In spring and summer, you can enjoy cycling at a high level. The Belgian classics but of course also the grand tours. The Tour de France and the Vuelta de España, but always first up is the Giro d’Italia.
The Tour of Italy was first run back in 1909, and was even inspired by the Tour de France. It was often an Italian party, but there have also been Dutch successes in the past. Most recently, of course, by Tom Dumoulin. And how about the three Giro starts in our little Netherlands over the last 20 years? Every year in May, you can enjoy the Giro d’Italia.
This three-week round nicely follows all the spring classics like the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. For betting on cycling in the Giro d’Italia, you can often get good information from those one-day races and, of course, the Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya.
Outline Giro d’Italia
The length of the Giro d’Italia has had some big differences in the past. But of course, the set-up remains the same as that of any other cycling race: whoever does the shortest overall distance wins. Although… The first five editions went slightly differently. Then it was all about the standings of each stage.
The winner got one point, the number two got two points, and so on. The one with the fewest points, became the winner of the Giro. 1912 was even more unusual: then it was all about team importance and the team that performed best in each stage won. From 1914, the time each rider took to complete the Giro was considered.
In the beginning, there were still around eight to 10 stages in the Giro. Later that was expanded towards 20. Until 1950, there were many mountain stages and some flat stages. From 1951, individual time trials were also organised and sometimes a team time trial.
The greatest honour is of course winning the general classification, or since a very few years so the pink jersey. But a big tour like the Giro d’Italia has a number of other classifications and jerseys that can be won.
The first Giro was held in 1909, but it was not until 1931 that the ‘maglia rosa’, the pink jersey, was introduced. The jersey became pink because of its main sponsor, La Gazzetta dello Sport. That newspaper was printed on pink paper. Again, they found inspiration from the Tour de France: the yellow jersey is because of sponsor L’Auto, which is printed on yellow paper.
Unlike the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia does not have an official sprint jersey, they actually have a points jersey. Cyclists collect points by finishing high in a stage or at intermediate sprints.
As a result, although the points jersey is often won by sprinters (who often finish high in flat stages), it is not a guarantee. The points jersey is purple and has only been awarded since 1966.
The blue mountain jersey is for the best climber in the company. Since 1933, riders can earn points by being the first to arrive at certain mountain and hill peaks.
Whereas the Tour de France labels the most difficult mountains as ‘hors categorie’ (out of category), the Giro has the ‘Cima Coppi’ – named after Fausto Coppi, of course. The rider who is the first to reach the highest point in the entire Giro takes 50 points for the mountain jersey.
In 1976, the white jersey was added for the best young rider, the same as in the Tour de France. The best rider under 25 gets this jersey around his shoulders.
After 1994, the white jersey was not awarded for a long time, but it returned in 2007. Four riders managed to win the Giro as a young rider (under 25), so white and pink: Evgeni Berzin in 1994, Nairo Quintana in 2014, Tao Geoghegan Hart in 2020 and Egan Bernal in 2021.
In addition to the above jerseys, there are a number of other classifications in the Giro d’Italia. The team classification, the intermediate sprint classification, the most combative rider (red jersey number), the rider who attacked the most and the fair play classification.
Betting on Giro | Betting markets
At the Giro d’Italia, with all those jerseys and classifications and stages, you have plenty to bet on cycling. We pick out a few options for you.
Betting on Giro | Outright winner
The most obvious betting market is of course that of the overall winner. The editions from 2014 to 2022 all featured a different winner. Do you know how to make a good prediction based on April stage races such as the Tirreno-Adratico?
Betting on Giro | Head to head
A number of favourites for the Giro are always named in advance by the experts, like us at Mobile Wins. Mobile Wins also gives you the choice of betting on direct duels. Which of two cyclists performs best, regardless of the overall result?
Betting on Giro | Stage winner
Don’t want to wait three weeks for the outcome of your bet? Then, of course, you can bet on the stage winner every day of the Giro. Will it be a stage for the sprinters, maybe one for the puncheurs or do you know who the best time trialist is? 21 chances to bet on stage winners with often very nice odds. You can therefore even spread your chances on several riders.
History of the Giro
In 1908, the idea of running a Tour of Italy was taken up by an editor of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Tullo Morgagni. He had seen how much success the French magazine L’Auto had had with the Tour de France. And it was also rumoured that rival magazine Corriere della Sera also wanted to organise a round.
The owner of La Gazzetta dello Sport was keen on it, also because the Tour of Lombardy and Milan San-Remo they organised were already successful. On 13 May 1909, 127 cyclists started the first Giro d’Italia, over eight stages and 2,448 kilometres.
Italian dominance until 1950
The first Giro was won by Luigi Ganna (no relation to Filippo Ganna), who also won three of the eight stages. He narrowly trailed Carlo Galetti in the general classification.
The same Galetti would dominate the next three years: in 1910 and 1911 he won individually, in 1912 he was in Atala’s winning team. The 1912 Giro was unique in this respect; it was the only one in which teams competed against each other for overall victory.
Although the first few years sometimes saw foreign stage winners, the Italians continued to take the overall win for decades. In 1925, the first real individual hegemony began.
Alfredo Binda won his first Giro that year and would go on to win as many as five until 1933. In 1925, two-time Giro winner Costante Girardengo won as many as six of the 12 stages. But he fell behind when Binda and other riders took advantage of a Girardengo puncture on stage five.
Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi
Two of the most famous names in the Giro are, of course, legendary riders Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi. Between 1936 and 1953, they were the very best. Bartali was a few years older and won in 1936 and 1937, as well as the Tour de France in 1938. In 1940, Coppi competed for the first time and won immediately at the age of 20.
World War II ruined five potentially fantastic years for both riders, but then they picked up where they left off. Bartali won the Tour de France in 1946, and a second time two years later. Coppi took over in 1947 and would win for the fifth time in 1953, equalling Alfredo Binda.
First foreign winners and Eddy Merckx
In 1950, Bartali came second once more, behind the first foreign winner: Hugo Koblet from Switzerland. He also won the mountain classification as the first non-Italian, and a year later the Tour de France with five stage wins. Koblet was followed by Charly Gaul (Luxembourg) and Jacques Anquetil (France), among others.
In 1968, The Cannibal, Eddy Merckx, came to Italy for his first grand tour. He dominated and won the points classification and the mountain jersey in addition to the pink jersey. Until 1974, like Binda and Coppi, he would reach five overall victories. Three times he did so in the same year as he won the Tour de France.
Bernard Hinault, Francesco Moser and Miguel Indurain
After Eddy Merckx’s last victory, the Giro alternated between Italians and non-Italians for quite a while. Around Merckx, it was Felice Gimondi who won three times: in 1967, 1969 and 1976. In the 1970s and 1980s, Italian hopes were mainly pinned on Francesco Moser.
But he often just missed out on the overall victory, where Frenchman Bernard Hinault won three times in three participations in the 1980s. Then in 1984, Moser finally won his only Giro in the autumn of his career.
Hinault managed to win all three grand tours: Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta de España. Earlier, Felice Gimondi, Jacques Anquetil and Eddy Merckx also succeeded. Spaniard Miguel Indurain won the Giro in 1992 and 1993 (in addition to his 1991-1995 Tour victories). But remarkably absent from his list of honours is the Vuelta from his own country.
From Italian winners to various countries
In 1997, the Italians again took over dominance in their own Giro. Until 2007, they managed to win their own round each time with a maximum of two wins per rider. Around that time, between 1989 and 2003, was also the time of Mario Cippolini.
‘Nice Mario’ won no fewer than 42 stages, one more than Alfredo Binda. In 2008, Alberto Contador joined the illustrious list of stage winners by winning the Giro and the Vuelta after the Tour. In 2015, the Spaniard won the Tour of Italy once again. The Shark of Messina, Vincenzo Nibali, won in 2013 and 2016, becoming the second Italian to join the list.
The last decade has seen mostly winners from ‘new countries’. Ryder Hesjedal from Canada in 2012, Nairo Quintana (Colombia) in 2014, our Tom Dumoulin in 2017, Englishman Chris Froome in 2018, Richard Carapaz (Ecuador) in 2019, and Jai Hindley from Australia in 2022.
Three riders managed to win the Giro d’Italia five times: Alfredo Binda, Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx. Frenchman Bernard Hinault stands among four Italians with three overall wins: Giovanni Brunero, Gino Bartali, Fiorenzo Magni and Felice Gimondi.
Italy of course dominates the ‘country classification’ with 69 overall wins, ahead of Belgium (7), France (6) and Spain (4). The Netherlands ranks as one-time winners with Tom Dumoulin.
Eddy Merckx also dominates in terms of days in the pink jersey, as many as 78. Alfredo Binda stands on 65 days, but he also rode a lot fewer stages in his time. Francesco Moser follows with 50 days and unfortunately only one final victory, ahead of his Italian compatriots Giuseppe Saronni (48) and Gino Bartali (42) and Frenchman Jacques Anquetil (42).
Johan van der Velde, Koen Bouwman and Mathieu van der Poel
As mentioned, Mario Cipollini has won the most stages 42 no less. Behind him we find his compatriots Alfredo Binda (41), Learco Guerra (31), Costante Girardengo (30), Belgian Eddy Merckx (25), Giuseppe Saronni (24) and Francesco Moser (23).
Cipollini is not the one with the most overall wins in the points classification. Because often ‘Cipo’ got off before the mountains started. He crossed the finish line in 6 of his 14 participations, winning the points jersey three times. This puts him on a par with Dutchman Johan van der Velde and Belgian Roger De Vlaeminck. Leaders with four are Moser and Saronni.
The mountain jersey will probably never be won more often than by Gino Bartali. The legendary Italian won it no less than seven times, before and after World War II. Spaniard José Manuel Fuente won it four times in a row from 1971-1974.
Fausto Coppi and Claudio Chiappucci are among the three-time winners. Koen Bouwman won the mountain jersey in 2022, becoming the third Dutchman to win a jersey after Johan van der Velde and Tom Dumoulin. Mathieu van der Poel became the most combative rider after losing his pink jersey.
The Giro d’Italia is an annual multi-stage bicycle race held in Italy. It is one of the prestigious Grand Tours of cycling, alongside the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
The pink jersey, also known as the “Maglia Rosa,” is worn by the rider with the lowest cumulative time over all stages. It represents the overall race leader.
The first Giro d’Italia was held in 1909 as a way to promote the Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The Giro d’Italia typically takes place in May, spanning over three weeks.
Time trials are stages where riders race individually against the clock, with the fastest time determining the winner.