Race leadership is pink,
Mountains are blue,
Sprints are red,
But as for the rest, I haven’t got a clue
That’s probably how many feel with the Giro prizes. You can probably understand the main jerseys but the race offers an enormous range of prizes every day with special awards for breakaways and even sporting fair play. Do you know your team prize from your Superteam?
This year also sees a new prize, the “Energy Prize” which has been dubbed by others as the kamikaze award. Plus all the cash prizes are listed from the Giro winner down to stages and the smaller awards.
- Each stage rewards the first 20 riders: €11,010 for the winner followed by €5,508, €2,753, €1,377, €1,102, €826, €826, €551, €551 and then €276 from 10th down. With 21 stages that’s €27,540 x 21 = €578, 340
- For the final overall classification there’s €115,668 for the winner with prizes also down to 20th place, €58,412, €28,801, €14,516, €11,654, €8,588, €5,725, €5,725 and then €2,863 from 10th-20th place, a total of €289,170
- Confusingly there’s a “special” overall prize for the top 10 on GC too: €90,000, €50,000, €20,000 and then €1,500 for 4th to 10th place. This means the overall winner takes €115,668 + €90,000 = €205,668 for finishing first
- There’s a daily rent for the leaders jersey, €1,000 for the pink jersey
- In the points competition there’s €500 to the daily jersey wearer as well as an extra €800, with €500 for second place and €200 for third place. At the end of the race there’s €10,000, €8,000, €6,000, €4,000, €3,000 for the first four in the points classification
- As well as the €500 for the jersey, the daily leader of the mountains competition gets €700, €400, €200 and after the finish in Trieste there’s €5,000, €4,000, €3,000, €2,000, €1,000
- The white jersey offers €500 a day to the wearer and €10,000, €8,000, €6,000, €4,000, €3,000 for the first four at the end of the race
As you can see in the numbers there’s a hierarchy. Obviously the overall classification is the best prize but the points competition offers a total of €71,000 compared to €48,000 for the mountains competition.
Traguardo Volanti (TV)
The “flying sprint” or the intermediate sprint point earns points for the points competition and the distinctive red jersey as well as time bonuses. But it also has its own prize sponsored by Autostrade Per Italia. Each day one TV point is selected and the first five riders on the line get 10, 6, 3, 2, 1 points and €500, €400, €300, €200 and €100. There’s a daily prize for the highest tally so far in the race plus a final award in Trieste when the race ends with €8,000, €6,000, €4,000, €2,000 and €1,000 for the first five.
Literally the “blues of Italy”, it is a reference to the national colour worn by the Italian teams – blue because of the old royal family. 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 the winner gets a trophy and a cash prize. As you can imagine it correlates closely with the points jersey but it’s a distinct award with €5,000 waiting in Trieste.
Pinarello Breakaway Prize
The Premio della Fuga is the “breakaway prize”. The Italian word fuga shares Latin roots with the English word fugitive. 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
- It 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 of €250 and a final award for the whole race of €5,000.
This prize is visible. 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 often not in vain but a calculated effort to secure this prize for the day.
Fighting Spirit prize
Unlike the Tour de France which uses a jury to arbitrarily pick the “most combative” rider of the day, the Giro’s 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 €300 cash prize each day with a final award on the last day for the whole race to reward the Super Combattivo to win €4,000.
The Energy Prize
New for 2014 is the GDF Suez “Energy Prize”. Riders are timed during the last three kilometres, easy because all riders checked for crossing the 3km point for the three kilometre rule and then again at the finish line.
The fastest rider each day wins 4 points, 2 points for second and one point for third. At the end there’s €5,000, €3,000 and €1,000. This should overlap with the stage winners and points competition. Some have called this a kamikaze prize but it’s hard to imagine anyone cruising around for the last 20km to save energy for a late sprint nor trying to ace the final 3km on a mountain stage.
Based on the time of the best three riders each stage and again an award once the race finishes. They use the English term “Winning Team” for this one. Note the team prize is calculated by adding the time of the best three riders each day rather than the best three on GC. For example if a team has riders A, B and C make the winning break one day then their times for the stage are taken and added together. If riders X, Y and Z on the same team go up the road the next day, their times are taken. So it’s the times of a team’s best three riders each day as opposed to the best three riders overall. There’s €500, €300, €100 a day and €5,000, €4,000, €3,000, €2,000, €1,000 for the final prize.
The Selle Italia Superteam contest sees points are awarded for the top-20 riders on a stage, 20 for first down to one point for twentieth. The team with the most points on the day wins the Superteam prize and €500. The scores are added up again for a final award too. There’s €500, €300, €100 a day and €5,000, €4,000, €3,000, €2,000, €1,000 for the final prize.
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 where €5,000 awaits the fairest team, €3,000 for second and €2,000 for third.
Clearly this is a prize that’s hard to target but nobody will decline the cash and it is a good reward for teams that ride fairly all race long… or at least those who aren’t spotted by the commissaires.
Still confused? Yes, there are a lot of prizes, perhaps not for all but certainly for plenty and there are more awards in the Giro than the Tour and Vuelta combined. It it sounds confusing the focus remains very much on the stage winner and the wearer of the maglia rosa so don’t spend too much time worrying about them.
All these prizes allows for extra sponsors and more chances for local dignitaries to meet and greet the riders in a podium ceremony. But it’s more than municipal pride, these prizes do influence the racing.
Note this isn’t just a list of daily awards. Many of these awards are just enough to motivate riders and teams and they have their influence on the race. For example if you see a group of escapees about to be caught after a long day up the road and a sprint finish looks certain, only for a rider to surge clear from the doomed breakaway it’s often because there’s a prize available.
Finally there is the ultimate prize, the Trofeo Senza Fine, the “Endless Trophy” awarded to the race winner since 2000. As well as being engraved in history the winner collects the Giro’s trophy for one year. It’s 9.5kg (21lbs) and plated with 18 carat gold.