Ireland Start for 2014 Giro

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Posted Thursday 21st February 2013 –

Not only do we get the Tour de France heading to Yorkshire in 2014 it was also announced today that the Giro d’Italia will also be heading a bit closer to our shores with a start, and it’s first three days and racing, taking place in Ireland.

The Grande Partenza of 2014 edition of the three-week Giro d’Italia will take place in the island of Ireland. From 10 to 13 May 2014 the island will host three days of racing around the cities of Belfast, Dublin and Armagh.

The official announcement was made this morning at Titanic Belfast in the presence of Arlene Foster, Tourism Minister of Northern Ireland. The
project to bring the Giro d’Italia to Ireland is supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the City of Belfast, Fáilte Ireland, the City of
Dublin, Mediolanum International Fund Ltd and Mediolanum International Life Ltd.

Michele Acquarone, the Director General of RCS Sport, said: “We are delighted to be taking the Grande Partenza of the 2014 Giro d’Italia to Ireland. This is an ambitious project for us for many reasons. Using sport, in particular, cycling, to unite the island, is an idea we find deeply
attractive. We recognise that, to do so, logistical perfection will be required on all sides. It will be the first foreign start for any Grand Tour
since the implementation of a new UCI regulation prohibiting rest days on three-week Tours until the completion of at least seven days of
racing. I would like to express our gratitude to Minister Foster for her support, and to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, the
Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Belfast City Council. I’m certain that the Giro d’Italia in Belfast and Northern Island will enjoy immense success that will add something very special to the history of this great event. I would also like to thank Darach McQuaid, who has promoted and coordinated this endeavour.”

Arlene Foster said: “The Giro d’Italia is one of the world’s foremost cycling spectacles, an iconic Grand Tour of huge significance to cycling fans and indeed all sports fans around the globe. Plans are already in motion to make the occasion a fabulous celebration worthy of Italian cycling
events and the Maglia Rosa (the race leader’s pink jersey) itself.  There will be a whole range of  events and activities staged before and during
the races.  Northern Ireland now has several years’ experience of organizing world-class sporting and cultural events. By hosting the Giro d’Italia we will further strengthen the competitive position of our tourism industry and contribute to the economy in both the short and long term.”

The Lord Mayor Alderman of Belfast, Gavin Robinson, said: “Today’s announcement shows that Belfast has not rested on its laurels after successfully hosting world class events like the MTV European Music Awards in 2011, the Titanic centenary events and hosting the Olympic Flame last year and securing the World Police and Fire Games this coming summer. I have no doubt that the unforgettable excitement and unprecedented hype that surrounded the MTV awards will at least be matched when one of the world’s iconic and famous sporting events – the
Giro d’Italia – begins in Belfast.”

Grande Partenza in Ireland will be the Giro‘s eleventh foreign start, after San Marino (1965), Montecarlo (1966), Belgium (1973), Vatican City (1974), Greece (1996), France (1998), the Netherlands (2002), Belgium (2006), the Netherlands (2010) and Denmark (2012).