A brief guide to Giro classifications for the bewildered

Many correspondents have expressed a certain degree of confusion about the Giro's rather more than...

Many correspondents have expressed a certain degree of confusion about the Giro's rather more than usually extensive list of prize lists - and the consequent length of our results pages... Roger Hughes attempts to demystify some of these mysteries of the 2005 Giro d'Italia.

Many of these classifications, or classifiche, are a result of the race having rather a lot of small sponsors. Each classification is of course a chance for another company to get its name mentioned somewhere, or for another notable to take his place on the podium for the prize ceremonies. Here is a quick rundown of the categories used for the 2005 race. Most are calculated both overall for the race as a whole and individually for each stage.

General classification (classifica generale - maglia rosa)

The big prize, the race for the pink jersey, is, of course, the normal general classification on total elapsed time, less time bonuses (20, 12 and 8 seconds for the first three at the finish and 6, 4 and 2 seconds for the first three in the Intergiro sprint in each non-time trial stage). Total prize list: €360,000 for the overall competition plus €328,000 for daily stage placings.

Points classification (classifica ai punti - maglia ciclamina)

The equivalent of the Tour's green jersey competition, awarded on the basis of points for placings at the stage finish (the first 15) and the Intergiro sprint (the first 6). Unlike the Tour (where the competition is deliberately biased towards sprinters), the same points are awarded for all stages (except the prologue), so this often goes to a rider who has a good final week in the mountains (especially given the recent trend for the top sprinters to go home and watch that week on TV). Total prize list: €102,000

Mountains classification (Gran Premio della Montagna - maglia verde)

Again, a fairly standard arrangement for the climbers' green jersey: points for the first rider over the main climbs, split into three numbered categories. There's also a special rate for summit finishes and individual scales for the two highest climbs: the "Cima Coppi", traditionally adjudged at the highest point on the route, this year the Stelvio, and the Colle della Finestre. Total prize list: €81,000

Click here to read about the rest of the classifications - there's six more!

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