Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia cycling event rolls into South Florida Nov. 11
Move over Tour de France: The Giro’s rolling into Miami.
And, no, it’s not a mystery-meat concoction. Just pure Italian cycling mystique, only without the Alps.
In something of a coup for Miami, the organizers of the Giro d’Italia — the biggest bicycle race in the world after Le Tour — have assumed sponsorship of the Miami-Coral Gables gran fondo ride, the mass all-comers cycling tour of the lower half of Miami-Dade County that debuted last year with 1,400 participants.
Think of it as a one-day fantasy camp for Lycra-wrapped wannabes who get to crank alongside pro legends — at least until they get dropped from the lead peloton — while soaking up the italianissimo pageantry of one of the sport’s Grand Tours.
This year’s star attraction: Mario Cipollini, aka Super Mario, a flamboyant, now-retired sprinting specialist who won 189 titles in a long career, including a record 42 stages in the Giro, 12 stages in the Tour and a world road championship. “Cipo” was notorious for donning outrageous skin suits in big races — zebra stripes, tiger stripes, even a “skinless’’ kit that made him look uncannily like a living anatomical illustration pedaling a bike really fast.