DiscoverThe Cycling Podcast54: Our Giro stage 9: Magic Nights
54: Our Giro stage 9: Magic Nights

54: Our Giro stage 9: Magic Nights

Update: 2020-05-172


Italy was full of confidence in 1990. The country was alive, at the cutting edge of sport and fashion and with a booming economy. About to host the World Cup, the nation's cyclists were on the cusp of a resurgence too.

After three years of foreign victors at the Giro, an Italian led from start to finish. Gianni Bugno took the pink jersey in the opening time trial in Bari and defended it all the way to Milan – only the fourth man to lead the race all the way through, and only the second after Eddy Merckx in 1973 to actually do it in the maglia rosa.

Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe look back at those heady days of 1990 and remember the song that defined the summer. No, not Nessun Dorma, the BBC's World Cup theme, Notte Magiche, or Magic Nights.

We break down Bugno's victory, compare and contrast him to football's poster boy Roberto Baggio, assess the state of the Giro at the time, look at Italian cycling's re-emergence and ask how important a role the discovery of EPO as a performance-enhancing drug played in Italy's early Nineties renaissance.

 We hear from author, historian and expert on all things Italian, John Foot, and from Bugno himself. There's another delve into The Cycling Podcast's back catalogue to discuss the so-called 'Zoncolan of the South', wine of the day, plus musical contributions from Amaraterra (who perform our Giro theme song, Cozze), and François Thomazeau.

The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science In Sport.


A rest day at a grand tour usually means a trip to the launderette and a round of press conferences for The Cycling Podcast but tomorrow we look back to an incredible day in 2010 when almost a third of the peloton got in a big break to L'Aquila and Richie Porte announced his arrival as a stage race contender.

Our first film, And So We Rode… is available for Friends of the Podcast to watch now. This is the story of Larry Warbasse and Conor Dunne packing their bags and going on a bikepacking trip in the French and Italian Alps after their pro team Aqua Blue Sport folded mid-season. It costs £15 to sign up as a Friend of the Podcast and you will be able to watch the film as well as listen to all our special episodes.


iwoca became The Cycling Podcast’s title sponsors in March 2020. Iwoca specialises in supporting small businesses and can lend between £1,000 and £250,000. Applications can take only a few minutes to complete and they promise a fast and fair decision. To find out more, go to

Science In Sport is The Cycling Podcast’s longest-standing supporter. It’s a relationship that stretches back to the 2016 Giro d’Italia. Listeners can get 25% off Science In Sport’s range of energy drinks, bars, gels and cakes at with the code SISCP25

If you have a smart turbo trainer, you can ride Our Giro on the RGT digital platform. Each stage is around 30 kilometres long and will be online for three days. Go to for details of how to download the app and sign up. Thanks to RGT and for helping us create Our Giro.

Our friends at have put together a ‘Selezione Our Giro’ case of 12 wines from around Italy. There’s also a ‘Baby Giro’ case of six bottles. Use the code ‘Our Giro’ when ordering. Cases can be delivered in the UK, excluding the Highlands and Northern Ireland, and a donation from each case will be made to the Scuola Ciclismo in Cene.








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54: Our Giro stage 9: Magic Nights

54: Our Giro stage 9: Magic Nights

Lionel Birnie, Daniel Friebe, Richard Moore