Gianni Mura has died aged 74. He was a legendary sports journalist in Italy and began covering the Tour de France at the age of 21 and was on the race last July too. Mura was sometimes portrayed as a curiosity in recent years for his use of a typewriter which made him look old-fashioned but there was a modern side too. He was one of the first in the pressroom to use a typewriter back in the days when journalists would write their piece in ink and then phone it through to the newspaper. He wrote his columns from the Tour de France last summer on a laptop.
There’ll be a light tailwind on the Poggio today. Even if the race is not happening it’s important in a small way to think of these places and the people there.
In the absence of the race if you want something to read about it, the history, the places around it and more here are a few pieces from the past…
“The loser” is a regular staple for comedy films, yet often celebrated in cycling as the lanterne rouge. Add on scenes from retro Belgium circa 1970, insert a comic actor with good timing and an elastic face and things get better.
This Belgian film dates from 2001 and is widely available, complete with English subtitles. If cycling films are rare, this is a gem.
Races are being cancelled, riders are under lockdown. There are bigger things to worry about than bicycle races but they’re both a welcome distraction and a precursor of economic woes ahead.
The final stage of Paris-Nice, the race is stopping a day early. Later today the finish line at La Colmiane will mark the end of Paris-Nice and probably pro bike racing as a whole for months to come.
The race goes on for now and here’s a stage with hillier terrain for a new cast of characters.
The longest stage of the race and the last chance for the sprinters before the mountains appear.
A time trial to shape the overall classification.
Another day, another flat stage exposed to the wind…
A flat route and a possible sprint finish but watch out for the weather as the forecast overnight has changed, suggesting stronger winds and it’s all on terrain so exposed it won’t take much to split the bunch again… if the stage goes ahead as last night the French government moved the threshold for permissible events from 5,000 down to 1,000 people.