palermo, the night of thursday, may 19, 1949 . . . today, the journalists and the others asseemble. buzzati, who has never covered a bike race before, admits he has never even SEEN a bike race. he observes those who, with him, will be the eyes for those who will experience this giro through their words. there's the one who considers this his vacation, and whose wife claims he looks younger when he returns home. there's another who "maintains the giro is an infernal machine designed to destroy" everyone associated with it. another "swears to the sublime purity of the giro" as "the last great phenomena of individual and collective mysticism...the racers knocking themselves out just for the Idea." "there is yet another who complains all day long, cursing his decision to accept the assignment" again, and yet whose behaviour and devotion causes buzzati to ask himself "how long has it been since i have seen anyone so happy?" the 32d giro d'italia begins the 21st of may, 1949.