The Giro d’Italia 2014 will start from Belfast on Friday, May 9th and not on Saturday 10th as previously planned. The International Cycling Union (UCI) has accepted and ratified the request made from AIJCP, the International Association of Professional Cycling teams, to bring forward by one day the start of the Corsa Rosa adding an extra day of rest to facilitate the transfer of the caravan from Ireland to Italy. RCS Sport has given its consent. The new program includes the Grande Partenza on Friday with Belfast – Belfast stage, Saturday 10th the second stage will start again from Belfast terminating again in the Northern Ireland capital. On Sunday 11th the third stage in the island of Ireland will start from Armagh and arrive in Dublin. Monday 12th will be a rest day, then the Giro will start again on Tuesday 13th in Italy.
Northern Ireland Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said: “I have been advised of the earlier start date for the Giro d’Italia in Belfast, which moves forward by one day to the 9th May, and am confident that this will not cause any difficulties. My department and I, along with the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, are working in partnership with the race organisers to ensure a smooth roll out of the operation on the ground in Northern Ireland. Everyone in Northern Ireland is looking forward to welcoming this hugely exciting competition to our shores next year and to embracing the passion, colour and atmosphere that comes with the Grande Partenza.”
Giacomo Catano, RCS Sport CEO, said: "RCS Sport welcomes the decision that further confirms the perfect harmony between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the strategies of our company, aimed at the promotion and development of cycling around the world. We are happy that the dialogue conducted in a positive atmosphere, has satisfied all the teams that will be able to handle at best the transfer to Italy. Giro d’Italia Grande Partenza will allow all the fans from the island of Ireland to live the excitement of our great event."
Darach McQuaid (son of Pat McQuaid, current UCI head), Shadetree Sports, on the Irish perspective for the new dates said: "As the local organisers for the 2014 Big Start, Shadetree Sports welcomes the announcement of the new dates for the 2014 Giro d'Italia, which shows the sport, and its stakeholders, are taking the riders and teams welfare into account, especially when organising a project such as a foreign start of a Grand Tour. On the front end it will pose some new logistical challenges for the opening stage in Belfast on the Friday and on the back end, it will make the evacuation to Italy on Monday 12th May, a much calmer operation. In terms of the riders and their well being, it is especially welcome."
The 2014 Giro d’Italia will be presented on Monday 7th October at 14.30 at the Palaghiaccio Piranesi, Milan.
Related stories in ICJ:
2014 Giro d'Italia, Stage 12
Zoncolan and Trieste, Grand Finale of 2014 Giro d'Italia
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