Giro d'Italia jerseys: History of the Maglia Rosa leader's jersey

Giro d'Italia jerseys: History of the Maglia Rosa leader's jersey

The Tour de France introduced the Maillot Jaune in 1919, with the yellow colour being chosen on account of it being the colour of the paper its organising newspaper, L'Auto, was printed on.
It was only in 1931 - 22 years after the Giro’s inaugural event - that the leader of the race overall, began to sport a pink jersey, the Maglia Rosa.
The colour reasoning was much the same though, as the race's founder and chief organiser, La Gazetta Dello Sport, was printed on pink paper.
Francesco Camusso was the winner of the 1931 Giro, and goes down in history as the first winner of the Maglia Rosa.

Francesco Camusso

Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx have the most pink jerseys to their name having dominated the race with five victories each between 1940 and 1974.
In the decade between 1976 and 1985, Francesco Moser wore the pink jersey every year but two, however he only won it once, in 1984, after beating Laurent Fignon.

Francesco Moser

The Frenchman, Fignon, claimed that organisers were out to get him though, cancelling stages, and purposefully flying helicopters in front of him during the decisive final time-trial, to aid the Italian's only win.
Regardless, despite the time frame, it is Merckx who holds the record for most days in pink, with 77 days compared to Moser's 50.

Eddy Merckx

Alongside the General Classification, there is the points classification which is today signified by the Maglia Ciclamino (mauve jersey), derived from the alpine flower the cyclamen.

The mountains jersey was first awarded in 1933, and is recognised today by the Maglia Azzurra - blue jersey.

The final piece in the quartet, the young rider's jersey, was first rolled out in 1976, and similarly to the Tour de France, is coloured white - the Maglia Bianca.

The Maglia Rosa Collection pays homage to the Giro d’ Italia and its grand pink leaders jersey.


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