It was an international occasion presented with quintessential Italian style.
The land of Ferrari (not that one) and Campagnolo, of Prada and Fellini, put on a display of la dolce vita to the thousands who gathered in Naples’ magnificent Piazza del Plebiscito.
But if the team presentation was a triumph for the home nation, it carried with it a hint of the British invasion.
Bradley Wiggins rode defiantly to centre stage with a Union Jack, Mark Cavendish and Ant McCrossan staged an impromptu Ant and Mark show, and Sir Paul Smith, designer of the 2013 maglia rosa, and perhaps a more frequent visitor to Milan than Naples, topped the list of VIP guests.
While the riders seemed to enjoy their time in the spotlight, it would be harder to find a greater contrast with the Milanese fashionista than these hardmen of the road.
RCUK’s man with the camera, Stefano Sirotti, back on home ground, sent this superb selection of images from the launch of the 96th corsa rosa.