Organisers of the Giro d’Italia have unveiled the poster for next year’s race, which starts six months tomorrow. While the race gets under way in Denmark, the majestic scenery in the picture is very much Italian and commemorates two cyclists who will forever be linked with the race.
Those riders are four-time winner, Fausto Coppi, and Wouter Weylandt, the Leopard Trek rider who died following a crash on a descent on Stage 3 of this year’s race.
The Giro commemorates the legendary Italian rider known as ‘il campionissimo’ each year through designating the highest point of each year’s race as the ‘Cima Coppi’ (Coppi summit).
That honour that this year fell to the Passo di Giau near Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites, where the stunning picture on the poster was taken.
The words ‘Coppi è sempre presente’ – Coppi is always here – appear painted on the tarmac along with Weylandt’s initials and race number, 108, plus the phrase ‘Campioni non muiono MAI’ – ‘champions NEVER die.’
A lone rider sweeps through the past, trailing the Giro’s signature pink behind him.
Weylandt himself has had Stage 3 of next year’s race dedicated to him, reflecting not only the number of the stage on which he lost his life six months ago, but also the one in the 2010 race where he took his second Grand Tour win as the Giro visited the Dutch town of Middelburg, having previously won a stage of the 2008 Vuelta.
The Belgian's race number has also been permanently retired from the Giro.
Shot by photographer Jered Gruber, if the poster looks familiar it’s because a huge print of the non-retouched version was used by cycle clothing brand Castelli as the backdrop for their Castelli Café at last month’s Cycle Show in Birmingham.
You can find the official brochure for the 2012 Giro d’Italia here – be warned, it’s a big file, but if you're a fan of the race, it's definitely worth it.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.