Magnani: An American in the Giro d'Italia - Excerpt

Joseph Magnani winning the 1934 Grand Prix Urago in Nice
Joseph Magnani wins the 1934 Grand Prix Urago in Nice, France (Image credit: Courtesy of the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, Jean Veneziano Collection)

In professional road racing's Golden Age in Europe in the 1930s-40s, Magnani was the lone American racing against Fausto Coppi, Gino Bartali, and the rest of the boys in the band.

The Giro d'Italia, yet another victim to the coronavirus sweeping the globe, won't be held this year for the first time since 1946 when the Giro had finally resumed after five-year hiatus imposed by World War II. The 1946 Giro started on June 15 in Milan with a field of seventy-nine starters – all Italian, except for Joseph Magnani, an Illinois native and the first U.S. rider in the Giro d'Italia [1924 Giro winner Guiseppe Enrici was born in Pittsburgh but raced as an Italian -ed].

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Peter Joffre Nye is author of the updated second edition of Hearts of Lions: The History of American Bicycle Racing (University of Nebraska Press).