Giro 2012 start in Washington DC "confirmed tomorrow"

Reports in Italy say Prologue and Stage 1 to take in US capital's major monuments

by Simon_MacMichael   February 24, 2010  

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Press reports in Italy suggest that the organisers of the Giro d’Italia will tomorrow confirm that the 2012 edition of the race will get under way in Washington DC. Rumours of a planned departure on the other side of the Atlantic have been circulating for months, notwithstanding the immense logistical problems involved, not to mention time differences.

According to Milan-based business daily, Il Sole-24 Ore, Stage 1 of the 2012 Giro will start on the US capital’s Pennsylvania Avenue, in front of the National Archives Building and close to the White House.

From there, the route will pass the FBI offices, then Freedom Plaza, before heading off behind the White House through Washington’s streets and past the Washington Memorial, the State Department, Virginia Avenue, the Watergate Hotel and Rock Creek Park before heading back in the opposite direction.

The previous day, the city will have staged a Prologue which starts in front of the Memorial Bridge and takes in the Lincoln Monument, as well as symbolically passing two sculptures by Leo Friedlander, Valour and Sacrifice, donated to the US by the Italian people after World War I.

Part of the motivation for taking the race stateside is said to be that while US road cycling fans, as elsewhere, appreciate Italian bikes, the Giro has always taken second place to the Tour de France, something that it is hoped will change with the race’s departure in Washington.

It’s a huge undertaking, however –between riders, team support personnel and race staff, some 1,000 people are involved in the race, to say nothing of the media.

After two days in the US over the opening weekend, whose date is yet to be set, there will be a rest day while the race transfers back to Italy, before getting under way again on the Tuesday, which itself raises questions about the effect on riders – anyone who has flown across the Atlantic will appreciate that due to the time difference, the effects of jet lag seem worse when flying from the Americas to Europe, rather than vice-versa.

Il Sole-24 Ore reports that the official announcement will be made tomorrow at the Italian Embassy in Washington by the city’s mayor, Adrian Fenty – as it happens, a cycling fan whose mother is of Italian origin – and Italian ambassador Giulio Terzi di Sant'agata, with race director Angelo Zomegnan also in attendance, who will be courting potential US-based sponsors.

The newspaper reported Fenty as saying: “My grandparents were from Frosinone [a town around 100km southeast of Rome]. One of my grandparents had the surname Bianchi, like the make of bicycle. This Giro will be fantastic, to be able to have it in my city is a source of pride for me.”
 

4 user comments

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Doesnt make much sense to me. Why not start the tour of qatar in, say, Greece....and finish it there, lets do the whole thing there actually but still call it the tour of qatar.

TwiggyHo's picture

posted by TwiggyHo [60 posts]
24th February 2010 - 16:21

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and the ToB in france.. still if they wanna do it then why not, bound to pull the crowds in and thats what its all about. next up the Tour de France starts in Texas (outside a bike shop in Austin).

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1077 posts]
24th February 2010 - 16:29

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A ridiculous money making idea that pays no attention to the heritage of our sport.

Not happy...

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1164 posts]
25th February 2010 - 14:10

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jimmythecuckoo wrote:
A ridiculous money making idea that pays no attention to the heritage of our sport.

Not happy...

Agreed

Can't help thinking that if the Tour of California holds its dates that it will see all the top riders in the ToC in 2012.

Could really backfire on the Giro.

demoff's picture

posted by demoff [344 posts]
25th February 2010 - 17:41

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