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Why Do You Love the Giro d'Italia?

Susie Hartigan

It's nearly that time again. On Friday, May 9, the Giro rolls out of Belfast (huh?) and toward its destiny in Trieste (huh!), with all that implies in between. We at the Cafe are prone to writing sonnets to the Giro every year, not because we like or even know what a sonnet is, but because the Giro just gets us too excited to think straight.

But why is that? I can think of a million cliches about the race, which used to be fun to discuss until virtually every one of them turned into a book. Yes, it is a beautiful race, but exactly why? For real?

There are plenty of correct answers, and really, no wrong ones, since we're talking about subjective responses. I love the competition, except when I don't. I love the history, until they go too far with it. I love the landscape, until... well, no, I always love the landscape. But mostly for me, I love the way that the Giro finds ways to bring us closer to Italy. As I've said many times, cycling was designed as a way to bring people from along the route together ... and then, as a way to get a broader broadcast audience attuned to a place. Cycling is always about the place. And the Giro, whether being whimsical, repetitive, emotional, grand, sad, silly or sadistic, the Giro always makes me feel like I've jetted nearly halfway across the world to be there.

What say ye? What makes you react to the Giro the way you do?