One milion four hundred thousand square meters of industrial archeology on the outskirts of Milan, the area of the former Lombardy “Falck” steel and iron works, founded in 1906 and among the oldest in the world; buildings that are so extraordinary that they are on the shortlist to become UNESCO World Heritage Site. This epitome of 20th-century Italian industrial history, crowned by the A4 motorway and the Lambro River, was the outstanding and post-atomic location for the first leg of the Deus Swank Rally.
The special trials were designed by Sandro Tramelli’s exceptionally experienced Jolly Racing Team, a true institution in the enduro world, which since 1984 has won 20 world titles and over 100 individual Italian and team awards, counting Muraglia, Grasso, Rossi , Merriman, Ahola and Salvini among their most titled riders. We had hard ground with rock and stones on one side and endless mud on the other, just to keep everyone happy!
The weather did not cooperate the days before the event making logistics and organization difficult. On the morning of the Milan Rumble we were lucky for a few hours, but then rain showers soaked all of the swankers, none of whom were discouraged and all of whom carried on giving the gas! Indeed there were some exceptionally beautiful, funny and interesting bikes to be seen. As well as the bikes and their stylish riders there were several other vehicles with four, six and eight wheels such as the vintage Land Rover, the wonderful school bus belonging to Officine Vivaldi or our friend Riccardo Tosi’s (MilanoGarage) amazing “Leopard 8”.
The formula chosen for the friendly championship was not only fun but its spirit was fully respected by all competitors. It meant that everyone timed themselves, starting the stopwatch at the beginning and stopping it at the end of the special trial. With such varying types of bikes which in some cases were not even suitable to the terrain, it was all down to human elegance: everybody timed their own lap and put their time on a magnetic board in the Parc Fermé.
And between a ham sandwich and a Deus Cafe beer, set up as always ad hoc by 100 Fa friends, there was a very relaxed and pleasant atmosphere, a different “flavor” from normal motorsports and the controversies that every now and then inevitably arise. Everyone gave gas to their maximum ability. It may only have been a friendly championship, but there were some of the most impressive performances ever seen!