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A Look into Italy’s Cycling Race: Giro d’Italia

Giro d'Italia

The Giro d’Italia or The Tour of Italy is held annually in Italy, but also occasionally passes through other neighboring countries. The bicycle race is held annually by RCS Sport. Its first edition in 1909 was organized to increase sales of the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport. Over the years, the race gained in popularity and was lengthened, with riders from all over the world taking part.

Luigi Ganna won the first edition with the fewest total points in his kitty. This format was used for the next two years and saw two Italian cyclists winning the race. The 1912 Giro was won by Atala-Dunlop according to the general classification. Next year, they reverted to the original system of scoring participants, and finally switched to the aggregate time model in 1914.

Italians have dominated the race and of them Alfredo Binda won five editions of the race over a period of nine years. Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi came into the picture later with their consistent assertion of superiority in the race and put an end to Binda’s winning stint. Even though the first non-Italian, Hugo Koblet won the race in 1950, Italians continued to dominate the tournament.

Koblet though was the first foreigner to win the Giro, the Italians continued their domination until 1968. In 1968, the Belgian Eddy Merckx won his maiden title and followed it with four more wins.

Similarly, Bernard Hinault began his first win in 1980 and went on to win two more times. Non-Italian Stephen Roche (Ireland) won the 1987 race. Spanish rider Miguel Indurain won twice consecutively, in 1992 and 1993, and thereafter Evgeni Berzin, Tony Rominger, and Pavel Tonkov took the mantle. The Italians once again took over the mantle with Marco Pantani, Paolo Savoldelli, and Gilberto Simoni winning the race.

In the last decade, Spain’s Alberto Contador won the 2008 Giro d’Italia. 2009 was the centennial year of the race and the Russian Denis Menchov won the race. 2010 saw Ivan Basso win for the second time. Contador won the Giro d’Italia next year, but was stripped off the title after a positive drug test; it was then given to runner-up Michele Scarponi.
Canadian Ryder Hesjedal and Spaniard Joaquim Rodríguez competed with each other for the title in 2012. Hesjedal finished with a 47 seconds better aggregate time than Rodríguez, winning him the Giro.

In 2013 Vincenzo Nibali became the winner and has continued his winning streak.

Since the race began it wasn’t held only during the two World Wars. Lack of funds didn’t stop the race from being held when it began. The organizers went around for donations and from several quarters money poured in. The idea of the race was inspired by Tour de France. The race is divided into several stages.

The Giro d’Italia has seen its share of controversies. As usual, doping scandals have rocked the cycling race. But the race goes on and today you can take your love of the race to the next level by placing a wager or two on your favorite cyclist. For insight as to where to begin your journey, you can take a look at this bet365 review site for more information. Of course for a comprehensive list, you can check out this compilation of online bookmakers here.

Various Uses of Fake Foods


Fake foods aren’t restricted to restaurants or food outlets wanting to advertise their list of food to prospective customers. They have been made use of in the museums, movies and photo shoots too. As food props. As sampuru.

Have you looked at those pictures of ice creams that hold their own in magazine front pages and wondered how? They are actually inedible ice-creams that don’t melt away in the heat of the camera lights. And some times, fake though they are, they are perfectly edible, made of store bought frosting and humongous amount of powdered sugar. Commercial photographers use fake food models during photo shoots for food magazines typically for their durability. Real food may not last the entire length of a photo shoot and sometimes, fake foods are more visually appealing than their real counterparts.

In movies, actors are seen gathering around dining tables as families for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some of the food on the table isn’t meant to be eaten during the scene. They are there only to represent a dining table from real life. A basket of fruits kept at the centre, maybe. At times, it may be that the food item will have to last the entire shoot. The director or the producer isn’t keen on purchasing fresh food very day. He would rather buy a replica, especially if that isn’t meant to be eaten, as per the script. If you are looking for toast pieces piled high on a plate or for an ostentatious display of wealth by a certain czar, a bucket of caviar then using fake food props could be your solution.

And then you could be a restaurateur looking to display your bento box lunch items in your window using fake food items to resemble the real stuff. Customers can order bento boxes that you put up in the display using the sample as a guide for what to expect.

Display of fake food require you to order plastic replicas from stores such as Fake Food Japan as separate items that you then corral or you may even order the whole box by sending pictures of what your restaurant serves. Using fake plastic material to display food is an art form practiced in Japan. The art form dates back centuries to times after the end of World War II.

Japanese fake food is famous. They don’t make just Japanese stuff but include pizzas, pasta, tofu, ice cream, and hamburger steak; just name it and they’ll fake it for you. Kappabashi or the kitchen town sells wares for the restaurant that include Japanese plastic food. Most of it looks real and gives the visitor a surreal feeling. But mind you, these works of art don’t come cheap. They can cost you as much as $30 for a good quality faux ramen. A complete bento box may leave your lighter by several more dollars.

In education centers, nutritionists use these fake foods to demonstrate facts to the class.