Only time will tell whether this decision, driven far more by politics than passion, is right or wrong. In theory it makes sense – the two international events can bolster each other. And Milan, after all, was part of the original race in 1947 and 1948. The organizers must know that the main risk is traffic. The fourth day drive across one of the flattest, most crowded and industrialized parts of Italy is never beautiful, so at worst the teams will just have different views to “enjoy”. The main concern is connected with the weight of traffic: it will be Sunday, so that should help by taking a lot of trucks out of the equation, but a convoy of 1,000 cars entering a city hosting a major international event obviously brings the risk of traffic jams.
The plus side is that the drive through Milan and the Expo, with billions of people watching from all over the world, could inject a large dose of excitement into the rally. Whether Milan happens or not, the final 100 kilometers to Brescia will be the same as before, passing by the wonderful town of Bergamo. The Mille Miglia convoy is usually 5 hours long, making it much more difficult to close roads than for a cycle race like the Giro d’Italia, for example. The police escorts will certainly have their work cut out; clutches may burn out, and cars may overheat. But hopefully there will also be plenty of magic along the way.
For official information, please visit the official website of the Mille Miglia.