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A brief history – Rouleur

Coppi at the 1950 Giro d'Italia

Beginning in 1909, the Giro d’Italia has had a long history, and up until today 105 winners have proudly worn the maglia rosa on top of the podium. One of the three prestigious Grand Tours, the Giro is the first of the year and winning the general classification title is a monumental moment in any rider’s career. 

On May 6, all the UCI WorldTour teams will line up on the start line in Italy, with eight riders in a team all looking to make their mark in Italy’s premier race But only one rider will wear the maglia rosa while being showered in pink confetti in Rome. 

We take a look back at some of the former Giro d’Italia winners and those who set benchmarks in the race’s history.

Most Giro d’Italia wins

As of 2022, 22 riders have won the Giro d’Italia more than once, with some elite riders winning the pink jersey five times in their careers. It’ll come as no surprise that those who top the leaderboard for most Giro wins are some of the legendary names of the sport. 

The three riders that share the crown of most Giro d’Italia wins are Alfredo Binda, Fausto Coppi, and Eddy Merckx. While none of them were able to win the GC for five consecutive years, each of them have forever written their names in the Giro’s history for their remarkable achievement in returning five times to win one of the world’s most gruelling events. 

Fausto Coppi on the start line of the 1950 Giro d’Italia – the first year he’d win the Italian Grand Tour

Binda was the first rider to succeed multiple times on the Italian roads, taking his first victory in 1925, the 13th edition of the Giro. With a total distance of over 3,500km across 12 stages, only 39 out of 126 riders made it to the finish line in Milan, with Binda winning with an advantage of almost five minutes. He then went on to win in 1927, 1928, 1929 and 1933. He wrote history in the sport, becoming the first to win the Giro on five occasions. Before him, only Giovanni Brunero had succeeded in winning more than once with three wins. 

Read more: Inside the factory where they make the Giro d’Italia trophy

It wasn’t until the 1940s that Coppi won his first Giro title, just before the Grand Tour was cancelled due to the Second World War in 1941. Not only did Coppi win this race with a lead of 2:40, it was also his first time attempting the Italian Grand Tour. It wasn’t until seven years later, in 1947, that he won his second title. The Italian then went on to win in 1949, 1952 and…

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