Did you know that the Giro d’Italia has begun in the Netherlands three times? Or that once a gangster threatened to shoot at the peleton? Or that’s there’s a Women’s Giro? Here are some Giro facts you may not have heard yet…
Salvatore Giuliano was a post-war gangster who terrorised the area around Palermo. In 1949, he threatened to shoot at the riders in the peleton during the race. Luckily he didn’t carry this out, and died a year later.
Two riders have won the Giro three years in a row: Eddy Merckx and Alfredo Binda.
The leader’s jersey is coloured pink because so too are the pages of the event’s first sponsor—the sports newspaper La Gazetta dello Sport.
The youngest winner of the Giro was the legendary Fausto Coppi. He was only 20 when he first won it, in 1940. In 1953, he won it for the fifth time. If the Second World War had not broken out in between, he may well have won more.
Italian riders have racked up most Giro victories. The most recent winner is Vincenzo Nibali, who won after Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk fell and broke two ribs while wearing the pink jersey in 2016. The Belgians and the French are respectively the most successful nations at winning the Giro after the Italians.
The last rider to win the Giro and the Tour de France in one year was Marco Pantani, in 1998.
The Giro Rosa, the Giro for women, has been ridden since 1988.
The Giro started from the Netherlands on three different occasions: in 2002, 2010, and 2016. That means that the Netherlands has hosted the most Giro starts after Italy.
The longest-ever Giro stage was 430 kilometers long and was ridden on May 18, 1914. Rider Costante Girardengo crossed the finish line after riding for 17 hours and 28 minutes.
The final stage of the 2018 edition of the Giro is in Rome. This is only the fourth time the race has ended there. Previous capital-city finishes were in 1911, 1950, and 2009.
Frenchman Bernard Hinault entered the race three times: in 1980, 1982 and 1985. Every time he entered, he won.
Vincenzo Nibali is the only rider who is still in the professional peleton who has won the Giro more than once—he won in 2013 and 2016. The other winners who are still riding are Damiano Cunego (2004), Nairo Quintana (2014), and Tom Dumoulin (2017).
Mario Cipollini is the rider with the most Giro stage wins to his name—his very impressive total of 42 victories is unlikely to be beaten in the near future.