The maglia nera lives on
There’s a weird prestige about finishing last in a Grand Tour, and while the infamous maglia nera no longer exists at the Giro d’Italia, Marco Coledan of Trek Factory Racing went to extreme lengths on the penultimate stage to make sure he finished last.
The black jersey was awarded to the last placed rider at the Giro between 1946 and 1951 before it was scrapped, and it’s that symbolic prize it appears Coledan is aiming to win.
The Italian stopped and waited shortly before the finish line on the summit-finish of Sestriere to wait for Robert Kluge (IAM Cycling), his closest rival in the fight for last place, with a number of spectators catching snaps of the rider relaxing by the advertising hoardings which did the rounds on Twitter over the weekend.
Coledan rolled in just before time-cut on the 20th stage won by Fabio Aru (Astana).
It turns out there’s a price to pay for the wooden spoon however, with the race jury hitting Coledan with a 500CHF (£348) fine for failing to ‘sportingly defend his own chances’, as stated in Article 12.1.007 of the UCI rules.
Coledan heads into the final flat stage to Milan with a seven minute buffer to 162nd placed Kluge. Let’s hope there isn’t a stand-off between the pair in the final 10 metres, or if there is, it looks like it’ll come at a bit of a cost.