may 18, 1949 . . . wednesday before the start . . .
having transferred to a smaller vessel, the "citta di tunisi," one better able to navigate the narrower waterways as the floating giro contingent approaches stage1, they dock at naples harbor at 730 am, to a very small crowd of tifosi, each hoping to catch a glimpse of coppi or bartali. "youths in shabby clothes, a little old man, who was very well attired, a dozen street urchins [scugnizzi], and a couple of girls." slowly, amid shouts and supportive cries from the gathered fans, the largely unknown cyclists disembarked, already dressed for a training ride. the weave through the crowd, silently, holdong their bikes overhead. they gather in the plaza, mount their bikes, and set off on a 150 kilometer training ride, at 30-35 k/hr, to shake off the effects of sea travel. their destination? sorrento and amalfi, along the gulf road.
. . . . .