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A Giro d'Italia Bookshelf

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A Café Bookshelf guide to Giro d'Italia books available today.

The Trofeo Senza Fine, the Giro's never-ending trophy.
The Trofeo Senza Fine, the Giro's never-ending trophy.
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

The Giro 100, by Herbie Sykes Title: The Giro 100 - 100 Tales from the Corsa Rosa
Author: Herbie Sykes
Publisher: Rapha Editions (in arrangement with Blue Train)
Year: 2017
Pages: 224

One hundred men and women who played a part in the history of the corsa rosa tell their stories to Herbie Sykes, producing what is possibly the saddest, sweetest, funniest and most thoughtful cycling book you'll ever read.

Pedalare! Pedalare!, by John Foot

Title: Pedalare! Pedalare! - A History of Italian Cycling
Author: John Foot
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2011
Pages: 372

A history of Italian cycling - focused very much on the era of Alfredo Binda, Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi - that successfully places the sport within the context of changes in Italian culture, economics and society.

Alfonsina, by Ilona Kamps Title: Alfonsina - Cycling is My Life
Author: Ilona Kamps
Publisher: Ilona Kamps
Year: 2017
Pages: 235

An atmospheric telling of the story of Alfonsina Strada, the only woman to ride the Giro di Lombardia (twice) and the Giro d'Italia, told through photographs, poetry and prose.

The Story of the Giro dItalia, vol 1, by Bill and Carol McGann

Title: The Story of the Giro d'Italia - A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy - Volume One – 1909-1970
Authors: Bill and Carol McGann
Publisher: McGann Publishing
Year: 2011
Pages: 309

The first part of the most comprehensive account of the who, what, where, when and how of each of the Giro's editions.

The Story of the Giro dItalia, vol 2, by Bill and Carol McGann

Title: The Story of the Giro d'Italia - A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy - Volume Two - 1971-2011
Authors: Bill and Carol McGann
Publisher: McGann Publishing
Year: 2011
Pages: 309

The second part of the most comprehensive account of the who, what, where, when and how of each of the Giro's editions.

The Giro dItalia, by Dino Buzzati

Title: The Giro D'Italia - Coppi Vs. Bartali at the 1949 Tour of Italy
Author: Dino Buzzati
Publisher: Velo Press
Year: 1998
Pages: 200

One of the masters of Italian cycling journalism, the story of the 1949 Giro and the duel between Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.

Gironimo!, by Tim Moore

Title: Gironimo! - Riding the Very Terrible 1914 Tour of Italy
Author: Tim Moore
Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press
Year: 2014
Pages: 360

Tim Moore rides the route of the 1914 Giro on a period bicycle, telling tales of his own misadventures and of the 1914 girini.

Maglia Rosa, by Herbie Sykes

Title: Maglia Rosa – Triumph and Tragedy at the Giro d'Italia
Author: Herbie Sykes
Publisher: Rouleur
Year: 2011
Pages: 312

A history of the Giro d'Italia which humanises the mythic nature of Italy's Grand Tour without robbing it of its epic elements.

Coppi, by Herbie Sykes

Title: Coppi – Inside the Legend of the Campionissimo
Author: Herbie Sykes
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2012
Pages: 320

A sideways look at the life and times of Fausto Coppi, through stories told by men he raced with and against, illustrated with archive photographs.

Fallen Angel, by William Fotheringham

Title: Fallen Angel – The Passion of Fausto Coppi
Author: William Fotheringham
Publisher: Yellow Jersey Press
Year: 2009
Pages: 283

A by-the-numbers biography of Fausto Coppi.

The Eagle of the Canavese, by Herbie Sykes

Title: The Eagle of the Canavese – Franco Balmamion and the Giro d'Italia
Author: Herbie Sykes
Publisher: Mousehold Press
Year: 2008
Pages: 195

A biography of sorts of Franco Balmamion, the last Italian to win back-to-back maglie rose in the Giro d'Italia, framed through the story of the 1962 edition of the Corsa Rosa.

The Cycling Professor, by Marco Pinotti

Title: The Cycling Professor
Author: Marco Pinotti, translated by Fabrizio Viani
Publisher: Pinotti/Viani
Year: 2012
Pages: 169

A brief autobiography from one of the quiet stars of Italian cycling.

The Death of Marco Pantani, by Matt Rendell

Title: The Death of Marco Pantani – A Biography
Author: Matt Rendell
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Year: 2006
Pages: 324

A story of the tragic life and even more tragic death of Marco Pantani.

Pantani, by Andrea Rossini

Title: Pantani - Debunking the Murder Myth
Author: Andrea Rossini (translated by Matt Rendell)
Publisher: Rendell/Rossini
Year: 2014
Pages: 161

A response to the attempts to portray Marco Pantani's death as a murder mystery.

Man on the Run, by Manuela Ronchi

Title: Man on the Run - The Life and Death of Marco Pantani
Author: Manuela Ronchi and Gianfranco Josti
Publisher: Anova Books
Year: 2005
Pages: 231

If you prefer the myth, a rather limp biography of the tragic hero of contemporary Italian cycling.

Road to Valour, by Aili and Andres McConon

Title: Road to Valour - Gino Bartali, Tour de France Legend and Italy's Secret World War Two Hero
Author: Aili and Andrea McConnon
Publisher: Weidenfield & Nicholson
Year: 2012
Pages: 316

An American biography of Gino Bartali that has all the charm of a straight-to-cable biopic, the Italian star's career reduced to Gino wins the Tour, Gino saves the Jews, Gino wins the Tour again. A necessary read for biographical detail, but a chore if you're looking for the story of why Bartali was such a hero in Italy.

Giro dItalia, by Colin OBrien

Title: Giro d'Italia – The Story of the World's Most Beautiful Race
Author: Colin O'Brien
Publisher: Profile Books
Year: 2017
Pages: 231

A by now familiar history of Italy's Grand Tour that borrows heavily from those that preceded it.

Corsa Rosa, by Brendan Gallagher

Title: Corsa Rosa – A History of the Giro d'Italia
Author: Brendan Gallagher
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2017
Pages: 296

An error-riddled 'alternative' history of the Giro d'Italia that borrows heavily from others, adding only erroneous colour.

In addition to the books listed above which all deal directly with the Giro d'Italia (in one way or another), the Café Bookshelf has many biographies and autobiographies of riders who have left their mark on the Giro and in which the race is discussed. Some of these – along with some of the books listed above – have provided detail for a number of articles that have told the stories of individual races: