Page 15 - DLN Oct2013-975
P. 15

if not to say rather novel. The concreted one mile start and finish area -
then complete with temporary grandstand for 4,000 - now forms part of
the Lugano airport runway, making a complete walk-around both risky and
probably illegal, contravening some Swiss Federal Aviation Act; the approach
road to the check-in/baggage hall does still however proudly bear the name
“Via Fausto Coppi”. Shortly after the airfield, and still relatively on the flat,
the route formed a rough figure-of-eight at a village called Bioggio. This
produced a brief section of two-way traffic, roughly dividing the course into
two loops and allowed the fans to see the riders
twice in the same lap; I reckon the branch line
station and the small trattoria close by must have
done quite well!

The road to “The Hill” followed shortly after Bioggio
but it is now disused. Originally it passed over a
straightened-out local river, via a small Bailey
bridge (war surplus?) but this was sadly pushed
aside in more recent years to make way for Swiss
Autostrada A2. (Fear not, it can still be seen by
real anorak enthusiasts - lonely and rusting - on
Google Maps.) The Crespera road itself has also
changed radically. The cruel initial hairpin on the
old smooth cobbled road (depicted in “Cycling”) is
still there, but the lower part of the climb is now
a footpath. Alongside the footpath runs the
famous stonewalled slope which appeared in many
cycling publications, including our own
“Sporting Cyclist” magazine. This COPPI & DEYCKE Final Laps
provided a popular vantage point then
for the happy cheering “tifosi” on that sunny day. The “Via Crespera”
eventually becomes a service road in a quiet residential area, passing
alongside vineyards owned by the Italian shoe company Bally. At the 1996
World’s week I gave a “guided tour” to an older visiting Italian fan and his
son, showing him what I had found of the old Crespera, including the
magazine photos and maps. He was almost overcome by the nostalgia but
really saddened by it all, as I originally was myself to some extent. Regarding
what he saw there as a bit sacrilegious however I did learn some good

   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20