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88th Giro d'Italia - May 7-29, 2005

Giro d'Italia 101

A brief guide to Giro classifications for the bewildered

Many correspondents have expressed a certain degree of confusion about the Giro's rather more than usually extensive list of prize lists - and the consequent length of our results pages... Roger Hughes attempts to demystify some of these mysteries of the 2005 Giro d'Italia.

Ok, now that one I know!
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Many of these classifications, or classifiche, are a result of the race having rather a lot of small sponsors. Each classification is of course a chance for another company to get its name mentioned somewhere, or for another notable to take his place on the podium for the prize ceremonies. Here is a quick rundown of the categories used for the 2005 race. Most are calculated both overall for the race as a whole and individually for each stage.

General classification (classifica generale - maglia rosa)

The big prize, the race for the pink jersey, is, of course, the normal general classification on total elapsed time, less time bonuses (20, 12 and 8 seconds for the first three at the finish and 6, 4 and 2 seconds for the first three in the Intergiro sprint in each non-time trial stage). Total prize list: €360,000 for the overall competition plus €328,000 for daily stage placings.

Points classification (classifica ai punti - maglia ciclamina)

Pink is also for points, but dark pink
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The equivalent of the Tour's green jersey competition, awarded on the basis of points for placings at the stage finish (the first 15) and the Intergiro sprint (the first 6). Unlike the Tour (where the competition is deliberately biased towards sprinters), the same points are awarded for all stages (except the prologue), so this often goes to a rider who has a good final week in the mountains (especially given the recent trend for the top sprinters to go home and watch that week on TV). Total prize list: €102,000

Mountains classification (Gran Premio della Montagna - maglia verde)

Mountains guy wears green
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Again, a fairly standard arrangement for the climbers' green jersey: points for the first rider over the main climbs, split into three numbered categories. There's also a special rate for summit finishes and individual scales for the two highest climbs: the "Cima Coppi", traditionally adjudged at the highest point on the route, this year the Stelvio, and the Colle della Finestre. Total prize list: €81,000

Intergiro classification (maglia azzura)

A complicato classifica
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When the Intergiro was first introduced somewhere around 1990, the idea was to liven up the piano piano early parts of each stage; it was a time-based classification like the main GC, except judged only to a point somewhere around halfway along the stage route.

It proved to be of limited interest, usually fought out between a couple of riders going on daily suicide breakaways to pick up enormous time advantages at the Intergiro point, while the rest of the race ignored them, and then sitting up to be caught. As a result, the maximum time gains were first limited, then, eventually, the riders placed at the Intergiro were just awarded notional standard time gaps regardless of the actual times elapsed - in other words, the thing had effectively just become another intermediate sprint points classification, except with the points expressed as "seconds".

The only twist to that is that the actual time gaps are used for the Intergiro in time trial stages, but only for the first seven riders (everybody else gets the time of the seventh). As the Intergiro sprint on road stages also awards bonuses for GC and points for the points competition, it is usually fairly well contested, although nobody can ever remember who the leader in the classification is. Total prize list: €93,000

Most combative classification (Premio della Combattività)

Unlike similarly named "Most Aggressive Rider" etc. classifications in other races, this is not an arbitrarily judged thing based on riders' actions during the stage, but is in fact just a points-based ranking with points awarded for the stage placing, mountains and Intergiro each day. Total prize list: €15,000

Azzurri d'Italia classification

A rather pointless little points competition; 4/2/1 points to the first three on each stage. Awarded by the association of sportsmen and women who have represented Italy in international competition in all sports. Winner takes €5,000

Trofeo Fuga Piaggio classification

A daily prize and overall classification based on the total distance that riders cover in breakaway groups of no more than 10 riders. Total prize list: €10,000

Trofeo Fast Team classification

The traditional team classification (daily and overall) based on the aggregate times of each team's best three placed riders on each stage. Total prize list: €76,000

Trofeo Super Team classification

A team points classification, based on points (20 down to 1) awarded to all riders in the first 20 each day - all scoring riders count for their team's total. Total prize list: €55,000

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