I always figured that being a bike racer was incompatible with being half-fast. I have been proven wrong.
I needed some new bike shorts and found a pair honoring the “Maglia Nera”.
Pretty much everyone has heard of the yellow jersey awarded to the overall winner of the Tour de France. Many know of the other jerseys (green, polka dot, and white) awarded in other categories.
Fewer are aware of the jerseys awarded for the Giro d’Italia. They have the same categories as France, but different jerseys. The equivalent of the yellow jersey (maillot jaune) is the pink jersey (maglia rosa).
There was a time when they awarded a Black Jersey (Maglia Nera), which went to the last place rider (the equivalent of the Lanterne Rouge in France).
They stopped awarding the black jersey because the competition got too fierce. Here is the story from Santini, an Italian clothing manufacturer:We hereby acclaim Luigi Malabrocca, the only two-time winner of the Maglia Nera, as an honorary member of the Half-fast Cycling Club.
Heck, we might as well salute Sante Carollo as well, as he was able to “beat” Malabrocca by two hours one year.
It takes a certain type of rider to be good enough to be a pro racer and yet take pride in finishing last in a major race. For this, we honor these men as Half-fast Cyclists.