The ‘Giro’ – What is it, and what do all the jerseys mean?
The ‘Giro’, or Tour of Italy, is one of three grand tours conducted each year. The other two are the Tour de France and the Tour of Spain. The ‘Giro’ starts in early May and ends 3 weeks later in Milan. On the way to Milan, the ‘Giro’ covers different parts of Italy and Europe. However, it always includes a week of mountains in the Italian Alps.
The ‘Giro’ is a massive event. With 176 riders from 22 teams covering 3,500km, the excitement and professionalism of the ‘Giro’ is something all cycling fans should experience once in their lives. The feeling as the sprinters flash by and the attacks on the climbs that are up to 20% steep must be felt and seen to be believed. The sound of the disc wheels in the time trials while enjoying a coffee in an Italian village is part of the experience.
But firstly, let’s try to understand the Giro.
Even for the most seasoned cyclists, the jerseys, results and stages can become confusing. The team at MyWhoosh have worked together to come up with the following jersey guide for the Giro.
Pink Jersey – Maglia Rosa
This is the leader’s jersey and the most prestigious. The aim for the top riders is to have the fastest overall time across all 21 stages; this will win them the overall Pink jersey.
We like to make things hard in cycling, so is it as easy as the fastest rider wins? Yes, in a way, it is true. However, the first week is usually a competition of riders with no chance of winning after 21 days to spend some time in Pink. This can be enthralling. Riders that people have never heard of can get in a breakaway and take the jersey. Top sprinters can take the lead or a strong time trialist. Anything can happen in the first week. This makes cycling so exciting 😊
But we are not done yet. To confuse this, the riders aiming to win the ‘Giro’ after 21 days don’t want the leader’s jersey yet! It will mean they have a target on their back, and their team will have to help defend the jersey, so they wait close to the leader but don’t want to lead too early. And you thought chess was a strategy game.
Cyclaman jersey – Maglia Ciclamino
This is the sprinters or points classification jersey. Sprinting is a crucial part of cycling. Whilst most sprinters cannot race at the front for 21 days or be first up the 20km+ mountain passes, they can offer the most excitement. Firstly, they sprint to win stages, but they race their own competition for the Cyclamen Jersey over the whole event. Points are allocated to finishing positions and sprint points during the race. These points accumulate and are not related to time. Due to this, the sprinters can come in thirty minutes behind the winners on a mountain stage but may have won 10 points at a sprint point before the mountains. At the end of the 21 days, the rider with the most points wins the Cyclamen Jersey.
Blue Jersey – Maglia Azzurra
This is the climber’s jersey. Just like the sprinter’s jersey, the mountain climbers have their own points competition that works the same, except points are awarded for first over the hills and mountains. Points are accumulated over the 21 days, and the rider with the most points wins the Blue Jersey.
Each of the 21 stages, whilst accumulating for the Pink Jersey, are also independent events. Rider’s names are etched in history for a stage win making each stage exciting for both who will win that day and how will it affect the battle for the Pink Jersey.
The ‘Giro’ is the year’s highlight for many cyclists and their teams. Many riders spend 12 months preparing for the Giro. To win the ‘Giro’, you need a team that can support you. Cycling is very much a team sport. MyWhoosh works with the UAE Team to assist in their preparation. Many riders work each day to protect their team leader, get food for them, ride in the wind, and sacrifice their own chances for the team’s success. Cycling is a demanding sport. Grand Tours are brutal. It’s why we love it.
We hope this blog has helped you understand the ‘Giro’. Now you can join a MyBunch ride on MyWhoosh while watching the ‘Giro’ and know exactly what is going on.