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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.