Monday, February 7, 2011

Cycling Monuments, Memorials, Plaques, etc., Part X

Jac Zwart, author of the Dutch language book "Wielermonumenten - Reisgids door de geschiedenis van de wielersport" (Cycling Monuments - Travel Guide through the History of the Sport of Cycling), contributes his seventh article, this time about a sculpture to remember Franco Ballerini.

"Today, February 7th, marks the one year anniversary of the death of Franco Ballerini . As the navigator for driver Allessandro Ciardo, he was victim of a car crash in the Rally of Larciano, not far away from Casalguidi, where he lived.

During the year, a number of tributes have been placed to commemorate the former national coach ( C.T., Commissario Tecnico) of the Italian road squad, who won the cycling one day classic Paris-Roubaix in 1995 and 1998. One of those tributes can be found in the village of San Miniato Basso. It is called "Pinocchio in bicicletta" and when you closely observe the iron figure on the bike it is quite easy to recognize the wooden puppet which appeared in the tale written by Carlo Collodi (Carlo Lorenzini). Pinocchio has become the symbol of San Miniato Basso, a village that originated from a combination of the villages Casenuove Ontraino and Pinocchio. The monument was originally meant to celebrate the start of a stage in the Tirreno-Adriatico, but after the death of Franco Ballerini the decision was made to also dedicate the monument to him.

The iron sculpture has a height of three meters and is made out of recycled material. It is located at the Piazza Don Ruggini."

Related stories:
Italian National Team Coach Ballerini Dies in Rally Car Crash
The Final GoodBye to Franco Ballerini

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