Pink is the new yellow!

Facts, events, records.


That May is finally here. That means only one thing. The first Grand Tour is scheduled to start. As every year (not exactly every year because the Vuelta used to be before), the Giro d’Italia opens the season of Grad Tours on the European continent. To properly mark this event, below we list some strange and some funny facts related to this race…

1. The longest stage ever ridden in the Giro was 430km long!!! It was ridden in the pre-war Giro in 1914 and that stage started from the city of Lucca and ended in Rome.

2. The shortest stage ever ridden in the Giro was the one that took place between the city of Montecatini and the city of Prato during the first post-war Giro in 1946. The length of the stage was only 30km….

3. The longest Giro was the one from 1954 - insane 4337km long…

4. The shortest Giro was the one from 1912. - short 2444 km, but in only 9 stages!

5. The fastest stage was the one from 1985., which was ridden at an average speed of an insane 50,123 km/h. However, it should be noted that this was a stage only 45km long.

6. The fastest average speed of the entire Giro was 40,164 km/h! This was achieved in the 2009 Giro and the winner was Denis Menchov.

7. The fastest chronometer is the one from 2001, when Rick Verbrugghe did his 7.5km with an average speed of an insane 58,584 km/h!!!

8. The slowest stage/chronometer ever was the one from 2010 when Stefano Garzelli did his mountain chronometer with an average speed of 18.67 km/h.

9. The longest total time to win the Giro d’Italia is that from 1927. That year, the legendary Alfredo Binda completed the race in 144 hours and 15 minutes. He covered a total of 3758km with an average speed of 26km/h.

10. The main winning trophy is called the Trofea Senza Fine and has been awarded since 1999. The trophy is special because the names of all the winners are engraved on the trophy itself.

11. Between 1946 and 1951, the Giro d’Italia also awarded a black jersey (Maglia Nera). That jersey was intended for the slowest Giro cyclist. However, due to fierce competition, this jersey was suspended….

12. The most days spent in a pink jersey is a record owned by, of course,cannibal Eddy Merckx - a total of 78 days. After him, Francesco Moser has 57 days, Gino Bartali 50 days, Guiseppe Saronni 49 days, Jaques Anquetil 42 days, and Fausto Coppi and Bernard Hinault 31 days each.

13. Only 4 riders led the Giro in the overall standings from start to finish - Costante Girardengo in 1919, Alfredo Binda in 1927, Eddy Merckx in 1973 and Gianni Bugno in 1990.

14. Nairo Quintana (2014) and Evgeni Berzin (1994) are the only riders to have won both the overall standings and the race for the best young rider (under 25 years) in the same year.

15. Fausto Coppi is the youngest overall winner at the Giro. He managed that at the age of 20. and 158 days. This was achieved in 1940 Giro.

16. Fiorenzo Magni is the oldest winner of the Giro. He managed that at the age of 34. and 180 days. This was achieved in 1955 Giro.

17. Only three cyclists have won the Giro 5 times. Apart from, of course, Merckx (1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974), this was also achieved by Alfredo Binda (1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1933) and Fausto Coppi (1940, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953).

18. Bernard Hinault is the most efficient cyclist in the history of the Giro. He started three times and won all three times. 100% effective!

19. A total of 22 riders have won the Giro more than once. The only active rider to do so was Vicenzo Nibali.

20. Understandably, by nation, the Italians have the most victories (69), followed by the Belgians (7) and the Dutch (6).

21. The first non-Italian cyclist to win the Giro was the Swiss Hugo Koblet. That was back in 1950 when Hugo was RIDING for Team Guerra-Ursus.

22. Mario Cipollini (NOT Eddy Merckx) has the most stage victories. He gathered 42 of them.

23. Interestingly, only two times, the stages at the Giro were won by father and son. That was done the Baffi family (Pierino and Adriano) and, of course, the Merckx family (Eddy and Axel).

24. The prize fund of the Giro amounts to around EUR 1,500,000.00. The overall winner gets around 210,000.00 euros.

25. The last place in the overall standings to win money is 10th place. That cyclist wins somewhere around 5,000.00 euros.

26. The winner of the stage wins around 11,000.00 euros.

27. Each stage spent in a pink jersey brings an additional 1000.00 euros.

28. The Pink jersey is a tribute to the Italian newspaper printed in pink and the founder of Giro d’Italia - Gazzetta dello Sport.

29. In the last 20 years, the Giro has gathered around 800,000.00 million TV viewers through the 21 stage every year.

30. Since 1909, the Giro has not only been ridden during the First and Second World War.

31. In 1909, as many as 4 riders were disqualified for taking a train during a stage.

32. The oldest rider who ever started the Giro is Giovanni Gerbi. He started the race at the age of 47. This happened in 1932 Giro.

33. The short 11 seconds is the smallest difference between the winner and the second place in the overall standings. This happened at the Giro in 1948. The lucky one was Fiorenzo Magni, and the unlucky one was Ezio Cecchi.

That's all we managed to collect ……. We hope this will make you follow this Giro even more closely. You never know if some event this year will enter this list of the most interesting facts in the history of this legendary race.

Until the next blog, share the road.