Mario Manzoni says
It uses some of the Laigueglia roads, but this is fast and furious and it’s a guaranteed sprint… I guess the biggest danger is crashes, but you can’t really legislate for them. All you can do is hope that they get round and that you manage to get your sprinter in amongst it.
We’ll make a decision on who we select as we get close to the race. Obviously form is a major consideration, but with young riders there’s much more to it than that. We have a very fast neo-pro named Nicolas Marini, but he’s only 21. Of course he wants to ride, but you have to be careful with them at that age.
The last thing you want to do is damage their engine – and their morale – if they’re not ready for three weeks at that level. We will probably select Eduard Grosu, a 22-year-old sprinter. He’ll be the first Romanian to ride the Giro and he’s an extremely exciting talent. Watch out for him…
Moment in time
Heading into the penultimate stage of the 1985 Giro, a nailed-on sprint to Genoa, all was to play for. Bernard Hinault, twice a Giro winner, wore pink. He led Francesco Moser by 1:15 but with a 48km time trial to come, he was far from home and hosed. Moreover, if Moser could pick up some time bonuses by the seaside, he’d be within striking distance of repeating the previous year’s contentious win.
Then he’d been helped by RAI’s helicopter, or rather by the downdraft it had created as race leader Laurent Fignon rode the final stage time trial. Fignon had ridden as if through sand and Moser had famously ambushed the maglia rosa in Verona’s Roman Arena. Here the stage winner would likely be Urs Freuler, Switzerland’s moustachioed rocket man. Moser, though, had designs on the 15-second time bonus for second place. It was an extremely nervous peloton that blasted through Genoa that afternoon… Moser led it out, but as Freuler advanced Moser brushed shoulders with the sprinter Paolo Rosola. It forced him to slow and he later accused Rosola of costing him the time bonuses.
That evening Hinault took umbrage (not unreasonably) when a photographer snapped him in the shower, before the time trial capped things off perfectly. In light of the previous year’s shenanigans, Hinault’s manager Bernard Tapie decided to monitor the RAI helicopter from his own private jet and Hinault won the fractious 1985 Giro d’Italia. Bernard Hinault on his way to victory in the fractious 1985 Giro Giro d’Italia.