Stage 11: Perugia - Montalcino A pink ribbon
Separating the Giro d’Italia from the Maglia Rosa would be inconceivable, especially as the leader’s jersey turns 90 this year. As sappy as it may sound, the Giro might be defined as a pink thread connecting two cities – not always the same ones. A long ribbon in different shades of pink (baby pink, pale pink, powder pink, old rose, salmon pink, flamingo pink – the hue has changed repeatedly throughout the years) running from Turin to Milan, like this year, or from Milan to Milan, as in the opening edition of 1909, or in 1931. Each one a first time, in their own way, marking the first-ever edition of the race, and the introduction of the Maglia Rosa, respectively.
There is actually a date that marks the beginning of this unbreakable bond. Until 1930, there was no way to tell the GC leader from the rest of the riders. The Maglia Rosa was introduced the following year, and Learco Guerra immediately became an avid hunter. Was it because he already knew what it felt like, having worn the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for many days the previous year? Or was it because the opening stage of the Giro that year would home in his hometown, Mantua? Being the first to wear the leader’s jersey among his friends and family was the dream that propelled him to his first sprint. A dream so big it even nurtured ambitious ideas for the future, which led him to score a second win the following day.