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returned to their work. Later - in May 1920 - the Giro crossed the Swiss

Canton for the first time (Ireland eat your heart out!) and the field included

riders who had served in the Italian         cyclist’s light infantry during

WW1. What would the UK cycling establishment of the time have made of all

this? - we can now only guess. The RTTC remained locked into “private and

confidential” time trials (with their black tights and Alpacca jackets) and

the NCU continued their prohibition of massed-start racing on public roads,

even with possibly only five competitors! (Perhaps it’s best not to go too

near the professional sportsman’s threat to the UK’s sacred Olympic

status, with the Olympics being held in London in 1908 and 1948.)

By the mid-‘thirties however              had become established as event

promoters. An ambitious club “                   - and ex-rider - called

Renato Faccoli had promoted the              road race for them in 1936,

attracting top-class professionals and thousands of spectators. Earlier,

in July 1934, he also pioneered a time-trial for lesser or “free” professionals

- i.e. those without a proper contract. This proved a success locally, but

was considered to be just a “boy’s event” at 45km (or 28 land miles in

British). For additional perspective, we should perhaps note that the

professional World’s of 1931 was the only road World’s to have been decided

as a time-trial. It was won in Copenhagen by Learco Guerra (the Italian

) over a 107miles circuit, at an average of 21.8mph (N.B.

for Kav; that was on a 78” (single) gear!). Faccoli’s remit in 1950 was

therefore to organise a quality competition for  which would

attract the best “Cronomen” specialists of the post-war era, perhaps

rivalling the Parisian 140km “Grand Prix des Nations”, by then recognised

as the unofficial World TT event; also in view nationally was the newly-

established (1948) 100km “G.P. della Svizzera”, then held in Zurich (must

be those clocks and watches again Terry?!).

The selection of a course close to Lugano gave Faccoli sleepless nights and
he travelled many miles on reconnaissance. The long-standing “Nations”
format - dating back to 1932 - was based on a large triangular course,
starting and finishing in Paris but with each side being covered just the
once. The roads near Lugano on the other hand were frequently interrupted

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