Over here at Embrocation Cycling Journal field office, obviously we’re fans of the Giro d’Italia (note recent #bottlesyoumissed!).
You may be aware of the Maglia Nera which was awarded from 1946 to 1951 to the last-placed rider, much like the Lanterne Rouge of that other Grand Tour that happens in July. Now that the history’s covered, all you need to know is that we’ll be profiling each day’s Maglia Nera so you too can be up to speed on a guy who may be last place right now, but is probably still way faster than any of us will ever be. It’s not all about the superstars around here, and as I’ve had to admit a few times myself, someone’s gotta be last. We appreciate the effort that goes into just completing a Grand Tour, and the Maglia Nera is the rider we can best align ourselves with. Spending huge amounts of time on the course, doing whatever he can to support his team and leader, the Maglia Nera isn’t just the rider in last place, it’s a rider who is killing himself for his team.
Stage 1 Belfast-Belfast TTT 21.7km
Ramon Carretero Mariacq of Neri Sottoli takes the honor of being 2014’s first Maglia Nera at +6:02. Ramon is a 23-year-old from Panama, and spent 2013 on Vini Fantini after 2012 with the Movistar Continental squad.
This is his first participation in a Grand Tour and may be a rude awakening. The best I can find for 2013 is 12 race days covering 1095km – Ramon DNF’d 3 Days of West Flanders, Settimana Coppi e Bartali, and Tour de Luxembourg. Thus far in 2014, he’s covered 1862km in 15 race days with many more to come over the next three weeks. We wish him luck and good legs for the duration!
Footnote: Last finisher of today’s stage was actually Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Garmin Sharp at +10:11, but unfortunately he was over the time cut. No doubt he was caught up in the crash that brought Dan Martin’s Giro to a very early end; sorry Koldo.