Luigi Malabrocca

The maglia nera, or black jersey, is a “prize” that was awarded to a cyclist in the Giro d’Italia from 1946 to 1951. The “winner” of the black jersey was the cyclist who finished last. The first man to “win” the black jersey was Luigi Malabrocca, who managed to double the amount of time it took him to finish the race when he won/lost his second black jersey.

“Especially noted are the struggles between Sante Carollo and Luigi Malabrocca, to see who could waste the most time,” according to the Wikipedia entry for the maglia nera. “Each tried to lose more time than the other by hiding in bars, barns, and behind hedges, or even by puncturing their own wheels.”

This is just great. The wiki entry also notes that one winner was lauded for finishing the race despite suffering a broken hand and having to push his bike uphill during mountain stages. The jersey, you see, was not just won by clowns, but also by sad clowns. The entirety of our pointless struggle seems to have been contained in this maglia nera.

And by our pointless struggle, I mean the legal profession….

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