Giro Prizes For All

How come Orica-Greenedge made the podium after the team time trial when they finished ninth? Well in addition to podium ceremonies for the stage winner and the jerseys there are many other prizes given out each day in the Giro. No other race seems to offer as many awards.

You can be fluent in Italian or an ardent follower of pro cycling or both but it’s unlikely you’ll know your team classification from your Superteam, or your Fuga from your Fairplay.

Motivation and Incentives
Note his 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 – like Fabio Taborre yesterday – it’s often because there’s a prize available. This and more is explained below.

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. The first five riders get €500, 400, 300, 200 and 100 and there’s a daily prize for the highest tally so far in the race plus a final award in Brescia when the race ends.

Azzurri d’Italia
Literally the “blues of Italy”, it is a reference to the national colour worn by the Italian 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 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.

Premio della Fuga
The “breakaway prize”. The Italian word fuga shares linguistic 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 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 of €250 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 often not in vain but a calculated effort to secure this prize for the day.

Combatitivity Prize
Unlike the Tour de France which uses a jury to arbitrarily 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.

Team prize
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.

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 €500. The scores are added up again for a final award too. That’s why Orica-Greenedge were on the podium after Stage 2.

Fairplay 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 spotted by the commissaires.

Still confused? Yes, there are a lot of prizes, perhaps not for all but certainly for plenty. It reminds me of the police in Italy where you have many overlapping forces: state police, provincial police, municipal police, local police, forestry police, carabinieri, guardia di finanzaand more.

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 it’s more than municipal pride, these prizes do influence the racing. But whilst we might find it confusing, the focus remains very much on the stage winner and the wearer of the maglia rosa.

13 thoughts on “Giro Prizes For All”

  1. Thanks once again Mr. Inrng – you find so many different interesting topics to write about the culture, rules and world of cycling to write about. Always a pleasure to read – I learn something new each time an article is posted.

    The different prizes for the Giro has always baffled me. Thank you for your explanations.

  2. In the USA we have the Secret Service, IRS, highway patrols, city police force, county sheriff, forest rangers, Coast Guard and on and on. In Italy I believe the Carabinieri are the national police, the Polizia are out patrolling the highways, while the Guardia di Finanza is like the IRS and then there are the local traffic cops, etc. Doesn’t seem all that different to me, but what do I know? Regarding the prize list, NOW I can understand why the DS needs a radio earpiece for his riders – it’s to let them know where they are in relation to all these various prizes – the real question is who is figuring all this out each day during the race? THAT would be work!

  3. Thanks for this! I’ve started following the various prizes listed on the Giro’s website, now that I know what they’re for.

  4. With all due respect, the Giro has the most beautiful podium ladies of any race so this is one case were more prizes mean more sightings. Yet another reason why the Giro is my favorite Grand Tour.

    • Yes, the Giro organisers choose some very beautiful ladies for the presentations.

      But its disgraceful that in 2013 our sport still promotes global showpiece events with men doing all the hard work and racing, for whom we honour their talent, endurance, fitness, strength and combativity, and with women placed on pedestals whose role it is to say nothing and do nothing other than be admired for their appearance and youth. This is a recipe for disaster when fools like Sagan are added to the mix.

      When will the UCI realise that its far more beneficial for the sport to have women on the podium of global televaised races who are RECEIVING the prizes for winning, rather than simply standing there to be ogled by historical relics with outdated views on gender (in)equality?

      • While I agree with your premise and desired outcome, the bottom line is that very few people watch womens cycling. When it pulls in a similiar audience, then your agument is valid.

  5. I just don’t get the combativity prize. i have been to the giro website, researched the rules and stil don’t get it. Trust me, I understand how the points are awarded, I just don’t get why winning the stage earns more points than tv and kom’s. This contest actually rewards sprinters. How is emerging from the pack in the last 100 metres make you the most combative ? I understand you should receive points for finishing, but the rider who goes in to the break or attacks in the finale is far more combative than a sprinter.

    Mark Cavendish won this competition last year. He spent an entire 500 meters at the front of the race. 4 sprint wins and 1 TV was all it took to dominate this competition. Matteo Rabbatinin who went out into three breaks won a stage ans won the kom competition finished second. You tell me who the most combative rider was. I jus tdon’t get this competition. It’s as ridiculous as the All Around competition at the Vuelta which is based upon your placing in the GC, points, and kom competitions. Do riders actually think out a strategy to win this ? “I need to grab this TV so I can nullify rider B’s advantage in the KOM and jump over the race leader.” I hardly think so. Just a couple of non competitive contests. Kind of like participation awards for activities you show up for but are not trying to win. (roflmao)

  6. Love the TV and Premia Della Fugo. It rewards aggressive riders who get into the breaks. Who otherwise go unnoticed because they rarely win a stage or kom competition. I don’t like the Combativity Prize because it is weighted towards sprinters. Just do not understand how a rider emerges from the pack in the last 100 meters and is rewarded as the most combative? What about the rider who went out and took the koms and tv’s, yet fell victim in the last few k to the sprint trains. Was he not the most combative ?

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