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La Maglia Verde

Who will be King of the Mountains?

Of all the secondary jerseys, this may be the hardest to pin down. At the Tour de France, the polka-dot jersey -- however stylish it may be -- has devolved into something of a joke, being awarded to the best climber that nobody gives a damn about chasing. In the past couple years, with climbing being non-stop and often decisive, the green jersey winner has been someone not too far off the overall pace: Juan Manuel Garate last year (7th overall), and Jose Rujano (3rd) the year before.

Prior to that, the award often went to a lesser overall contender, the only defining characteristic is that it helped to be Latin American -- 6 of the last 10 maglia verde went to someone from Colombia, Venezuela or Mexico.

My call is a return to the less interesting days of yesteryear. There are a ton of points to be won on stages that won't draw out the overall contenders. Garate seems to have gone missing (?), so I'll go with Leonardo Piepoli. Other possibilities: Matteo Bono, Fortunato Baliani, half the Caisse d'Epargne squad, Pietro Caucchioli, The Chicken... Who knows? Thoughts?