Ladies and Gentlemen, remember when I said that it was time.
The time is now
The time is now
Eshnar said:STAGE 21: Monza – Milano 29.3 km ITT
START TIME: TBD
The final stage is not a flat parade this time, for the first time since the 2012 edition. In fact, this is quite an important stage: a 30 km, pan-flat ITT, absolutely perfect for specialists, apart from the fact that it comes after a full, grueling three weeks of a GT. Beginning from the start line of the famous Autodromo di Monza, the second most ancient permanent race track in the world, each rider will perform a full lap of the track, before entering the paddocks through the pit-lane and leaving the complex and heading towards Milan. The route traverses mostly wide roads featuring long straights, that will be hell for lightweights, all the way to the center of Milan. The finale is the only slightly tricky section, featuring a few dangerous turns and some very easy cobbled surface. The finishing line is in Piazza Duomo, as usual the last times the Giro finished here.
What to expect:
The final battle for the GC, if it is still open. For everyone, the last ~35' of the 100th Giro. Gaps might be consistent.
The issue of Friday, August 7th 1908, of Gazzetta dello Sport, a Milanese newspaper that years earlier had already founded the Milano-Sanremo and Giro di Lombardia, carried the announcement that a Giro d'Italia would be created, the first edition planned to start in less than a year, on Thursday, May 13th 1909.
The first route of the Giro included only 8 stages, to be held in non-consecutive days, in order to let the riders rest after stages that were on average 300 kms long.
1 May 13th Milano > Bologna 397 km
2 May 16th Bologna > Chieti 378.5 km
3 May 18th Chieti > Napoli 242.8 km
4 May 20th Napoli > Roma 228.1 km
5 May 23rd Roma > Firenze 346.5 km
6 May 25th Firenze > Genova 294.1 km
7 May 27th Genova > Torino 354.9 km
8 May 30th Torino > Milano 206 km
The format was quite different to what we're used to. The GC was placements-based, with no time gaps at all: simply, the rider with the lowest aggregated position in all stages would win the GC.
Only 128 riders showed up in Milano for the first stage. The start took place at 2.53 AM (yes, AM), in front of a pretty impressive crowd, considering the circumstances.
The first Giro proceeded, full of punctures, crashes, mechanicals and all sort of weird and sometimes funny stuff, like riders taking the train for a part of a stage, and being busted by the jury with a surprise checkpoint in the middle of it... with crowds becoming bigger and bigger, to the point that at the start of stage 7, in Genova, the organisers were afraid to let the race start in the city center with all the fans around, so they decided to let the riders parade until just outside the city, where they would give the actual start. It was the first neutralized start in history, something that will quickly become standard, even today.
At the finish of the final stage, in Milano, the crowd is massive, and the finishing straight is "secured" by the army, with lancers charging at the sides of the peloton. Apparently, one of the horses panics and causes a crash in the sprint, and the two that are least affected are Dario Beni, who wins, and Carlo Galetti. Luigi Ganna, the gc leader, arrives third, and even if he's not aware of his position due to the mess, he wins the Giro with a total of 25 points, against Galetti's 27 and Giovanni Rossignoli's 40. He will celebrate the triumph with a huge, delighted crowd, parading the city center. The Giro d'Italia was history already.