As well as daily podium ceremonies for the stage winner and to award the jerseys there are several other prizes awarded each day.
Now I enjoy pro cycling and like to follow the news but I’ve had to research the extra prizes and ceremonies on offer because they’re not obvious. But if you want to know your team classification from your Superteam or your Fuga from your Fairplay, read on.
The “flying sprint” or the intermediate sprint point earns points for the points competition and the distinctive jersey but it also has its own prize. The first five riders get 5,4,3,2 and 1 points and there’s a daily prize for the highest tally so far in the race plus a final award in Milan when the race ends.
Literally the “blues of Italy”, it is a reference to the national colour worn by sports teams. The association behind the national team offers a prize whereby the first three riders on each stage win points: 4, 2 and 1 points and at the end of the race they win a trophy and a cash prize.
Premio della Fuga
The “breakaway prize”, fuga shares its roots with the English word fugitive and points are awarded per kilometre for riders in a breakaway. The escape has to last at least five kilometres, it must be reported on race radio and only counts if the move has fewer than 10 riders. The distance spent away is added up and the winner is the one with the greatest number of kilometres spent on the attack. There’s a daily prize and a final award for the whole race. If you see a breakaway about to be caught and one of the riders attacks to ride solo for another minute or more then it’s not in vain, it’s to secure this prize.
Unlike the Tour de France which uses a jury to pick the most spritely rider of the day, this award is measured via points awarded at the finish line, for intermediate sprints and for crossing mountain passes first. Again there’s a ceremony and cash prize each day with a final award on the last day for the whole race.
Based on the time of the best three riders each stage and again an award once the race finishes.
Points are awarded for the top-20 riders each day, 20 for first down to one point for twentieth. The team with the most points on the day wins the Superteam prize and the scores are added up again for a final award too.
Teams get points for bad behaviour, ranging from 0.5 points for a fine to 2,000 points for a positive doping case. The squad with the least points on the day wins a prize and the same again after the three weeks.
Still confused? Yes, there are a lot of prizes. It reminds me of the police in Italy where you have many overlapping forces: state police, provincial police, municipal police, local police, carabinieri and others too.
Having all these prizes allows for extra sponsors and more chances for local dignitaries to meet and greet the riders in a podium ceremony. But whilst we might find it hard to know what is what, the focus remains very much on the stage winner and the wearer of the maglia rosa.