Monday, May 18, 2009

1949 Giro - Part One

Clipped from Part One of the 1949 Giro D'Italia:

"He dreams, this little soldier who has never heard the crowd roar his name, nor been lifted victoriously onto the shoulders of the delirious throng. He dreams of what all men have an absolute need to imagine, at one time or another, for otherwise life would be too difficult to bear.

He is dreaming of HIS Giro d'Italia, an awe-inspiring revenge, and right from the very start of course!

One hundred six kilometers from Palermo, where the road begins the difficult climb toward the Colle del Contrasto, more than 3000 feet above sea level, out of the thundering pack of racers, still as compact as a herd of buffalo, who leaps out? None other than he, the gregario, the unknown one, whose name children have never chalked on suburban walls, as encouragement or as scorn.

Alone, he hurls himself like a madman up the steep climb, while the others ignore him."What an idiot," says one know-it-all, "That's the best way to do yourself in! In five minutes at most he'll explode."

But he continues to fly, as if carried by a supernatural force. He devours switchback after switchback as if, instead of climbing, he was hurtling down the Stelvio, or some other mountain pass."

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