Old geezer Mura types Tour de France legend in modern era

Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:59pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

ARGELES GAZOST France (Reuters) - Ashes fall from his cigarette as his puffy fingers play a distinctive staccato on a 38-year-old Lettera 32.

Gianni Mura, who covered his first Tour de France in 1967 for La Gazzetta dello Sport, is the iconic figure in the race press room. Its memory, too.

The 68-year-old Italian, who now works for La Repubblicca, has seen Raymond Poulidor in his bath and drunk beers with Felice Gimondi.

Almost 50 years after following his first Tour - the Tour when Tom Simpson died, he recalls - Mura has not changed a bit.

He still dictates his stories to the newspaper after having typed them, usually just outside the press room, fag hanging from his lower lip.

"Sometimes, Japanese reporters come to me asking if I'm not afraid of bothering people with the sound of my typewriting," he says.

"I reply that it is their silence that bothers me."

Mura, who is above all a respected soccer journalist in Italy, has witnessed the changes in cycling, "the toughest sport there is".   Continued...