There's always a lot of talk about the general classification, but what about the other jerseys that the riders will be fighting it out for over the next 11 stages of the Giro d'Italia? We take a look at how the battle for each is shaping up at present.

Maglia Rosso Passione (Red jersey for points leader):The second most prestigious jersey for a rider to win, the points jersey is usually hotly contested. However it doesn't attract the same level of attention as the points battle at the Tour, so it was little surprise to see Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quickstep) drop out of the race, despite sitting second in the classification.

The red jersey used to be consistently won by climbers with all the mountain stages at the Giro giving the general classification riders a rare chance to win the points jersey. For instance, Cadel Evans wore red on the podium at the end of the 2010 Giro. Rule changes in 2013 saw points weighted more towards the flat stages and the last three years have seen sprinters win the jersey.

At the moment Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) wears red and he looks to be the favourite to win, again if he decides to stick around for the final week through the high mountains and if he can avoid elimination. Whilst he'd like to win, Greipel's ambitions are very much at the Tour de France this season. 

Greipel's 119 points gives him a handy lead over his nearest rival, Arnaud Demare (FDJ), who has 91. Last year's winner Giacomo Nizzolo is close behind with 78 points and he'll use a similar strategy to last year, where he didn't win a stage, but still racked up the points consistently with minor placings and intermediate sprints.

The next two stages will be crucial to deciding who wins the jersey, as there won't be many more opportunities to sprint after the race hits the mountains.

Maglia Azzurra (Blue jersey for mountains leader):  One of the most interesting battles for keen watchers to follow is the fight for the mountains jersey. Even if there's not much happening in the general classfication or the stage, there'll be a few riders jumping off the front to animate the race and take more points.

Normally the maglia azzurra is won by a breakaway specialist who is also a very good climber and this year it looks like Damiano Cunego (Nippo Vini Fantini) will be the man to beat. The former Giro winner looks to have targeted the blue jersey here and has been getting into moves and sweeping up points where possible.

“The maglia azzurra is my main goal. I rode for it one week ago the day after the rest day but I spent quite a lot of energy chasing the points up for grabs in the KOM competition. Our breakaway lasted a long time… The next two days won’t be decisive for the maglia azzurra but I’ll have to go for breakaways later in the Giro to defend my lead."

It is still a wide open race and there are a number of critical stages like 14 to Covara and 20 to Sant'Anna di Vinadio where it will be crucial to be part of the early move to maximise the point gains.

Maglia Bianca (White jersey for best young rider): A secondary general classification battle, the maglia bianca is normally won by a rider who goes on to be a top contender for the overall win in the near future. With the likes of Andy Schleck, Rigoberto Uran, Richie Porte all having won the white in recent years, the pedigree of the winning the jersey is unquestioned.

Bob Jungels (Etixx-Quickstep) looks to have a stranglehold on the jersey at the moment, with the main danger young Italian prodigy Davide Formolo (Cannondale) sitting five minutes 32 seconds behind him. This could well change if Jungels has a bad day or Formolo gets in a successful breakaway and it will be worth keeping an eye on the classification if Jungels goes too deep trying to defend pink and blows up on a stage.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Etixx-Quickstep would have had its collective heart in its mouth as Andrey Amador went on the attack on the descent into the final climb of Stage 10. The third placed Costa Rican was sitting in the virtual pink, preparing to leapfrog the pair Etixx-Quickstep riders who had entered the stage ahead of him on the overall.

Maglia rosa wearer Brambilla had been dropped on the previous climb, but he fought his way back to the group of general classification contenders and went straight to the front the set the pace for team-mate Bob Jungels. The hard work of Gianluca Brambilla meant that the pink jersey remained within the team, moving on the shoulders of Jungels, who became the first Luxembourg rider in 57 years to lead the Giro d'Italia.
Brambilla obviously had mixed emotions after the stage, having lost the jersey going into his home region for the next few stages, but was over the moon for his team-mate.

"I was put in difficulty by Astana on Pian del Falco and decided to pace myself once I got dropped. I was aware that I could come back on the descent and went full gas there. After rejoining the pack and finding out that Amador got away, I wanted to stay at the front and sacrifice myself for the team and ride for Bob."

"The whole team worked really hard for us and gave everything in the past days and I did this for them. I'm a little bit sad not to wear the pink jersey in my home region, but I'm very happy that the maglia rosa is still in the team and seeing Bob in the maglia rosa is a real pleasure"

On the descent of the Pian del Falco it almost went wrong for Kruijswijk. His rear wheel blocked just before a hairpin, but he prevented a crash at the last minute, with a little help from rival Rafal Majka (Tinkoff).

"That was a shock," Lotto Nl-Jumbo's GC leader Steven Kruijswijk said. "I made a mistake. I misjudged a corner. My rear wheel blocked. Fortunately, Majka was there and caught me. I apologised later. Majka also understood that I did not do it on purpose. But it was quite a shock.”

"I stayed in the group when Brambilla was dropped"  said. "I saw that Jungels was good and I know Brambilla is a good descender. So I chose not to waste any energy. I felt good on that steep climb, but did not really see a chance to attack.

"In the final sprint, I lost some metres on Valverde but that’s OK. I am happy with my form and the team. They are focused and I can see that well in the race. They are always there for me."

Nathan Brown (Cannondale) was evidently having a lot of fun in the break as he rode to one of the best results in his career with fourth on the stage.

“Yesterday on the rest day, Joe (Dombrowski) decided to give me the old buzz cut. I’m looking fly. And to be honest, I felt as free as a bird – like an eagle but not a bald eagle, just an eagle. There were a few times I thought I didn’t have my helmet on because my head was so free.”