Friday, March 18, 2016


While tomorrow may be my favorite race of the year, I should be writing again about it being my first big pro race I ever saw live way back when. However, it also ties to today's topic, my cycling idol, Costante Girardengo, born March 18, 1893. Girardengo won in San Remo six times - seven if you count the time he was DQ'ed for going off course in 1915.

Gira loved San Remo like no other race. Much like myself!

Part of my shrine to Gira... thanks, Brett Horton!

I found this online somewhere and grabbed it a while ago. It's Girardengo's ten points to be a perfect racer...

Quick translation below:

  1. Love your bike and care for it as best you can
  2. Submit your body to the strictest control and avoid, with equal fervor, the excessive wear and tear from unnecessary tasks
  3. Get to bed no later than 10:00 and wake early in the morning, even if you don't have to train
  4. Don't ask from your muscles more than they can give
  5. Stay well away from alcoholic drinks, don't abuse coffee, and never get drunk from wine. Well water is the drink of champions!
  6. Remember to abhor drugs. Taking drugs will age you in no time. You must smoke as little as possible(!).
  7. Don't forget, when racing, to act fairly. Winning from cheating has a toxic stink.
  8. Don't believe you a fuori classe. Don't confuse the desire to win with the certainty of winning. The first is a macho virtue. The second is an ugly swagger. 
  9. Don't just bring your legs to the race, but also your brain. Always have a clear and lucid mind. Only like this can you react to those little moments of difficulty that no racer can avoid, not even the greatest.
  10. Pay your dues according to the rules. If you lose, don't blame the jury. If you win, don't boast to your rivals. Tomorrow could be your turn. Don't complain but consider your sport for what it is:  master of nobility and provider of wellness.
Still applies 90 years later! Well, apart from that smoking bit!

Gira... l'omino who was Italian national champion NINE times, San Remo SIX, fought the Spanish flu, raced until he was 43, "friend" of public enemy #1 Sante Pollastri (of which the famous ballad was written by Grechi), 106 wins on the road and 965 on the track, and DS to Guerra and Bartali.

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