Giro d’Italia is going to Ireland for its “Grande Partenza” in 2014. The 97th running of the Italian Grand Tour will also visit Armagh and Dublin.

The Giro d’Italia 2014 edition will spend three days (from 10-12 May) in Ireland before heading to the homeland.

The Director-General of RCS Sport, Michele Acquarone, said that: “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 recognize 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.”

Stephen Roche won Giro d’Italia 1987
Stephen Roche won Giro d’Italia 1987 edition and remains the only Irish winner of the Italian grand tour. Roche also won the Tour de France in the same year, becoming the fifth rider to achieve Giro-Tour double in the same year (after Fausto Coppi in 1952, Jacques Anquetil in 1964, Eddy Merckx in 1970 and 1972, and Bernard Hinault in 1982 and 1985).
The 1987 Giro d’Italia was the 70th edition of the race. The 22-stage, 3,915 km (2,433 mi)-long race began on 21 May with a 4 km (2.5 mi) prologue in San Remo and concluded on 13 June with a 32 km (19.9 mi) individual time trial in Saint-Vincent. A total of 180 riders from 20 teams entered and the winner was Irishman Stephen Roche of the Carrera Jeans-Vagabond team. Second and third places were taken by British rider Robert Millar and Dutchman Erik Breukink, respectively.

Stephen Roche, the only Irish winner of Giro d’Italia (Roche won the 1987 Giro shortly before winning the same year’s Tour de France, making a rare Giro-Tour double), attended Thursday’s launch in Belfast, and said it was a “major coup”.

“Maybe it was a dream initially, but it was a realistic dream. The Giro is maybe distinctive in that it is probably the second biggest event for me, in my opinion. When you consider the passion these people have, the passion these people have shown to us, it is duplicated throughout the whole Italian nation,” said Roche.

The economic side

Estimates suggest a figure of around £4m will be required to bring the event to Ireland but the commercial return could be in the region of £10m.

The 11th Giro “Grande Partenza” out of Italy in history

The Giro d’Italia “Grande Partenza” will be in a foreign country eleventh time in history. The other ten were 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).

Previously, the Tour de France began in Dublin in 1998. The Giro “Grande Partenza” in 2014 will be the second Grand Tour start in Ireland. Tour de France 2014 Grand Départ will be in Yorkshire, this means two out of cycling’s three Grand Tours will take place outside of continental Europe.

Giro d’Italia 2014 – Official promo / Promo ufficiale
From Friday, May 9th to Sunday, June 1st, 2014, the 97th edition of Giro d’Italia will start from Belfast and will arrive in Trieste.
Giro d’Italia is an annual multiple stage bicycle race held in Italy. Giro d’Italia is part of the UCI World Tours and makes up the three-week-long Grand Tours, sitting alongside the prestigious Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
Giro 2014 Grande Partenza will be in Ireland - Giro d'Italia 2014 route wheel
Giro d’Italia 2014 route wheel.

Sources

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