The pink jersey worn by the leader on general classification of the Giro d'Italia cycle race, and, by extension or possibly even synecdoche, the person wearing it.
After the successful adoption of the yellow leader's jersey by the Tour de France in the inter-war years, the promoters of the Tour of Italy - the sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport followed their example, enabling the crowds to pick out the race leader easily as the bunch passed. As the Gazzetta was (and continues to be) printed on pink paper, a matching salmon pink racing vest was selected. Although the pure aesthetic qualities of the colour may leave a little to be desired, the pink jersey has remained a powerful symbol in Italy and the phrase is occasionally used figuratively to indicate leadership in other realms of endeavour.
A maglia rosa is also awarded in other stage races organised by RCS Sport, the current Giro promoters (still part of the Rizzoli publishing concern which owns the Gazzetta), including the amateur/under-23 "Giro Baby" and the women's Giro d'Italia Femminile. Like other such races the Giro has developed a range of other distinctive jersies; the current crop are the maglia verde (green) for the leader of the mountains classification, the maglia ciclamina (sort of fuchsia) for the leader on points, and the maglia blu for the inconsequential but remunerative Intergiro sprints competition. In the immediate post-war period there was also a maglia nera (black) awarded to the last-placed rider in the race (cf. the Tour's lanterne rouge) as a mocking reference to the blackshirts of Fascism, but it remains now only in figurative usage.