Monday, July 1, 2019

La Mitica 2019

La Mitica 2019

Fausto Coppi, "Il Campionissimo" would have been 100 this year.
La Mitica has always been dedicated to his memory, but of course 100 years on it's an extra special occasion.

Starting and ending in the birthplace and final resting place of Fausto and his racing brother Serse - Castellania (now called Castellania-Coppi) this event is a highlight of the vintage cycling scene for us. Pietro Cordelli and his amazing crew do a fantastic job putting this together each year.

The rest stops (ristoro) are always amazingly well-stocked. Volpedo (above) serves up fresh peaches which are just coming into season in the area. Plenty of cold drinks and fresh focaccia are on offer as well.

As you can see above as we line up to depart Volpedo, the centenario celebration attracted a large turnout. We counted numbers over 300! At one point Zio Lorenzo raced up to the front just to get a good look at a rider on a gorgeous Legnano bicycle (with kit to match!) then slowed down to let the moving museum go past. Some take great care in curating everything to perfection (like #40 with the Legnano - BRAVO!) while others just drag their old bike out, throw on some old kit and join in. The atmosphere is nothing but fun and friendly.

Tortona always puts out a fantastic welcome. As we ride into the center of town along narrow cobbled streets, the public is out cheering with many in period costumes. In the main piazza there's a stage with live band and Pietro calls up various folks to say thanks for showing up. Above you see a group from London...yep, the UK. There were more than 20 of them! We were called up later, but our dancing could not rival the Brits or the Brazilians who also had a large group decked out in yellow and green vs the Brits blue and white.

There were famous celebrities there too (no, not the two above) including Faustino Coppi, Aldo Moser and the "pope" of the entire bici d'epoca movement, Giancarlo Brocci among others. We saw friends from previous events, including last week's Monsterrato. It's always great to see a familiar, smiling face!

La Mitica's might be the best schwag too. Above you see just some of the contents of the "pacco gara" as they call 'em - a commemorative bottle of local wine, a cool t-shirt, a local salami, local jam and (not shown) a really nice drawstring sack/backpack.

Finally, some of us (we don't know if this was limited to those who signed up early or what?) received this cute piece of jewelry with a caricature of Il Campionissimo.

Buon lavoro Pietro e tutti!!!

Grazie mille!!!!

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