Monday, May 31, 2010
"From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Maglia Nera
The "Maglia Nera" was a black jersey awarded as a symbolic prize in cycling competition at the Giro d'Italia, given to the last man to finish the race. It was allocated between 1946 and 1951.
There was real competition to win this particular jersey. Especially noted are the struggles between Sante Carollo and Luigi Malabrocca, to see whom could waste the most time. Each tried to lose more time than the other by hiding in bars, barns, and behind hedges, or even by puncturing their own wheels. In 1948 the honor was awarded to the Tuscan Aldo Bini, who according to some journalists and fans of the time, stubbornly continued the race until the end, despite a broken right hand suffered in a mass crash, and the suffering that especially in the mountain stages forced him to get off the bike and push it uphill. The special ability of the black jersey was, in addition to not being "discovered", to reach the finish directly within the maximum time.
The term "maglia nera" was later used in other contexts to indicate the bottom club in a league, often giving it a negative connotation.
In 2008 a similar "black number" was introduced, won by Markus Eichler of Team Milram."