The Smoking Kangaroo: John Trevorrow and the 1981 Giro d'Italia

John Trevorrow rode for Safir-Galli at the 1981 Giro d'Italia.
John Trevorrow rode for Safir-Galli at the 1981 Giro d'Italia. (Image credit: Courtesy of John Trevorrow)

Same bike race, different worlds. Giuseppe Saronni warmed up for the 1981 Giro d'Italia by winning eight races in the opening months of the season and placing second at the Tour de Romandie. John Trevorrow arrived in Italy for his Giro debut after spending more than two months off the bike and then trying to trash himself into a semblance of shape by racing three kermesses in quick succession in Belgium.

Trevorrow's best result in that Giro came right when his form was at his worst. The event can follow a brutal logic of its own. On the third day, and still several kilos away from his racing weight, the Australian's natural speed carried him to sixth place in a bunch finish in Ferrara. He even flashed past Saronni – a year ahead of the fucilata di Goodwood – in the finishing straight, but he had too much ground to recoup on the stage winner Paolo Rosola.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.