The Race To Reveal The Next Generation

While most cycling enthusiasts know the Giro d’Italia as the Tour de France of Italy and one of the three Grand Tours, fewer have heard of the Giro Next Gen. Often referred to as the Baby Giro, the Giro Next Gen was first run in 1970, won by Giancarlo Bellini. The 1971 version was won by the rising Italian star Francesco Moser, followed the next year by Giovanni Battaglin. These young giants of Italian cycling helped solidify the future of the race for well over 50 years now. 

Jarno Widar of Belgium takes the pink leader’s jersey in the Giro Next Gen

The modern Giro Next Gen is designed to be a launch pad for the World’s top U23, under 23 years old riders. The 2024 edition of the Giro Next Gen saw the arrival of Jarno Widar of Belgium, a member of the Lotto DSTNY team. Held from June 9-16, Widar took the pink leader's jersey convincingly after a solo win on the mountain top finish of Stage 3. Widar took another mountain top win in Stage 6. In the overall General Classification, Widar finished with a 52’ second advantage over second place rider Pablo Torrez of Spain. 

The coming years will see if Widar, the first Belgian to win the Giro Next Gen and the youngest winner ever at just 18 years old, can parlay his talents toward the pink Maglia Rosa leader’s jersey of the Giro. The last time a Belgian won the Giro was Johan De Muynck in 1978. Of course, Eddy Merckx of Belgium won the race a total of five times prior to that between 1968 and 1974. 

Lotto Dstny cyclist Jarno Widar of Belgium wears DeFeet Evo Jet cycling socks in Giro Next Gen

Interestingly, standing on the top step of the podium at the Giro Next Gen was another first time winner of an overall classification at the race. This winner was on the feet of Jarno Widar, his DeFeet EVO Jet socks. The current King of aerodynamic socks, EVO Jet’s are worn by Widar and Lotto DSTNY not just against the clock in time trials but into the mountains and everywhere in between. When Widar made his move on both of the two mountain stages he won, he was still attacking at rather significant speeds to build his gap. 

The DeFeet EVO Jet continues to make waves in the pro peloton, as will Jarno Widar. We look forward to following their progress through the rest of 2024 and many years beyond. Belgium’s next generation climber and stage racer. Cycling’s next generation socks. They have arrived.