Road Cycling News from Chain Reaction Cycles
- Published on Thursday, 21 February 2013 14:24
There’s great news for Irish road racing fans – next year's Giro d'Italia will begin in CRC’s home city, Belfast, as part of three days of action on both sides of the Irish border.
May 10th – 12th will see a number of stages with routes taking in the cities of Belfast, Armagh and Dublin.
The start of the 104-year-old Giro (the second largest annual road race in the world) is normally hosted in Italy but in recent times has been awarded to an outside country every two years.
Tourism officials and government representatives from both sides of the border attended this morning’s launch at Titanic Belfast. With the earlier announcement that the Tour de France will start from Yorkshire, England, in 2014 today’s confirmation means that two of cycling's Grand Tours will both make visits to Britain and Ireland next year.
Stephen Roche signs autographs for fans during the launch in Belfast.
Triple-Crown winner Stephen Roche commented:
“Today is a big announcement for Ireland and I’d like to thank all of those involved in bringing the race to this island for their work to date. I have good and bad memories of my Giro win in 1987 as it was no walk in the park! I love everything about this race. In my opinion it is the most charismatic event on the calendar. The heritage, the atmosphere and the passion in the race goes right through the Italian nation.”
The Giro is close to Stephen’s heart as it was the first race that he won in 1987 on the road to his ‘Triple Crown’ of podiums which also included the Tour de France and World Championships.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast and Minister for Tourism, Arlene Foster.
Minister for Tourism, Arlene Foster, welcomed the race with confirmation that 2013 and 2014 will be a massive time for cycling.
“I warmly welcome the Giro d’Italia to Northern Ireland for 2014, I’d like to thank RTS sports for bringing the event to Belfast and hope that Northern Ireland will be ‘tickled pink’ for the Giro next year.”
Taking the Giro ‘on the road’ will be no easy task, with the logistics of having the start of the iconic race some 2000km from Italy. Roberto Salvadore, Head of Logistics at organisers RTS describes the project:
“At the beginning it seemed like a foolish dream. When we stood here in Belfast back at the end of last year not only did we see a beautiful city but we experienced some great enhusiasium and organisational skills here. Now the dream is real. It’s a big challenge, the biggest that the cycling world has ever faced as we start 2000km from the races home in Italy. All the facilities will be specifically built here for the Grand Depart here in Ireland.
"We’re confident that we have a strong commitment from all of our stakeholders to ensure that everyone will work together. The teams, the riders, the police and our sponsors will ensure everything is in the right place. . It’s a huge challenge that will bring us unforgettable success in 2014.”
The Giro trophy.
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