The Giro d’Italia, which began this past weekend, is the second of three Grand Tours organized annually by the UCI (International Cycling Union). One of cycling’s most prestigious events, it’s also one of the hardest to predict.
Its infamous difficulty (this year’s route has three consecutive mountain stages) can throw any contender off their game.
Regardless of whether your favorite rider won or lost, here are all the Giro d’Italia Jerseys you need to know from this year’s race.
1. Maglia Rosa
The Maglia Rosa is one of the most iconic Giro d’Italia Jerseys and is awarded to the race leader after each stage. The pink color symbolizes the rose-colored buttons on the original race leader’s jersey. The first rider to don the Maglia Rosa was Italian Michele Acquarone in 1913.
Today, wearing the Maglia Rosa is considered a great honor, and many riders have dreamt of donning the pink jersey.
Some of the most famous wearers of the Maglia Rosa include Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx, and Marco Pantani. Savor every moment if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in pink during the Giro d’Italia!
2. Maglia Ciclamino
As the race enters its final week and the points start to rack up, be sure you know your jerseys. The Maglia Ciclamino is awarded to the rider with the most points in the race. It’s a pretty simple concept, but there are a few things you should know.
First, points are only awarded at intermediate sprints and stage finishes, so if you’re not in the mix at those points, you will not win this jersey.
Second, different levels of points are available at each sprint/finish, so it’s important to know where those points lie and how many you need to win. Points for first place, second place, and third place go all the way down to eighth place.
Thirdly, some riders choose not to contest certain races or stages. Those riders can give up their chance at earning points for that event and their position on the General Classification for that day.
Remember that getting into breakaways will likely give them an opportunity to earn points without taking time away from other events they may have chosen not to contest!
Maglia Ciclamino is also known as white jersey. Once again, knowing what days your favorite riders aren’t competing will help you guess who might receive these coveted jerseys by looking at their GC standings.
If they choose not to compete on a particular day, they automatically forfeit any chance of receiving those precious seconds that would allow them one step closer to victory.
3. Maglia Rosso
The red jersey, or Maglia Rosso, is the overall leader’s jersey in the Giro d’Italia jersey. The rider who has completed the course in the shortest time wears this jersey.
The first rider to don the red jersey was Carlo Oriani in 1931. He held it for four days before losing it to Learco Guerra. Guerra went on to win that year’s Giro d’Italia.
There have been a few changes to the red jersey in recent years. From 2015-2016, an intermediate sprint classification (Maglia Azzurra) existed, and riders could wear both jerseys at once if they were leading in both categories.
However, this was scrapped after the 2016 race, and now only one rider can wear the red jersey anytime. In 2017-2018 there were two types of red jerseys: the regular version and one with blue bands near the neckline representing points won by holding intermediate sprints during stage races (the most points won).
4. Maglia Azzurra
Also known as the blue jersey, the Maglia Azzurra is also among the most iconic Giro d’Italia Jerseys. It is awarded to the rider with the lowest cumulative time at the end of each stage.
The jersey has been a part of the race since 1931. Some of the greatest riders in history have been worn by Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx, and Marco Pantani.
In 1961, it was worn for the first time by an Irishman when Sean Kelly wore it for four days after winning three stages. (Kelly would later win the title in 1987). The last Irishman to wear it was Stephen Roche, who won four stages on his way to victory in 1987.
In conclusion, the Giro d’Italia is a great race with a long and rich history. Many different jerseys have been used over the years, and each has its meaning.
The pink jersey is the most iconic and synonymous with the race. If you’re looking to get your hands on a piece of cycling history, then check out the Giro d’Italia jerseys.