The cycling race around Italy is certainly not the biggest race in the world. Otherwise, if I am completely honest, only Italians should be convinced of this, not all of them and only rare individuals who do not live on the Apennine peninsula.
But the Giro has a great importance, first of all, for Italian cycling and much more than you would think and than anyone is ready to admit in our country. This was the first big three-week race where Slovenian cyclists sought contact with the best in the world. The fact that in the last three years the Giro has been hosted by us twice and that today it is so close again that the entire route will be surrounded only by Slovenian flags is something special anyway and the credit goes only to some individuals who recognized the importance of this race .
When speculation began at the end of last summer about whether the Giro would turn to us for the third time in a row, it was known that this time there would be no chance. However, it was rumored for a long time that after the end of the time trial, which has been held on the final Sunday for the last few years, the pink race will end in Trieste. In the end, it didn’t happen, and as you can hear in the caravan even during the race, politics should have decided that way, and race director Mauro Vegni just had to nod to her. We must not ignore the fact that the Italian state is also a big supporter of the race, which has been one of the best advertisements for local tourism for many years. All this simply goes hand in hand, and there is no shortage of those standing in line for the starting or finishing place. Regardless of the fact that it is also necessary to pay handsomely.
Already at a time when the Slovenian regions of Primorska were part of Italy, the Giro often turned into our regions. When this was restored in the 90s of the last century, when, at least for the Italians, it was the first time visiting Slovenia, the flourishing of our cycling sport also slowly began.
Italians, even though they live so close to us, often confused our cyclists with Russians. It was not easy to get to a club outside of Slovenia. Most of the time, at the beginning, these were Italian teams, even those that did not belong to the highest class. However, they had an advantage in qualifying for the Giro, because they are Italian, and this is still the case today. And even the French in the Tour and the Spanish in their circuit, the Vuelta operate similarly. At that time, cycling fans in our country did not have the privilege of thinking that a Slovenian would decide the Giro in their favor. Tadej Valjavec was the first milestone by breaking into the top ten in the final classification. But slowly, like a mosaic, everything came together and generations of our cyclists led to the fact that today, under Ponci, on the Italian side, it may happen that for the first time after the Tour and the Vuelta, we will also have a Slovenian winner at the Giro.
And when we look to the future at least for a year or two, we can only guess when the Giro will be with us again. A great desire is even the destination of Trg Evrope in Nova Gorica in two years, when Gorica will be the cultural capital of Europe. With a lack of money, this will not be easy. At the same time, unfortunately, since last fall, Enzo Cainer from Vidmo, who had a tremendous influence on the neighbors, is no longer with us. As “padrone” says. At the same time, he was a great supporter of cooperation with the Slovenians.