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Memories from… Naples, 2013: Cannon Ball in pink


Sun, sea and Giro d’Italia. In 2013, the city of Naples hosted the Grande Partenza of the Corsa Rosa and did so by putting up the symbol of supremacy at the end of a sprint in Via Caracciolo, just a few metres from the beautiful Neapolitan coastline. In those days there was talk of Italy versus England, as Vincenzo Nibali would challenge Bradley Wiggins in the fight for the GC, and sprinters Elia Viviani and Giacomo Nizzolo would have to try to outfox his majesty Mark Cavendish, who had already won 10 stages at the Giro.

If the final Maglia Rosa was an Italian success story, with Nibali winning his first Giro and Wiggins pulling out of the race, the same cannot be said for the sprints, as Cavendish took home five stages, all of which ended in a bunch sprint. The first was the opening stage in Naples, when Cannon Ball, despite not receiving much support from his team, overtook Viviani, won the stage and wore the first Maglia Rosa, which he had already worn in 2009 and 2011.

“I’m super happy, because it was a very difficult sprint on a beautiful circuit, even if it was too hot for an Englishman,” he said immediately after the stage. – I was alone, that’s true, but only in the last few metres, the team has been fantastic for the whole stage. The Maglia Rosa was my big goal, because of the respect and love I have for this race and Italy. I knew that Paul Smith (a famous British fashion designer with a passion for cycling) is here, and I wanted to win for him too, as well as for my daughter Delilah, who cried on the podium but enjoys following cycling. Besides, I look great in pink!”


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