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Giro d'Italia 'legends' pedal together for Italian Red Cross

Francesco Moser inducted to the Giro d'Italia hall of fame
(Image credit: ANSA – Dal Zennaro / Peri & Bettiniphoto)

A large group of past stars of the Giro d'Italia assembled for a virtual ride of the last 37.4km of stage 9 of the planned route for the 2020 Giro d'Italia to Vieste on Sunday to help raise funds for the Italian Red Cross' COVID-19 response.

The Red Cross is offering aid to first responders, screening for coronavirus, and logistical and psychological support during the pandemic. The Giro d'Italia Legends event partnered with Rete del Dono, a longstanding partner of Giro organisers RCS Sport to raise money to help the Red Cross, bringing together top former pros to ride the virtual route.

Mario Cipollini, Gianni Bugno, Francesco Moser, Giuseppe Saronni, Claudio Chiappucci, Davide Cassani, Stefano Garzelli, Maurizio Fondriest, Alessandro Ballan, Andrea Tafi, Michele Bartoli, Daniele Bennati, Stefano Allocchio, Alessandro Bertolini, Riccardo Magrini, Matteo Montaguti, Francesco Chicchi, Mario Scirea, Marco Velo and Alberto Volpi all participated in some form.

Cipollini was one of the founders of the event. "I told myself that the world of cycling needed to make a strong and concrete contribution to the fight against coronavirus," he said.

"Speaking with fellow ex-pros, we came up with the idea of organising a virtual ride together. Working with La Gazzetta dello Sport and RCS Sport, we quickly realized that there was a real opportunity to organise a structured and effective project that would make a real difference against this 'invisible enemy'. So, the Giro d'Italia Legends took place on Easter Sunday.

"Some of us cycled and some of us contributed with messages of support through social media, with the aim of raising funds for the Italian Red Cross – an organization that has always been at the forefront of the fight against the virus. The Italian cycling calendar has been affected by the virus, and so we felt that it was time for cycling to do something during this period, to give back."

Contributions will be collected through May 10. Visit the Rete del Dono donation page.