The Tour of Italy: along with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, one of professional cycling's three "major tours". A three-week stage race covering 3500-4000 km, it is normally run in late May and early June - the earliest of the big three in the current cycling calendar. It was first run in 1909 and has been run every year since with the exception of 1915-18 and 1944-45. In the years of the postwar economic miracle it was the main stage of the rivalry (dualità) between national heroes Gino Bartali (godly, responsible Christian Democrat) and Fausto Coppi (fast-living, supposed Communist) which split the country in two (not an abnormal state of affairs in Italy).

The race is organised and sponsored by the Gazzetta dello Sport and, like the pages of that newspaper, the leader's jersey (the maglia rosa) is pink; green and purple jerseys (maglia verde and maglia ciclamina) are awarded for the subsidiary mountains and points classifications.

The course is less rigidly fixed than that of the Tour de France, but in recent years the race has always finished in Milan with the mountain passes of the Alps and Dolomites in the closing week. The choice of course has been somewhat tailored to the strengths of the home riders, with notoriously easy versions in the early 1980s to suit routier-sprinters Francesco Moser and Giuseppe Saronni, and viciously mountainous ones in recent years to suit Claudio Chiappucci and Marco Pantani. The organisers have been fairly adventurous in their choice of start points outside Italy, going as far as Verviers (Belgium) in 1973 and Athens in 1996, and Groningen in the Netherlands (with stages in each of the original 6 Member States of the EEC) in 2002.

The same organiser also runs women's (the Giro Femminile) and under-23 men's ("il Giro Baby") events over 2 weeks.


Obligatory factoids:
  • The first event in 1909 (8 stages, 2408.3 km) was won by Luigi Ganna.
  • The first winner from outside Italy was Hugo Koblet (Switzerland) in 1950.
  • The most wins by one rider is 5, first by Alfredo Binda (1925-27-28-29-33), then Fausto Coppi (1940-47-49-52-53) and Eddy Merckx (1968-70-72-73-74)

Winners of the Giro D'Italia:

  • 2010 Ivan Basso (Ita)
  • 2009 Cadel Evans (Aus)
  • 2008 Alberto Contador (Ita)
  • 2007 Danilo Di Luca (Ita)
  • 2006 Ivan Basso (Ita)
  • 2005 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita)
  • 2004 Damiano Cunego (Ita)
  • 2003 Gilberto Simoni (Ita)
  • 2002 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita)
  • 2001 Gilberto Simoni (Ita)
  • 2000 Stefano Garzelli (Ita)
  • 1999 Ivan Gotti (Ita)
  • 1998 Marco Pantani (Ita)
  • 1997 Ivan Gotti (Ita)
  • 1996 Pavel Tonkov (Rus)
  • 1995 Tony Rominger (Swi)
  • 1994 Evgeni Berzin (Rus)
  • 1993 Miguel Indurain (Spa)
  • 1992 Miguel Indurain (Spa)
  • 1991 Franco Chioccioli (Ita)
  • 1990 Gianni Bugno (Ita)
  • 1989 Laurent Fignon (Fra)
  • 1988 Andrew Hampsten (USA)
  • 1987 Stephen Roche (Irl)
  • 1986 Roberto Visentini (Ita)
  • 1985 Bernard Hinault (Fra)
  • 1984 Francesco Moser (Ita)
  • 1983 Giuseppe Saronni (Ita)
  • 1982 Bernard Hinault (Fra)
  • 1981 Giovanni Battaglin (Ita)
  • 1980 Bernard Hinault (Fra)
  • 1979 Giuseppe Saronni (Ita)
  • 1978 Johan De Muynck (Bel)
  • 1977 Michel Pollentier (Bel)
  • 1976 Felice Gimondi (Ita)
  • 1975 Fausto Bertoglio (Ita)
  • 1974 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
  • 1973 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
  • 1972 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
  • 1971 Gosta Pettersson (Swe)
  • 1970 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
  • 1969 Felice Gimondi (Ita)
  • 1968 Eddy Merckx (Bel)
  • 1967 Felice Gimondi (Ita)
  • 1966 Gianni Motta (Ita)
  • 1965 Vittorio Adorni (Ita)
  • 1964 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
  • 1963 Franco Balmamion (Ita)
  • 1962 Franco Balmamion (Ita)
  • 1961 Arnaldo Pambianco (Ita)
  • 1960 Jacques Anquetil (Fra)
  • 1959 Charly Gaul (Lux)
  • 1958 Ercole Baldini (Ita)
  • 1957 Gastone Nencini (Ita)
  • 1956 Charly Gaul (Lux)
  • 1955 Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)
  • 1954 Carlo Clerici (Swi)
  • 1953 Fausto Coppi (Ita)
  • 1952 Fausto Coppi (Ita)
  • 1951 Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)
  • 1950 Hugo Koblet (Swi)
  • 1949 Fausto Coppi (Ita)
  • 1948 Fiorenzo Magni (Ita)
  • 1947 Fausto Coppi (Ita)
  • 1946 Gino Bartali (Ita)
  • 1941-1945 not run
  • 1940 Fausto Coppi (Ita)
  • 1939 Giovanni Valetti (Ita)
  • 1938 Giovanni Valetti (Ita)
  • 1937 Gino Bartali (Ita)
  • 1936 Gino Bartali (Ita)
  • 1935 Vasco Bergamaschi (Ita)
  • 1934 Learco Guerra (Ita)
  • 1933 Alfredo Binda (Ita)
  • 1932 Antonio Pesenti (Ita)
  • 1931 Francesco Camusso (Ita)
  • 1930 Luigi Marchisio (Ita)
  • 1929 Alfredo Binda (Ita)
  • 1928 Alfredo Binda (Ita)
  • 1927 Alfredo Binda (Ita)
  • 1926 Giovanni Brunero (Ita)
  • 1925 Alfredo Binda (Ita)
  • 1924 Giuseppe Enrici (Ita)
  • 1923 Costante Girardengo (Ita)
  • 1922 Giovanni Brunero (Ita)
  • 1921 Giovanni Brunero (Ita)
  • 1920 Gaetano Belloni (Ita)
  • 1919 Costante Girardengo (Ita)
  • 1915-1918 not run
  • 1914 Alfonso Calzolari (Ita)
  • 1913 Carlo Oriani (Ita)
  • 1912 Atala (run as a team race)
  • 1911 Carlo Galetti (Ita)
  • 1910 Carlo Galetti (Ita)
  • 1909 Luigi Ganna (Ita)

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