Antonio Cairoli’s long career bridged a path to the ultimate accomplishment: he became the first Grand Prix star in decades that American fans knew could beat their own
WORDS: JASON WEIGANDT
PHOTOS: KTM IMAGES/RAY ARCHER & ROMERO
This didn’t really make any sense. After getting out of a Mercedes van en route to a posh hotel in an ancient district of Rome, I headed up the elevator to the top floor. The doors opened, revealing a rooftop bar and a view of the city that was once the center of world power. I was greeted immediately by Tony Cairoli’s wife, Jill, whom I had never met and only recognized from social media. (She only knows me from TV.) Then I saw Tony himself. We shook hands and shared introductions. This on a Wednesday evening on a rooftop in Rome. Then I grabbed a hors d’oeuvre and an apertivo spritz from a waiter. Hey, when in Rome, right?
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