After the night at the museum, a large collective of jerseys opens the exhibition season, which will have as its highlight the exhibition dedicated to the Tour de France. Numerous initiatives of the Museum for its 2024 season full of events also “away from home” under the banner of increasing international collaboration between widespread and “blessed” cycling museums. Events, cycloliterary meetings, encounters with champions, music and culture for an increasingly exciting and engaging Ghisallo year also from a tourist and environmental point of view.

The Ghisallo Cycling Museum in Magreglio, in the province of Como, is starting up again with lots of news. The first is an evocative and engaging preview concerning young visitors. In fact, this year the traditional “night at the museum” falls on Friday, March 1, which becomes a first for about 15 girls and boys from the Cernuschese Sports Group. And they will have a chance to experience the opening of the museum season ahead of everyone. The museum, in fact, reopens to the public from Saturday, March 2, 2024 (9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, non stop).

The night at the museum for young cycling enthusiasts will, as always, be led by Arturo Binda, a volunteer at the Ghisallo Cycling Museum, who will coordinate a special evening inside the exhibition halls, filled with surprises, with activities planned for the visit and a special treasure hunt, with some video projections and fun and engaging entertainment that traces the history of the cycling museum’s exciting memorabilia.

The museum reopens its doors on Saturday, March 2, with a 2024 season opening more than ever under the banner of international museum collaborations. On that weekend, in fact, a Ghisallo delegation, composed of Foundation President Antonio Molteni and Museum Director Carola Gentilini, will travel to the town of Stekene, Belgium, to participate in a twinning event between museums that have sprung up next to a shrine or votive chapels related to cyclists. As is well known, the Madonna del Ghisallo Cycling Museum in Magreglio stands next to the Shrine of Our Lady Protector of Cyclists and will be one of the 4 museums brought together by this twinning that is promoted by Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van de fietsers (Belgium) (link https://www.klein-sinaai.be/fietsersgrot/367-fietsersgrot),in which the Notre Dame des cyclistes of Labastide-d’Armagnac in the Landes – France participate (link https://www.notredamedescyclistes.net/ and the Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Dorleta (Spa) link https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santuario_de_Nuestra_Se%C3%B1ora_de_Dorleta)

“This trip will be very exciting and engaging,” Carola Gentilini said about it. – and also allows us to collect, along the way, some memorabilia that we are collecting for a major exhibition dedicated to the Tour de France at the center of the 2024 season plans. One stop will, in fact, be in Switzerland and one by our friends at the Koersmuseum in Roselaire who will provide us with many memorabilia. Certainly these activities are central to our goal as an international museum and allow us to expand the boundaries of the museum itself, from the perspective of world cycling and the preservation of its history.”

ALL THE COLORS OF LOMBARDY’S JERSEYS

The opening of the 2024 season is marked by a first major exhibition, which will open on Saturday, March 9, at 4 p.m. and run until April 7, entitled “Once Upon a Jersey,” an exhibition dedicated to the amateur teams of Lombardy that are told through the iconic colors of more than 150 jerseys. It is perhaps the largest collective of cycling jerseys ever, at the Ghisallo Cycling Museum, a project curated and promoted by Graziano Pellizzoni, one of the museum’s volunteers who these days is finalizing the collection of this first temporary exhibition dedicated to the historical teams of Lombardy.

An impressive stain of colors and dreams, set up in the museum’s exhibition hall dedicated to temporary exhibits, will tell how much passion and how many successes are iconographically represented by these more than 150 jerseys of companies, some of which are no longer active, that have dressed Lombard cycling champions. These include: the S.C. Alberto da Giussano with whom Alberto Elli ran as an amateur, the G.S. Lema Alzate Brianza for which Alessandro Pozzi ran, the Marco Cattaneo Supermercati Brianzoli for which Gianni Bugno ran, La Nuova Baggio for which Moreno Argentin ran, the Domus 87 Plant Group for which Fabio Casartelli ran, the G.S. Pozzi Ferramenta for which Beppe Saronni ran, and the S.C. Mobili Carugo of Giacomo Fornoni. Among the jerseys of clubs still in activity are those of Davide Ballerini’s Canturino, Giacinto Santambrogio’s S.S. Salus Seregno, Andrea Bagioli’s Pedale Senaghese, Marco Cattaneo and Alberto Cattaneo’s Pedale Saronnese, the UCI Cremasca with Mary Cressari, Pierino Baffi and Marco Villa, the G. S. Giovani Giussanesi for whom Mario Mantovan, Davide Viganò, and Giacomo Nizzoli raced, and the Pedale Monzese, which carded Fiorenzo Magni, the founder of the Ghisallo Cycling Museum.

Among so many colors and memories of jerseys from Lombardy there is one in particular that has special significance and it is that of the Fausto Coppi Milano School, founded by the F.C.I. Lombardy Regional Coni, a track academy that gave so many champions training at the Vigorelli. The exhibition “Once upon a time there was a jersey” is the result of the collaboration of hundreds of lenders who joined this unique project also because it enhances the sporting spirit and historical cycle of amateur clubs in Lombardy.

MONTH BY MONTH FOR A GREAT SEASON

The museum is always nice to visit, but there are some months, it is clear, that are even more worth the visit. In March, for example, for Women’s Day, March 8, the lights will be turned on on the memorabilia of our great cycling champions, to whom the museum dedicates a space that is expanded from year to year. Then, in the middle of the month, March 16, the spring air of the Milan – Sanremo (March 16) will also be breathed in Magreglio, the classicissima that opens the season of “monument” races can be experienced thanks to the live broadcasts that can be followed inside the museum. Taking a bicycle or renting one through the service made available by the Museum thanks to the Interreg MuLM project, and pedaling up and down the hairpin bends of the classic Lombardy ascent from Bellagio is always exciting, and it is even more so if then, at the Museum, there is the possibility of following the highlights of the race with the TV links on great cycling, which are always open and available inside the Museum.

FOR THE TRE VALLI VARESINE THE FIRST CYCLOLITERARY MEETING

On March 23, a Saturday, it will be the turn of the presentation of the book “Tre Valli Varesine: the story,” published by Sunrise Media, with author Sergio Gianoli, a lifelong sports and cycling journalist, with the participation of Luigi Cazzola. This cycloliterary event is part of a renewed collaboration with the Tre Valli Varesine APS Association and the Alfredo Binda Cycling Society, which will be sponsoring Binda Cycling Festival this year, in which the Ghisallo Cycling Museum will also participate with some initiatives.

April means Northern Races, March 31 starts with Flanders: needless to add that visiting the museum founded by the Lion of Flanders when there is the race visible on the museum’s big screen is a unique thrill. Then it will be the turn of Paris Roubaix (April 7), Amstel Gold Race (April 14), Walloon Arrow (April 17), and Liège Bastogne Liège (on April 21).

A GRAND REVIEW FOR THE TOUR DE FRANCE

Saturday, April 20, at 4 p.m. jointly with the presentation of the book “Il giallo del tour” published by Minerva, with author Beppe Conti, is the opening of the exhibition “Ghisallo wears Yellow” (until Sept. 1), Stories and Champions of the Tour de France. A major retrospective from the first edition in 1903, with an impressive array of memorabilia that made the history of the Grande Boucle, which this year for the first time will start in Italy.

The Grand Departure of the Tour unleashes an exhibition that dyes the Ghisallo Cycling Museum yellow. Sarà l’evento ciclistico dell’estate, con partenza da Firenze il 29 giugno, poi Rimini, Cesenatico, Bologna, Piacenza, Torino e Pinerolo, le prime tre tappe sul suolo italiano. With a move to the province of Alessandria that also ignited several initiatives in the twinned ACdB museum in Palazzo Monferrato.

The Ghisallo Cycling Museum intends to honor the event with a significant Exhibition starting with the title, “Ghisallo wears Yellow. Stories and Champions of the Tour de France” telling the story and myth of the Grande Boucle with a temporary exhibition full of important objects: bicycles, jerseys, photographs, memorabilia and various objects that belonged to the greatest champions of cycling. An exhibition that intends to enhance the objects related to the French race in the Museum’s collection, but at the same time will be embellished thanks to important loans and collaborations with private collectors, starting with the nearby Madonna del Ghisallo Sanctuary, which will provide some important historical jerseys for the occasion, sector companies, such as Nalini, Santini, Pinarello, Colnago, BMC, and other important Italian and foreign museums from the world of cycling, including the Gino Bartali Museum of Cycling in Florence, Spazio Pantani, Pirelli Foundation, the newly established Ottavio Bottecchia House Museum, the Koers Museum in Roselaire (Belgium), and the Musée du Vélo of Switzerland.

The exhibition will first and foremost celebrate our heroes who have won the French race over time, Ottavio Bottecchia exactly one hundred years ago (in 1924 and ’25), Bartali and Coppi, Nencini and Gimondi, Pantani and Nibali, but also those who, while not winning, were protagonists, as well as the legendary foreign champions headed by Eddy Merckx and including many other personalities, from the “giants of the road” of the early twentieth century up to Hinault, Indurain, Anquetil, arriving at Pogačar and Vingegaard, the current great interpreters of the most important challenge in cycling.

Thanks to the book presentation by Beppe Conti, an accomplished historian and writer as well as a narrator for Raisport, the opening of the Ghisallo Exhibition will take us even further inside the triumphs and tragedies, secrets and mysteries of the world’s most important race from 1903 to the present day.

EXPECTED GUESTS INCLUDE MIGUEL INDURAIN

During the period of the exhibition, a series of meetings are scheduled with champion protagonists of the Tour, both Italian and foreign, which will be announced from time to time, the first who has given his availability is the great Spanish champion Miguel Indurain, who is particularly attached to the Sanctuary and Ghisallo.

A DISPLAY FOR STEPHEN ROCHE – Among the new “top” exhibition spaces being set up at the Museum to be noted is a display case of champions dedicated to Stephen Roche, which showcases various memorabilia received from a major donation by a fan and friend of the champion, Bruno Astruc.

DOUBLE PINK THREAD WITH THE GIRO D’ITALIA

In May, the museum will experience the Pink Race in a double thread linked mainly by the collection of pink jerseys in the museum thanks to a project shared with the Giro d’Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport. There will, as always, be a special “outside the museum” with the temporary Ghisallo Cycling Museum planned at the Giro village, and from May 4 to 26, during the stage race, several cycloliterary aperitifs “in pink” will be staged in Magreglio with the presentation of books dedicated to cycling.

ALFONSINE 100 YEARS AFTER HER TOUR

The first book in “action” will be the one dedicated to Alfonsina Strada, with the show linked to her volume, which also commemorates the important anniversary: the 100th anniversary of Alfonsina Strada’s participation in the 1924 Giro: 3,613km, 12 stages and 108 entrants but only 90 at the start and among them the number 72 sewn on Alfonsina Strada’s black jersey.

Ghisallo charity: among the generous initiatives, the Museum will again lend itself this year to host the April presentation of the Transplant Sport Club scheduled for May 11, a bike ride with arrival at the museum organized by the Organ Transplant Association.

GREAT EXCITEMENT IN THE AREA

May will also be the month of Polisportiva Ghisallo, which organizes its amateur and youth race on the 19th. The month of June will open with Bicycle Day initiatives (June 3) and will end with the customary Bellagio Festival Concert, with maestro Rossella Spinosa, the result of the renewed agreement with the City of Bellagio, now a traditional engaging musical paresis that transforms the museum into the Ghisallo Festival in music. Also for the culture of the area, the “Words and Stars” initiative in collaboration with Sormano Astronomical Observatory will return in July. La Ghisallo comes back On July 13 and 14, the La Ghisallo Ciclostorica, a non-competitive ride with vintage bicycles, returns, while on July 20-21 will be the turn of the Randonee Casartelli, coordinated by the ASD Museo del Ghisallo.

AN EXHIBITION FOR THE TRE VALLI VARESINE CHAMPIONS

Other dates to mark in the agenda include Sept. 14, with the opening of the exhibition The Varese Champions of Cycling, which will be held during the Tre Valli Varesine. The temporary exhibition dedicated to the Varese champions of the 1920s and 1930s will run until Nov. 1, the museum’s winter closing date. From the Mud King of Induno Olona, Luigi Ganna to the trumpeter of Cittiglio, Alfredo Binda, the review traces the roaring years of Varese cycling that, at the dawn of the last century, amidst dust, toil and legend saw countless riders such as Zanzi, Mara and Visconti and the unforgettable Bertoni and Canavesi. The event is part of the Binda Cycling Festival initiatives promoted by the Tre Valli Varesine APS Association in collaboration with the Alfredo Binda Cycling Society and the Ghisallo Cycling Museum.

MAGREGLIO RIDES

Also in September, on Sept. 22 the G.S. Ghisallo organizes an amateur race in the “Bike Day in Magreglio” involving the Ghisallo Museum. Finally, Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13, will be the weekend of IL LOMBARDIA, a classic so closely associated with the museum that it convinced the management to organize a permanent space within the exhibition, with photos and memorabilia dedicated to the race.