GIRO D'ITALIA COLLECTION
The most scenic yet brutal of the Grand Tours is upon us, and everyone is wondering who will earn the Maglia Rosa, the winner’s jersey traditionally crafted by Castelli – the seemingly unbeatable Remco Evenepoel, the experienced Primoz Rogliĉ, or even a contender not yet on anyone's radar? After all, the Giro is famously unpredictable.
This year Castelli, which traditionally crafts the jerseys associated with the event, has released a collection that celebrates the Giro d’Italia’s rich history.
The Maglia Rosa owes its colouring to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the daily that started Italy’s Grand Tour. It’s worn at each stage by the rider with the lowest aggregate time and this year the rider who finishes in it will raise the ‘Endless Trophy’ in Rome.
Anyone whose name is engraved on the Trofeo Senza Fine joins a gallery of greats of the sport: think Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx, Alberto Contador and Mario Cipollini.
Winners are revered not only for dominating a 21-stage race but for having the physical and mental stamina to endure days with 5,000m or more of Alpine climbing, in wildly varying weathers.
The Fuori Jersey’s vintage styling is designed to send your mind back to classic victories and upsets of the Giro d'Italia.
Take 1956, the year cataclysmic conditions hit Stage 18, which finished on Monte Bondone. Of 83 starting riders, 43 made it through the swirling snow, including Charly Gaul, who clawed back a record 17-minute deficit to snatch victory.
Or recall 1968, when Eddy Merckx earned his nickname, ‘the Cannibal’. After a mechanical, he achieved the seemingly impossible by catching, then outstripping by five minutes, a breakaway that had built up a nine-minute lead, all on the excruciatingly steep slopes of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. That same devilish series of three peaks will form part of this year’s Queen Stage, Stage 19.
It isn’t just the riders who breathe life into Italy’s Grand Tour, the iconic stages develop their own lore. Just as cycling fans look forward to seeing Alpe d'Huez on the Tour schedule, certain landmarks generate excitement whenever they appear in Il Garibaldi.
It’s no wonder Passo Giau merits a jersey. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, but as Laurent Fignon will testify, its 29 hairpin bends and unrelenting gradient make it a game changer.
The Tre Cime Di Lavaredo was namechecked by Merckx himself as the site of his greatest victory, while Rome, the final destination of the Giro, is a piece of living history.