The Giro jerseys and prizes

Maglia Rosa Capotondi

There are four jerseys in the race, plus several prizes on offer each day. Here’s a primer…

Maglia Rosa
The pink jersey is awarded to the leading rider on the overall classification. In the Giro there are time bonuses awarded at both the finish and at intermediate points in a stage. 20, 12 and 8 seconds are available to the top-3 on each stage and 6, 4 and 2 seconds are awarded for one intermediate point in the stage.

It is pink because this is the colour of the Gazzetta Dello Sport’s newspaper’s pages. The newspaper is also part of the same corporate stable as the race organisers RCS and the original sponsor of the race. Today the jersey is sponsored by Esta Thé, an iced tea soft drink made by Ferrero. This year’s version features a small vertical tricolore stripe in honour of the race celebrating 150 years of Italian unification. The pink jersey was first awarded in 1931.

Maglia Verde
Maglia Verde

The green jersey is a mountains jersey. It goes to the rider who distinguished himself in the climbs of the Giro. Points are awarded at the top of recognised climbs and the rider with the most points wears the jersey. The Giro has four categories of climbs 1,2,3 and 4 with first category climbs being the hardest. Typically this year’s edition has more first category climbs (11 of them)  than fourth category climbs (9). There is an additional Cima Coppi prize where extra points are awarded for the highest point above sea level in the race and an honour in itself. It is sponsored by Banca Mediolanum, a bank from Milan.

Maglia Rossa
Maglia Rossa
The red jersey is a points jersey where points are accumulated at the finish line and intermediate spots. Often called the “sprinter’s jersey” this could be a misleading term. Points go to the first 15 riders each day and the first six at pre-determined intermediate points. Given the climbing and the number of summit finishes, it is quite likely that a climber or a rider high on the overall collects this jersey. It is sponsored by St Gobain, a French glassmaker and building supplies company.

Maglia Bianca
Maglia Bianca
This is awarded to the best young rider in the race, as measured by the overall classificiation. The giovane status is determined as someone born on or after 1 January 1986. So it’s for riders aged 25 and under (but the 1 January cut off means not all 25 year-olds are included). It is sponsored by Addeco, a Swiss-based employment agency.

Design + Glamour
Previous jerseys were designed by Dolce & Gabanna but for 2011 this has changed. All jerseys have been designed by Jonny Mole and were unveiled in a ceremony featuring Italian actress Cristiana Capotondi, the celebrity godmother for 2011, in Venice’s Martini bar.

Other prizes
That’s it for the jerseys but there several other prizes on offer each day. Every day there is a particular intermediate spot where points will be awarded for the “L’Oréal Paris Men Expert” prize. It’s another chance for sprinters and if there’s no jersey, the leader gets a trip to the podium and cash every day. Maybe some hair products too?

Italian riders who have represented their country and worn the blue jersey in competition, say, the Worlds or Olympics, have a special competition, the Azzurri d’Italia or “The Blues of Italy”. Each day points are awarded at the finish line. Again there’s a daily visit to the podium and cash too.

There’s also the Fuga Pinarello prize to reward an attacking rider, namely those who go in a breakaway and refuse to give up. The leader of the classification shall be the rider who has accrued the higher number of breakaway kilometres.

Fighting spirit
Each day points go to the first rider at the intermediate sprint, at the top of a climb and the finish too. A separate prize goes to the rider to get the most points from this daily combination, the combative prize.

Team prizes
There are two team prizes. The Fast Team prize goes to the team with the best three riders overall. There is the Super Team prize for thesquad with the best riders in the top-20 each day.

Fair play
Finally there’s a ranking of the most sporting team, the one that commits the fewest infractions during the race. A tally is kept of fines, from 0.5 point penalty when a rider or staff member gets a warning to a gravissimo 2,000 point penalty if a rider is ejected mid-race for a doping offence.

Some additional things note:

  • How to pronounce maglia:
  • Be sure to roll the “r” on rosa and rossa too.
  • All the rules, prize money and more precision  on the way the jerseys and points get awarded is available online in English in the Giro d’Italia rule book.
  • The race icon is Girbecco, a combination of Giro and the mountain goat like Ibex, known as a stambecco which is derived from the German Steinbock, meaning “rock goat”. He’s the equivalent of the Crédit Lyonnais lion and another prize too.


9 thoughts on “The Giro jerseys and prizes”

  1. a nice point is that the “other” maglie reflect the colours of the Italian flag now.

    Also the play on words of Esta The… took me two years to work out that Esta The (il gusto d’estate – the taste of summer) was suposed to sound like “Estate” which means summer.

  2. The rule states: ‘Final general classification a prize of € 289,170’

    And later on:

    ‘A special prize will be awarded in addition to the amount set forth for the regular
    to the winner of the 94th Giro d’Italia € 90,000
    to the 2nd € 50,000’

    So how much does the winner get? I assume 90,000? That’s far below the TDF prize money of €450,000 (?) for the winner.

  3. Sounds like the winner gets 379,170 euros, garibaldi. Still significantly less than the TDF, which is a small award by the standards of major professional sports itself.

    The Giro has a long and somewhat incomprehensible list of prizes and classifications. The Tour used to be much the same way, but it was streamlined in the late ’80s or early ’90s to the standard classifications we have today. Much simpler for fans. I think this is obvious to everyone, but many of these prizes exist purely to provide another opportunity for advertising and sponsorship of the race. I don’t know how much good they do those companies, since no one cares about these competitions anyway.

  4. Sure, the prize money is lower but the riders get to stay in MUCH nicer hotels and enjoy MUCH better food during the three weeks compared to the French race. I still remember the photos years ago of Italian teams enjoying pasta boiled up in someone’s camper with jarred sauce they brought from Italy. The TdF organizers eventually brought in ITALIAN chefs to oversee meal preparation in the team hotels after so many complaints. I’d guess nowadays most teams bring their own cooks in to oversee things…which I’m sure winds up the French kitchen bosses to no end! Some of our Italian friends love to visit the castles of France..but they come home complaining about the awful food every time. Italians must be the most spoiled folks in the world when it comes to eating and we’ve spent enough time there that we’re almost as bad (and probably worse than some!) as they are.

  5. David Welton: Interesting point about colours. I’ve got Italian family and one elderly relative always wears a red tie at the weekend. He’s known locally as “The Red”, ie The Communist even if he’s actually wearing the suit to attend church.

    Ben: the French do style too. It’s just ASO is exceptionally conservative. There is only one shade of yellow for them! Just as there are only 10 mountain passes in the Alps and so on. Things change slowly in France.

    Grolby: all these prizes are confusing, I struggle to tell the difference with “Super Team” and “Fast Team”. As you say and I hinted, it’s just a way to keep the podium busy and get some sponsors. I suspect many riders would swap their prize on the day for a shower, massage and a plate of food rather than queuing up behind the podium.

    Larry T: for sure pasta isn’t always very good in France but it’s not that bad, Italy and France are two of the world’s finest countries for tourism and food.

    For racing, it’s not always the case about the nice hotels. One day last year some riders were lodged in a hostel with “army-style” beds and some riders didn’t get hot water.

    Jonathan Vaughters’ Sideburns: join the queue of Italians…

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