99 days before the start of the 99th edition of the Giro d’Italia, race organisers RCS Sport have presented the four leader’s jersey of this year’s race along with the sponsors of each jersey.
The race leader’s jersey is again pink, like the pages of La Gazzetta dello Sport – the Italian sports newspaper that first created the race in 1907. The red jersey is awarded to the winner of the points competition, a blue jersey for the winner of the mountain’s competition, and the white jersey goes to the best young rider. All the jerseys are again made by Italian company Santini.
The maglia rosa was first introduced in 1931, with the other jerseys coming later. 132 different riders have worn the pink jersey since 1931, with Eddy Merckx holding the record of 67 days in pink.
The four jerseys will be on show for seven days starting from today in the Rizzoli Bookstores in Milan and New York, and in Gelderland, the Netherlands province, where the Giro d’Italia will start on Friday 6 May with individual time trial in Apeldoorn. The 2016 giro d’Italia will end in Turin on May 29, with the overall winners of the four different classifications pulling on the final classification jerseys. Expected contenders for overall victory include 2013 winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Mikel Landa (Team Sky), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Tom Doumulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Riogberto Urán (Cannondale). Alberto Contador won the 2015 Giro d'Italia but is not planning to defend his title this year.
Italian energy company ENEL is the new sponsor of the pink jersey, with Banca Mediolanum sponsoring the blue jersey, Algida the red jersey, and Eurospin supermarkets the white jersey.
The 2016 jerseys were revealed by Italian television presenter Giorgia Palmas – the official Madrina of the 2016 Giro d’Italia – and representatives of the four jersey sponsors. During the event, Fabio Aru, Alberto Contador, and Giovanni Visconti revealed via video where they keep their jerseys and recalled their moments in pink, blue, red or white.
Giacomo Nizzolo of Trek-Segafredo, the winner of the 2015 red jersey after an intense battle with Elia Viviani, and Paolo Bettini, who twice wore the pink jersey during his career, attended the official presentation, along with former Giro d’Italia winner Gianni Motta, 50 years after his victory.
“There’s stage finish in Cassano d’Adda, where I was born, that should finish in a sprint. Winning there and pulling on the red jersey again wouldn’t be bad,” Nizzolo said.
“I was fortunate to wear the jerseys in the Giro d’Italia during my career, starting with the pink jersey that even got to wear on my home roads in Tuscany,” Bettini explained. “I also fought to win the points jersey twice and I wore the then green climber’s jersey too. In 1998 I actually won the best young rider classification but that was before the white jersey was introduced.”