Across a thrilling three weeks, from the coast of Emilia Romagna to the peaks of the Dolomites, the Giro d’Italia revealed again why it is one of cycling’s most beloved – and beautiful – races.
The race was book-ended by time-trial victories from Filippo Ganna, and across the three weeks showcased a stunning return to form for Egan Bernal, a crowd-pleasing second place for underdog Italian Damiano Caruso, numerous breakthrough stage wins for riders, and the full spectrum of weather conditions.
The gaze of the cycling world will now move on to the Dauphine, Romandie, the Tour. But before we bid farewell to Italy, let’s take a behind-the-scenes look back at the Giro d’Italia.
The photos you see below come courtesy of Jered and Ashley Gruber, and Cor Vos.
Hey look, it’s Yukiya Arashiro! Looking forward to the Giro, Yukiya? Great stuff! Me too! I bet it’ll turn out well for your guy Mikel Landa. I’ve got a great feeling about him this year. Is there a more quintessentially Italian vehicle than the Fiat Panda, a four-wheeled-drive titan of the roads? Ah yes, this stupid thing. Here’s another one. How rustic. I don’t know if there’s an Italian version of Mr Bean, but if there is, I have to believe that one of these is getting tipped over for comic effect multiple times per episode. A very fine early Giro dog that belongs to the aforementioned Yukiya Arashiro and his wife, photographer Miwa Iijima. The town of Notaresco now has a country-wide monopoly on pink umbrellas, its decorative decisions having plunged the broader economic region into a pink-polyester shortage. Bahrain-Victorious were doing their best on the social media front. Here’s the classic ‘GoPro through the sunglass lens’ manoeuvre. #nailedit In this edition of #shitstatueofemiliaromagna, we see a giant giving a semi-trailer a piggy-back. Why is this happening? What does it symbolise? I do not have answers to either of those questions. Art™. Roger Kluge pulls up at the finish in Cattolica, on stage 5, to rewatch Caleb Ewan’s stage win. Some bold spectator clothing choices on the Zoncolan. A neck crack so potent that it split a glove in half. Damiano Caruso welcomes warmth, hope and improbable team leadership into his life, stage 11. Also on stage 11, Edoardo Affini rewards himself with a crisp litre of full-cream 750ml serving of B-Better Immunity Water, “a sip that’s so much more than water, but still low in calories: thanks to its refreshing taste of orange and ginger”. After breaking his long streak of not winning at the Giro d’Italia on stage 13, Giacomo Nizzolo poses in front of a fan banner featuring two more Giacomo Nizzolos. He is truly the tricampioni of the public’s hearts. You can trace the contour lines of the Giro d’Italia on Dan Martin’s legs. Bauke Mollema is either confused about a trophy or doesn’t care for the photographer’s vibe, not one bit. Another day in paradise. A thoroughly unimpressed pinto surveys the race. The penile pinecone and structural integrity of the lower torso of this snowman has me concerned, just quietly. Big Statler & Waldorf vibes (but with a wistful tinge of ageing continental romance). This old boy, immaculately dressed to watch some cycling from a traffic island, gives me heavy nostalgia for a place I’ve never been. Ditto here. Smell the engine oil and Old Spice; hear the reassuring scritch of rectangular pencil on lumber; feel the rustle of Werther’s Original wrappers in his pocket. A grizzled old gent eyes off a pair of Bardiani riders, pondering the age-old question – “cyclist or eggplant?” – and liking neither answer. Evocative, that’s what this is.