Local cycling fans periodically share their extensive collections with the public. Last year's show was Coppi-Bartali themed; this year it's a group of more recent champions: Anquetil, Gemondi, Merckx, Moser, Hinault, Indurain and Ballerini.
The exhibition was displayed in Convento di San Francesco, a restored 15th century nunnery. I arrived punctually at opening time but it was locked, so I took some pictures of the lovely restored lunette frescoes. Then I found the gate to the courtyard open (for access to a bar) and wandered among the arches and columns along the loggia. I was surprised to find the doors open to the exhibit hall (the chapel of the convent), though the lights were out. Shortly they came on so I started looking around. A man appeared and asked how I got in- I explained and apologized. He told me some things about the exhibit items, then left me alone with his collection while he went across the piazza to a bar.
The collection includes famous bikes, jerseys, tons of sports newspaper front pages (my favorite from July 1969 showed the moon landing headline in medium font, below a Merckx victory in huge typeface), sports magazines, cartoline, photos, palmares sheets, etc. Pretty mindboggling. There was also a video viewing room. I only wish my friend Silvano would come up from Venezia before the exhibit closes next week- he'd love it.
|Convento di San Francesco|
|Gemondi's Bianchi, Italian champion jersey and maglia rosa|
|Moser's bike (note the oddly-shaped time-trial frame behind it)|
|Indurain's giro road bike (the frame sticker said Oria tubing, so|
it's before the 1995 Dyna-Lite).
|Indurain giro time-trial bike|
|Left, Indurain's hour record bike from Barcelona; |
right, another of his giro time-trial bikes
|Indurain maillot jaune and maglia rosa|