Dante in Pink: iconic Italian cycling jersey turns 90

This year, Dante is featured on the iconic Maglia Rosa of Italy's biggest cycling race. All parts creative commons

The Maglia Rosa has become an iconic jersey for cycling in Italy and across the globe. The pink leader jersey of the Giro d’Italia, Italy’s largest cycling stage race, will celebrate its 90th anniversary this year. Fans can visit an online exhibition to learn more about the Maglia Rosa’s history and the riders who wore it.

RCS Sport, organisers of the Giro, created the virtual presentation in collaboration with the Ghisallo Museum and AcdB Museo, Affar Italiani reported. The 90th version of the Maglia Rosa will also pay homage to Dante Alighieri’s 700th anniversary. 

Reaching for the stars

Journalist and race organiser Armando Cougnet made up the jersey in 1931. By wearing the unusual cloth, the leader of the general classification became easier to recognise for spectators standing along the road. The first pink jersey was worn by Italian cyclist Learco Guerra on 10 May 1931. 

The newest version of the jersey will also feature an Italian icon, Dante Alighieri, Corriere della Sera reported. 2021 marks the 700th anniversary of the Medieval writer’s death. That is why in the collar of the jersey, the last line of Dante’s Purgatorio is printed: ”disposto a salire a le stelle” (translation: Willing to rise to the stars).

The 104th edition of the Giro d’Italia will start in Turin on 8 May. After 21 stages, the riders will finish in Milan on 30 May. The cyclist who leads the general classification at the end will receive the winners’ trophy and the iconic Maglia Rosa.

Source: Affar Italiani (Italian), Giro d’Italia and Corriere della Sera (Italian)

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