Magnani: An American in the Giro d'Italia - Excerpt

May 18, 2020 131

BY: Peter Joffre Nye

The Giro d'Italia, yet another victim to the coronavirus sweeping the globe, won't be held this year for the first time since 1946 when the Giro had finally resumed after five-year hiatus imposed by World War II. The 1946 Giro started on June 15 in Milan with a field of seventy-nine starters – all Italian, except for Joseph Magnani, an Illinois native and the first U.S. rider in the Giro d'Italia [1924 Giro winner Guiseppe Enrici was born in Pittsburgh but raced as an Italian -ed].

Magnani rode on the seven-rider Olmo team, sponsored by his friend and rival Giuseppe Olmo, who had retired from racing in 1938. Olmo had won a gold medal in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics 100-kilometer team time trial followed by a professional career in which he won numerous Giro stages, twice captured the Milan-San Remo spring classic, and reigned as Italy's road race champion.

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