The summer breeze brings a touch of pink to California and the spirit of Giro d’Italia arrives in the United States: the first edition of Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia in Pasadena (Sunday, July 22) was just announced to an enthusiastic crowd of media, local authorities and fans.
The press conference took place in front of the magnificent Pasadena City Hall: a perfect choice since the building’s evocative architecture, inspired to Palladio’s famous masterpieces. Attending the event were the Mayor of Pasadena, Bill Bogaard, who was presented with the bib #1, The Italian Consul General in Los Angeles, Giuseppe Perrone and the Italian Trade Commission Director, Carlo Angelo Bocchi.
The mayoral address conveyed all the pride of Pasadena’s cycling tradition. “As one of America’s most progressive cities, Pasadena is a leader in environmental advocacy, compliance and protection,” said mayor Bogaard. “As such, the city has made it a priority to help people get around Pasadena without driving their cars. In fact, one of the seven guiding principles in our General Plan proclaims that ‘Pasadena will be a city where people can circulate without cars.’” Named the most bike-friendly city in LA County, Pasadena has 50 miles of bike routes.
“This event will offer an opportunity for California residents, to experience a typical Italian event, like the ones associated with the Giro d’Italia/Gran Fondo,” added Consul General Perrone. “In the Americans’ perception, it represents not just a major sport event, but also a way to learn and appreciate the Italian lifestyle.”
In fact, the Made in Italy trademark in the cycling industry, is a unique phenomenon in the US. “Despite the crisis, started in 2008, the companies in this significant industry never lost sales, indeed incrementing the market share, a segment dominated by triangulations with China and Taiwan” says Carlo Bocchi, Director of the Italian Trade Commission and part of the press conference. “This is because the cycling industry in Italy (where Italy is a world leader in quality and innovation) consists of frames but also helmets, accessories, apparel and pedals: in short, every aspect of the composition of an amateur and professional bike. Italian companies could resist the 2008 crisis because well before then (around the end of 1990s) they got organized with their distribution network in the US.”
The event format is geared, in addition to exciting and scenic courses, on a 2-day expo, where tens of Italian companies will be able to present their merchandise.