Thursday, 3 December 2009

Original and best?

Every biker in the UK must know about the Motogiro d'Italia, and the magazines seem to give its modern reinvention fair coverage - quite right too, and many TB members have enjoyed pretending to be Giuliano Maoggi, Emilio Mendogni or Leopoldo Tartarini. Next year's event'll be the 10th anniversary of the recreation. You should go.

Go Motogiro!

But no one in the UK seems to know about the original of these Gran Fondo races, the Milano Taranto. Unlike the Motogiro bikes weren't limited to 175cc - you needed something like a Guzzi 500 Dondolino to win. And they raced at night, in the days when there were no streetlights - or indeed what modern riders would call headlights. Heroic, and the modern Milano Taranto today still starts at midnight. There never seem to be any English entrants, presumably because we're sensible enough to know that starting a bike race just as the Vino Rosso and pasta's finished would be madness. Hmmm, wonder if Sammy Miller would lend us his Dondolino?

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