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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Tuscany, Giro d’Italia effect: from Siena to Florence, the pink race rekindles the passion

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More than a party, a kind of collective sigh of relief. But with the mask and being careful to keep your distance. The arrival of the Giro d’Italia in Tuscany has allowed many onlookers – passionate and non-pedal enthusiasts – to pour into the streets and celebrate a race that has united the country for 104 years. The first major sporting event in Florence in a very long time, which the Florentines were able to experience firsthand. The Giro, which through cities and towns always brings joy, managed to ward off fear and bring people back to a modicum of normality that for over a year seemed lost.

Many groups of people but no gatherings, as requested also by the local authorities. The departure of the twelfth stage, almost all along our region, with two Apennine passes – the Consuma la Calla (crossed in the rain) – it came from Siena which embraced the Giro after 35 years. The evocative start in a sunny Piazza del Campo saw cyclists travel along a stretch of that track that is run every year by the horses and jockeys of the Palio with a passage, while the notes of “Nessun Dorma” resounded from Giacomo’s Turandot. Puccini, under the Torre del Mangia.


A difficult stage, of 212 kilometers, lhe second longer leg of this year with a passage from the Chianti area which also caused some falls. Upon entering Ponte a Ema, the cyclists were greeted by pink balloons and lots of applause at Gino Bartali’s house and where the Museum that bears his name is now located opposite. Also present was Giovanni Nencini, son of the “Leone del Mugello” as well as some young cyclists wearing the SS Aquila jersey, Bartali’s first team. And the stage dedicated to the winner of three Tours of Italy and two Tour de France will not be just an episode.

As the organization announced, the dedication of a fraction to the champion of a distant cycling will be fixed starting from this year. “For the benefit of the youngest, so that his memory is celebrated every year, the Giro d’Italia – the direction of the race said in a note – has established that, edition after edition, a stage will remember Gino, athlete and character who with Fausto Coppi he also marked the history of our country. But not only that, Bartali is in fact one of the 682 “Righteous among the Nations”, with his name imprinted on the wall of honor of the Garden of the Righteous in the Yad Vashem Memorial Mausoleum in Jerusalem. The winner of the stage will receive a prize that will remember Bartali ».

The will to leave again stimulated the imagination. There was no shortage of ironic banners such as the one that appeared in Grassina who mocked the inhabitants of the neighboring and rival hamlet: “In Grassina the Giro, at Antella they turn them” obviously in red-green, the colors of Grassina calcio or the classic “It’s all for them wrong, it is all to be redone “of Bartalian memory.

After passing through Florence (also to commemorate the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death) the passage from Sesto Fiorentino to celebrate a special birthday, the 100th anniversary of Alfredo Martini. The cyclists passed in front of the house in via Giusti but also from Colonnata, where the Unione Operaia placed a maxi photo of the former coach. Also in this case the cyclists were greeted by pink balloons in the shops and on the balconies, pink rosettes at the rungs delimiting the square and many wanted to greet the passage of the caravan wearing something pink, some a T-shirt or a backpack, or a wig.

The passage from Monte Morello is also significant, a place dear to Martini who, in life, promoted a competition for the youngest, which still bears his name today, starting from Sesto and arriving right at the top of the peak. There were also fans along the ascent with great affection for the cyclists and for Martini who was a shining example of work ethic that the Giro wanted to remember. A stage with many memories that has therefore turned into a great celebration of public and sport that everyone hopes will be a good omen for the future. And the mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, relaunches: «We are working with the president of Emilia Romagna Bonaccini for the candidacy of the Grand Depart of the Tour de France».

May 21, 2021 | 07:00

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