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Literally red light, the term refers to the cyclist at the back of a group, who should ride so as to provide maximum visibility and conspicuity for the group. Also may be expected to pick up stragglers from the field. The position may rotate between riders.

In cycle racing, a (notional) honour held (by analogy with the maillot jaune for the leader) by the rider lying last on general classification in a stage race, or by extension the holder of that position.

In major races like the Tour de France, a certain degree of fame - and hence enhanced start money in other races - is attached to this position, such that riders have been known to compete quite vigorously for it; this is a tricky game to play since riders who fail to finish within a time limit based on a percentage of the winner's time in any given stage are eliminated.

In the Giro d'Italia the equivalent title is the maglia nera; a black jersey was actually awarded for a few years in the postwar era - doubling as a mocking gesture to the blackshirts of the fascist era.

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