With the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia almost upon us, Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe gather in one of London’s traditional Italian cafés, Italia Uno in Charlotte Street, to discuss what makes the race so captivating.

They look back at last year, when The Cycling Podcast offered daily coverage of the Giro for the first time and then explore this history of the race in a typically meandering and offbeat fashion. This is not a Giro history by numbers, more a study of the quirks and charm of a race that was for many years an Italian obsession that did not quite capture the imagination outside its host country.

That has changed in recent years, with a deliberate attempt to attract fans from all over the world and expose them to the beauty of Italy and the peculiarities of the Giro.

In this feature-length episode, Richard, Lionel and Daniel talk about how the Giro captured their imaginations before asking what it is about the Italian way of life and sport in particular that feeds the great rivalries of the past such as Coppi versus Bartali and Moser versus Saronni. The Italian obsession with climbers and the mountains is also discussed.

And we hear from an array of people who can offer a unique insight in to the Giro, including race director Mauro Vegni, John Foot, the author of Pedalare! Pedalare!, a history of the Giro, Fausto Coppi’s biographer William Fotheringham, La Gazzetta Dello Sport journalist Luca Gialanella, and Shelley Verses, who was one of the few women working on the race in the mid-1980s when she was a soigneur for the American 7-Eleven team.

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