Italian cycling in crisis

Cycle Sport looks at the problems affecting the races and teams in Italy, how that's linked to the country's ailing economy and the effect that's having on the younger generation and which sport they chose to take up.

The peloton enters Trieste on stage twenty-one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia

(Image credit: Watson)

The Giro d’Italia. Fausto Coppi. Bianchi. Just three of the many household names written into Italy’s long and illustrious cycling history. It’s a history that spans generations, races, industry and icons, but since the late 1990s around the time of the cessation of the multi-coloured Mapei team in 2002, the state of affairs in Europe’s boot has greyed.

No longer do Italians rule this two-wheeled sport. Instead, cycling is suffering like the country’s economy with its €2 trillion public debt. What was once one of the pillars of the sport appears to be crumbling away

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.