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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.