13 May 1909, the first “Giro d’Italia” takes place
The 1909 Giro d’Italia was the inaugural running of the Giro d’Italia, a cycling race organised and sponsored by the newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The event began in Milan on 13 May with a 397 km first stage to Bologna, finishing back in Milan on 30 May after a final stage of 206 km and a total distance covered of 2,447.9 km.
Conceived by La Gazzetta to boost its circulation at the expense of its rival Corriere della Sera, the 1909 Giro was the first stage road race. Its eight stages, although relatively few compared to modern Grand Tours, were each much longer than those raced today.
The event began with a long primarily flat stage that was won by Dario Beni. He lost the lead after the next stage to the eventual winner Luigi Ganna, who in turn lost it to Carlo Galetti after the mountainous third stage. While twelve Australian cyclists were at one staged declared winners of at least one stage of the competition, the race was eventually won by the Italian rider Luigi Ganna, who after regaining the lead, defended it all the way to Milan, the finish line, winning 3 stages en route.