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The Giro is my favourite grand tour!
Yes the Tour de France is the biggest - attracting millions of armchair fans - but the Giro is for the true tifosi.
Since it's introduction in 1931, the pink leaders jersey "Maglia Rosa" has become an iconic symbol of Italian cycling. The colour is due to the fact that La Gazzetta dello Sport, the sports newspaper that created the Giro, was printed on pink paper.
I'm going to do my best to bring you as many pink leaders jerseys as I can, but I must admit I cannot possibly compete with the Ghisallo Museum that has over 50 in it's collection! Maybe go there yourself one day, it's an amazing place for sure! If you can't go there, here is a link to a JPG file they produced in 2012 with many of the leaders jerseys photographed.
If you, like me, are a fan of the Giro, take a look at Maglia Rosa, triumph and tragedy at the Giro d’Italia by Herbie Sykes. I was not sent a review copy - I purchased it - so this is no advert!
It’s a great collection of stories from the Giro that's far better than the usual formulaic list of past race incidents. Possibly helped by the fact that the author Sykes lives in Italy, there’s a lot of original research behind the writing, something that also comes out in his articles for the Procycling magazine too. As the book was originally published by Rouleur, the quality of the photographs is fantastic too.
Assuming you're not a slave to "The Rules", specialist clothing e-tailer Prendas Ciclismo in the UK stock a broad selection of officially licenced Giro D'Italia related cycle clothing, normally at a pretty good price too.
The red Saeco sprint train of Mario Cipollini was often at the front of the bunch during the Giro helping Cipo to victory in the 42 stage wins which is the record.
Celebration 2006 Jersey
Winner: 2006. This (unofficial) pink jersey was produced in 2006 by Descente to celebrate Ivan Basso's victory in the Giro D'Italia.
Movistar/Endura 2014 Jersey
Winner: 2014. Nairo Quintana won the 2014 edition of the Giro in convincing style in this team-issue jersey made by British team sponsors Endura.
Winner: 1979. This simple, yet bold monochrome design was in the professional peloton for 10 years, with Giuseppe Saronni winning the Giro d'Italia overall, the points competition and three stages in 1979.
Giro 2013 Pink
Self confessed cycle fan Sir Paul Smith designed the four leaders jerseys for the 2013 edition of the Giro adding his own small touches to the iconic design.
Giro 2005 Pink
2005 saw Marco Lodola design the background design for the 88th Maglia Rosa for the Giro D'Italia.
Giro 2004 Pink Jersey
During the mid 2000's, RCS and Santini opted to have an artist's painting incorporated into the design of the pink jersey. 2004 was the turn of Mark Kostobi.
Giro 2006 Pink
For the 89th Giro D'Italia, Lucio Del Pezzo's design was incorporated into the 89th Maglia Rosa which also saw the EstaTHE logo added.
Giro 2007 Pink
Antonio Tamburro's painting was subtly printed on the leaders jerseys of the 90th edition of the Giro d'Italia.
Coppi Wool Jersey
Santini produced this incredible limited edition wool jersey to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Fausto Coppi's first pink jersey.
Giro 2003 Pink
2003 was the first time RCS asked an artist to design the backdrop of the Maglia Rosa and Ugo Nespolo was asked for the 86th edition.
Giro 2002 Pink
Commissioned by Prendas Ciclismo, this pink Giro leaders jersey has a MAPEI sponsor panel to celebrate Cadel Evans' time in the lead before he cracked in the mountains.
This maglia rosa was designed by the famous Italian fashion duo Dolce and Gabbana to celebrate the 100th edition.
Winner: 2007. The sprinters jersey is no longer the ciclamino/plum colour, it's now red after being changed in 2010 by RCS.
Giro/Saxobank 2011 Pink Jersey
Winner: 2011. Exclusively made for Saxobank team and staff members. With two competing clothing brands (Santini and Sportful) represented in the sponsor panel, this was not available to buy.
Giro 2010 Black/Pink Jersey
Every year Santini produce a "Fashion" range that compliments the leaders jerseys for the year. This stunning black and pink jersey is from the 2010 edition of the Giro D'Italia.
Winner: 2005. Worn by Jose Rujano in 2005, this green/KoM jersey even has the correct sponsor logos in the white panel.
Winner: 2004. Won by Damiano Cunego in 2004, this Giro D'Italia replica pink jersey has a Saeco/Cannondale sponsor panel and was not available to buy.
Inoxpran/Giro D'Italia 1981
This rare and original Castelli wool pink leaders jersey is signed by the winner of 1981 Giro D'Italia Giovanni Battaglin!
Website: Giro D'Italia