Tour de France, Italians at a minimum: never so few since 1983

Tour de France, Italians at a minimum: never so few since 1983

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Only one team is missing, but a historical fact is already certain, now unassailable. The Tour de France 2023 will be the least populated of Italian runners in the last forty years. There had been just 6 in 1983, there will be 7 (with very few chances yet for an eighth to enter) in front of the San Mamès in Bilbao, from where the first stage will start. Let’s look for them, then, the Italians. From youngest to oldest: Severed (Arkea), Ciccone (Lidl-Trek), Moscon (Astana), Bettiol (EF), Trentino (UAE), Guarnieri (Lot), obs (TotalEnergies). In the balance for a shirt of Soudal-Quick Step there is still Andrea Bagioli, the hypothetical eighth. Others won’t be there. Italians had been 14 in 2022, just 9 in 2021. Much more previously. In 1999 there were 42 at the start, the year before 51, in 1997 53 and in 1996 even 62, the record ever. Italians were almost twice as many as French (38) and almost three times as many as Spanish (23). In a quarter of a century, Italy has been relegated to ninth place by contingent behind even Australia, Denmark and Norway.

Segafredo’s farewell

And there is another event that makes history: at the start of the Tour there will be no teams with Italian title sponsors. Segafredo, the last one, slipped off the Trek shirt just yesterday to make room for Lidl. And so none of the 22 teams – none of which, obviously, Italian – will have anything large on their shirt that reminds us of our country. One year after the Florentine Grand Départ of the Tour, it’s something that really makes an impression.

The previous one from 1983

There were 6 Italians at the start of the 1983 Tour, all in the same team, the Metauro Mobili-Pinarello. All in support of Lucien Van Impe, fourth in Paris behind Fignon, Arroyo and Winnen. Of the six, Bincoletto, Franceschini, Groppo, Magrini, Pinori and Vandi, only the latter, Alfio Vandi from Romagna will arrive in Paris. And only one of them, Riccardo Magrinitoday extraordinary technical voice for Eurosport, will win a stage, the Nantes-Ile d’Oleron.

64 stages without Italian victories

Returning to the present day, a stage success has been missing since 2019, when it was Vincenzo Nibali who won the uphill Val Thorens. Three entire Tours have gone by since then, 64 consecutive stages without an acute. Fasting can be broken by Ciccone in the mountains, one between Bettiol and Moscon with some escapes from afar, Mozzato in a restricted sprint. Trentin, Oss and Guarnieri will vote to their captains Tadej Pogacar, Peter Sagan and Caleb Ewan. Ranking, not even talking about it, but this is becoming a very bad habit: in 2022 the best Italian was the new Italian champion Simone Velasco, 30th. It was a slow shipwreck, even here: in 2020 the best was Damiano Caruso (10th), in 2021 Mattia Cattaneo (12th).

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