As the remnants of an Australian dominated first week fade slowly into the past, I took the time to reflect on the Giro and its closing stages, trying to ascertain once and for all why it is ‘the purist’s choice’.

Noted as ‘the world’s most beautiful race’, the Giro traverses Italy’s hypnotic highlands and rolls alongside its stunning turquoise coast. However, away from the aesthetics of idyllic country views, the true drawcard of the Giro is its aggressive and unforgiving storyline.

Stripped back from a media circus that engulfs its older brother, the Giro is renowned for its contrast of beauty and brutality, gaining it a mythical status amongst many a cycling connoisseur.

Confronting riders with parcours that border upon inhumanity, the Giro is the toughest race on the planet, with a legacy of overcoming and glory to match. Taking place in the temperamental Italian spring, the fight for the ‘Maglia Rosa’ is chaotic and continuously marred by crashes, which refuse to spare even the highest General Classification contender.

Alongside this inherent unpredictability, the atmosphere of the Giro is an enigma, which captures the imagination of even the most hardened cycle cynics. Flamboyant and unreserved, the Giro and its ‘Tifosi’ draw from a deep history of romanticism and sporting legend, that compound to create cycling’s most intriguing show on wheels.

Mythical by nature, the Giro is purely cycling, refined and raw…

by Hamish Tynan