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Milano-Torino told in 5 dates: 1913

27/08/2021

This is one of the first photographs of Milano‑Torino, dating back to 1913. That year, victory went to Giuseppe Azzini.

It was one of the earliest pictures, and still, it was taken 37 years after the first edition, which set off from Porta Magenta in Milan, on May 25, 1876.

Yes, you read that right: 1876.

The Unification of Italy was a mere 15 years behind, you see? It was just as far as the 2006 football world cup is to us today.

Garibaldi was still alive, Bell had just patented the telephone, and the battle of the Little Big Horn would be fought one month from then.

And in Milan, somebody had come up with the idea of a route of 150 kilometres, to be raced using weird, old‑time high wheelers because actual bicycles had not been invented yet.

No pictures exist of the very first edition of the world’s oldest cycling race simply because photography didn’t exist, either.

Therefore, we decided to start this narration of Milano‑Torino with this photograph dating back to 1913 – one of the first available. But you can pretend you are actually looking at eight velocipedes passing across the Po Plain, as if they were eight spaceships, eight legendary creatures coming from the future – their enormous wheels precariously balancing on those rough and bumpy roads, hitting incredible speeds (for that time).

This will give you an idea of the meaning of that race – the dawn of a new world, a new sport that came to life one day in May, 145 years ago.

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