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Pretty in pink: 10 incredible maglia rosa looks ranked

We count down the Giro d’Italia’s most remarkable attempts at pink jersey fashion

Robyn Davidson
11 May 2022

The Giro d’Italia’s maglia rosa provides teams and riders with the makings of a stunning outfit, but some attempts to capitalise on the pinkness have been more successful than others. 

With that in mind, in Cyclist’s answer to Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, I’ve compiled a definitive ranking of maglia rosa looks over the past couple of decades, ordered from worst to best. 

Cover your eyes. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

10. Mario Cipollini, 2005

Tim de Waele via Getty

Ever the quiet and understated rider seen in muted outfits, here Cipollini waves to fans at the Giro d’Italia’s ceremonial prologue in 2005. 

To be honest, this ranking is harsh given some of the well-thought out emotional details like town names of his stage victories printed down the legs of this maglia rosa-inspired skinsuit. 

I couldn’t pull it off, in fact Super Mario is about the only cyclist I’m aware of that could. Just

9. Alexandre Vinokourov, 2010

Tim de Waele via Getty

After yesterday’s Giro d’Italia stage up Mount Etna, people tried to dissect if Juanpe López and Lennard Kämna made some kind of mid-ride deal. 

Anyway, in totally unrelated news, here’s Alexander Vinokourov.

Despite being in the maglia rosa on Stage 10 of the 2010 race, he wore a very yellow rain jacket that had more than a hint of maillot jaune about it.

What's next, red shorts while leading the Tour de France?

8. Ivan Basso, 2010

Tim de Waele via Getty

Look, there are some cycling kits that are loud and iconic. Liquigas/Cannondale, Euskaltel–Euskadi, Lampre-Merida, Mapei.

All great on their own. Then you throw the maglia rosa on the back of Ivan Basso and get a garish display of contrasting green and pink. 

Take away the jersey and you’d have no clue he was leading the general classification either.

I’d be fully decked out. A walking Giro billboard.

Where are the pink details, Ivan? Where’s the EXTRA?  

7. Alberto Contador, 2015

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ah, here’s the extra. Speaking of loud kits… Tinkoff-Saxo. You know what? I don’t hate it. 

Mostly because of the extra features like pink wheel decals, pink bar tape and a pink helmet. 

It does look a bit like he’s wearing washed-out Lampre-Merida kit, mind.

6. Vincenzo Nibali, 2013

Tim de Waele via Getty

Edging closer towards the ‘good’ section, but not quite there yet. 

Astana clearly learnt from their bright yellow era and went for a more see-through style of rain jacket at the 2013 Giro. 

The team are known for a beautiful shade of blue which I find can be nicely paired with pink, but then you put the jacket over the maglia rosa and I don’t vibe with it.  

5. Nairo Quintana, 2014

Tim de Waele via Getty Images

Some people are born to wear pink. 

Nairo Quintana is one of them, as much as Alejandro Valverde would hate to admit it.

He’s gone for a full pink look here: shorts, socks, even a trypophobia-inducing helmet. 

4. Filippo Ganna, 2021

Luca Bettini/AFP via Getty Images

I love seeing the extra touches people put on while leading the general classification. 

Here, Ineos Grenadiers rider Filippo Ganna sports some customised shoes with pink dials during the second stage of the 2021 race into Novara.

Luca Bettini/AFP via Getty Images

On the side, they say ‘TOP GANNA’ in Top Gun style. The plane doesn’t look like an F-14 Tomcat, but this is where I admit to you that I’ve never watched the film anyway.

No expense spared given that it’s Ineos, they’ve even sprung for the pink bidons as well. 

3. Patrick Dempsey and Bob Jungels, 2017

Luk Benies/AFP via Getty 

The duo everyone predicted.

But two maglia rosa wearers… and it’s not Tao Geoghegan Hart and Jai Hindley before the final time-trial in 2020 either?

TAG Heuer ambassador Patrick Dempsey rolled out alongside actual jersey holders Bob Jungels and Fernando Gaviria in Castrovillari in 2017. 

The actor is wearing a pink buttoned up polo shirt covered in the brand’s name and #DontCrackUnderPressure, which by itself wouldn’t be enough to feature on the list, however Jungels pulls him through with his pink-detailed Specialized and pink-lined shorts. 

It’s the little things.

2. Gilberto Simoni, 2003

Tim de Waele via Getty Images

My God is this good. 

Not only is Simoni sporting pink shorts with his maglia rosa on his way to overall victory in 2003, but they're patterned! And the flowery pattern is the same on his gloves!

Beautiful execution. More of this please. It slightly reminds me of Liv Cycling. 

1. Egan Bernal, 2021

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Numero uno. The man himself.

Egan Bernal just edges out Simoni through details like the pink stripe on his shorts, but what I love the most is how occasionally the stripe lines up with the pink on his bike. 

That scratches my brain. 

Read our full guide to the 2022 Giro d'Italia, including a breakdown of stages, favourites and how to watch. 

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