Taking the Long View of the Giro d’Italia

Mini Giro

In the opening week of the Giro d’Italia, or Tour of Italy, Feargal McKay joins Jack Thurston to cast a historian’s view over the race, looking into its origins, its rivalry with the Tour de France and where the race is heading in the years to come.

Feargal’s new book is The Complete Book of the Tour de France, and is out soon.

Listen to an interview with John Foot, author of Pedalare, Pedalare: A History of Italian Cycling from The Bike Show in 2012.

Image credit: …some guy (Flickr, creative commons)

  • Richard Pelling

    Great episode neatly encapsulates everything I love about the Bike Show. Good background intro on history of the Giro (but as you know there is so much more there to tell too). I love cycling in all its forms and like the way Bike Show mixes ordinary everyday riding with sport. I commute and ride for leisure and I love following cycle sport, particularly the Grand Tours and particularly the Giro as its the first of the year. This year it was great that the Grande Partenza was in Ireland but a shame that BBC showed live coverage on BBC2 only in North of Ireland and not across whole network :( Gutted that Dan Martin crashed on the TTT. I like idea of 3 week GTs – that’s what makes them special – the sheer endurance of doing a 3 week race – and hope they don’t get cut down to 2 wks or less. Of the books mentioned, I’ve only read John Foot’s “Pedalare! Pedalare!” and its a cracker – one of my favourite cycling books and so much more than just a historical run down of results – if anyone wants to learn about how cycling fits in to the history of Italy, give this one a read. It even has the famous quote from Luigi Ganna – asked how he felt after winning the first Giro in 1909 after 18 days in the saddle he replied “My arse is killing me”. Every endurance cyclist can empathise with that even 100 years later :) Keep up the good work sir, I’m off to build a wheel for my commuter bike to face next weeks battles against the roads of northern Scotland.