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Giro d'Italia 2017: Santini has 600 official leader's jerseys ready to wear

Joseph Delves
3 May 2017

In fact, there's a leader's jersey for every competition just ready and waiting

Every rider dreams of taking a leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. Yet when the 197-strong field line up in Alghero for the start of the 100th Giro d’Italia on Friday, they'll know that only a few of them have a realistic hope of actually wearing one.

However, pro cycling is anything but predictable, especially a race with as many twists and turns (literally and figuratively) as the Giro. To this end the race’s kit supplier Santini already has a stockpile of 600 different leader's jerseys and skinsuits ready to wear for every rider starting the race, from overall contenders like Nairo Quintana and Vincenzo Nibali right down to the lowliest of domestiques.

With four different jerseys up for grabs over the race's 21 stages – pink, for the overall leader; blue, for the leader of the mountains classification; white, for the best young rider, and the now-revived cyclamen (or purple) for the points leader – covering every eventuality is quite the logistical challenge for the Italian family firm.

Ahead of the race a database of all the rider’s different requirements is used to ensure the right kit is always on hand to clothe the lead riders at the end of each stage, regardless of what surprises the day's action produces. Produced in Lallio, northern Italy, the mountain of racewear will have already made the trip south to Sardinia by this stage in anticipation of the race’s start.

Limited sizes

Unlike the rails at your local bike shop, however, there won’t be many larger sizes among the hundreds of pieces of kit required for each jersey competition.

“It’s quite unusual for the athletes to take anything larger than medium size-wise, and most will take small or an extra-small or, in certain cases, even extra, extra small” explained Santini CEO Monica Santini.

“We also supply rainproof jackets, aerodynamic skinsuits for the time trials, and all the accessories that the leader of all the various classifications will require.”

Newly returned for the centenary edition of the race is the Maglia Ciclamino, the colour of jersey that was used to denote the points leader from 1970 and 2009. Before 1970 and between 2010 and 2016, the jersey for this classification was red, reflecting the colour of its sponsor, Italy’s leading espresso coffee maker Segafredo Zanetti.

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