put everything in place to browse the nascent Tour de France success and organize a similar competition in his country. The Tour of Italy was officially announced for the first time on August 7, 1908 and began on May 13, 1909 with 127 runners.
Over time, the Italy tour will shine a light on the country’s history. It would even serve as a platform for the dictator Mussolini, always on the alert when it comes to turning a sporting event into a political tool.
For a long time, an Italo-Italian event
The Giro will remain an Italo-Italian juvenile for a long time and it will be difficult to export to other countries. There are several reasons for this. In particular, racing was for years the preserve of Italian racers. Italian bike brands, which sponsored the competition, have equipped national riders to a great extent.
Another interpretation shows that in the early 1960s, the Tour de France was equipped with better methods than its Italian counterpart, which made it possible to have faster courses and thus to have a race more attractive to the participants. Add to that a few tricks, especially so that the foreigners do not win the competition. Italian cyclists won almost all of the first 53 editions. Pierre Curry is the author of the book Round (Posted by Hugo Sport), if Eddie Merckx won the race for Italy in 1968, it is because he is a member of an Italian team. After this date, the list of prizes will become more and more international and the race will open to new horizons.
The Italy tour has grown a lot since then. In the past ten years, only three Italians have won the competition and the podium has opened for other nationalities, such as recent British winner Tao Geojejan Hart. For the 2021 edition, on May 8, 184 participants divided into 23 teams began this race. And proof of opening Thursday, May 13th Attila Walther became the first Hungarian to wear the pink shirt of the General Leader.
Breed departures abroad
The race concentrates its contacts more and more around the heights of the Italian lands and thus promoting the state on all continents. L’idée est là encore d’avoir une course plus médiatique et ainsi, pourquoi pas, rattraper le Tour de France, qui rassemble chaque année des millions de téléspectateurs – le troisième événement sportif le plus médiatique der la football de Monde Olympic Games. In any case, Giro will not be outdone as it broadcasts every year in nearly 170 different countries to around 800 million viewers.
In 2018, the Giro peloton took off from Israel. © EPA / MAXPPP
The internationalization of the Italy tour is less, but not growing. As evidenced by the Giro’s various departures from foreign countries in recent years. Denmark in 2012, the UK in 2014, and the Netherlands in 2016. It takes a new turn in 2018 since this time the race starts from … Israel. An exit is made possible thanks to the support of Israeli-Canadian businessman, Sylvan Adams, who will not hesitate to put millions on the table to persuade the organizers of a race across the Alps to choose his country. It must be said that the businessman sees sport as a way to promote and change Israel’s image internationally, which is why he will invest in the cycling team in Israel Start-Up Nation, formerly Israel. The Cycling Academy and access to the World Tour in 2020. In 2018, this is in any case a great precedent for the Hebrew country, which has not yet hosted a sporting event of this magnitude. Although the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the clashes on the borders of the Gaza Strip has caused Giro Ditalia in controversy and many calls for boycott.
The toughest race in the world
The Giro is still, however, one of three Grand Touring rounds on the World Tour calendar. For a few years now, these organizers have now tried not to try to compete with the Tour de France media, in a field that is too high for them. Giro seeks instead to be the cool # 2, an alternate race where skill and an unbridled rhyme of race harmonize. This is in order to focus on the exploits of some and the failures of others in building their legend out of the most difficult race in the world.
The 2020 edition was also supposed to have left abroad, from Hungary, but Covid-19 will force the regulators to return. In any case, Italy’s tour continues to be internationalized. We are a long way from the time when the gyro was reserved for Italians only, 69 victories across the Alps out of 103 copies, with the last three winners being British or Ecuadorian. As Pierre Carey says in his book Giro, the tour of Italy is without a doubt “The toughest race in the world in the most beautiful country in the world”. There is no doubt that this edition will highlight the beauty of Italy and its mountains.