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Former winners Ivan Basso and Alberto Contador were in Jerusalem as opening three stages announced

Details have been announced of next year’s Big Start of the Giro d’Italia in Israel, which will mark the first time any of cycling’s three Grand Tours will have started outside Europe.

Giro d'Italia 2018 Big Start overview Israel.PNG

Giro d'Italia 2018 Big Start overview Israel.PNG

The routes for the opening three stages of the race, which begins on Friday 4 May, were announced yesterday in Jerusalem, which will host a 10.1-kilometre individual time trial as the 101st edition of the race begins.

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 01 map.jpg

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 01 map.jpg

 

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 01 profile.jpg

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 01 profile.jpg

That will be followed by two stages that look suited to the sprinters – a 167-kilometre Stage 2 from Haifa to Tel Aviv, followed by a 226-kilometre stage from Be'er Sheva to the Red Sea resort of Eilat at the country’s southern tip.

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 02 map.jpg

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 02 map.jpg

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 02 profile.jpg

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 02 profile.jpg

 

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 03 map.jpg

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 03 map.jpg

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 03 profile.jpg

Giro d'Italia 2018 Stage 03 profile.jpg

Giro d’Italia race director Mauro Vegni, speaking at yesterday’s launch, said: “We are really proud to announce this Big Start to the world today.

“Every year the Giro tells the stories of places of great interest. Cities such as Jerusalem, with the initial ITT, Tel Aviv, with the finish on the seafront, the starts from Haifa and Be’er Sheva, Eilat and the Red Sea, are part of this philosophy.

“The territories crossed by the stages in Israel will show to the world tradition, culture and beautiful landscape. We will see spectacular stages, that will surprise both from a sporting perspective and from the landscape point of view.

“I am convinced the welcome for the Corsa Rosa – as we have already seen in the previous Big Starts abroad – will be really special,” he added.

Two former winners of the Giro d’Italia were present at the launch – Ivan Basso, and Alberto Contador, who said: “It is amazing that the Giro d'Italia will start outside Europe, and that’s good news for the world of cycling.

“I have already visited Israel and Jerusalem in 2012 so I know how this will be an exceptional Giro and a great opportunity for the people.

“I encourage everyone to go on the streets to watch the race live and experience the great emotions that only the Giro can give.”

Contador added: “For me it is an incredible race with special fans; in the three years I raced the Giro I rode every day with a smile on my face.”

The race’s visit will be by far the biggest sporting event hosted in Israel and coincides with the 70th anniversary of the country’s foundation.

Israel’s minister of culture and sport, Miri Regev, commented: “It is our tremendous privilege to be a host country for a sporting event so great and important.

“I call on you, everyone who loves the Giro, to come here to Israel. This bike race across the Holy Land will be a fascinating journey through time covering thousands of years. I'm sure it will be a thrilling experience for everyone.”

Following an early rest day on Monday 7 May, it is expected that the race will recommence on Sicily.

As we reported last week, the Welsh Government is in discussions to host a future Giro d'Italia Big Start which would mark the race's second visit to the UK following its departure from Belfast in 2014.

> Welsh Government continues talks to host Giro d’Italia’s Big Start

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

17 comments

Avatar
Valbrona [212 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

The 'Terror State Start'.

Avatar
The_Vermonter [43 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Cynical as I am about the rationale RCS are employing, I hope it goes off without a hitch. Furthermore, I hope Israel embraces the Giro d'Italia and the roads are lined with people. The decision is made and should hope for the best possible scenario: three great days of racing.

Avatar
Leviathan [2771 posts] 3 weeks ago
5 likes

Well I hope Froome goes for a Serena Slam. Just remember to slap on the sunscreen during winter training camp; you wouldn't want to be stopped at any of the checkpoints for looking too brown.

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eddie11 [118 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

from the UK government:

'The security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be fast moving, tense and unpredictable.'  

Add international event, a garnish of Bahrain Merida and UAE. It's ambitioius I'll given them that.

Avatar
Leviathan [2771 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
eddie11 wrote:

...fast moving, tense and unpredictable.

Sounds ideal for a Grand Tour.

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davel [1675 posts] 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Surely just so they can call it d'Israeli Gears.

Hmmmm, Cream fans, hmmmm?

Coat got.

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hoffbrandm [37 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

ah yes, israel is mentioned and the starting gun on the 2 pence political opinions begins

Avatar
Ush [988 posts] 3 weeks ago
2 likes

Boycotting South Africa for being a racist, apartheid state worked.  The same tactic might work for the racist, apartheid Israeli state.  I certainly won't be watching this and it confirms my already low opinion of Contador.

 

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/14/pink_floyd_founder_roger_waters_bds

Avatar
brooksby [2575 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
hoffbrandm wrote:

ah yes, israel is mentioned and the starting gun on the 2 pence political opinions begins

Which bit of the current two-state situation in that area of the world do you think is fair...?

Avatar
brooksby [2575 posts] 3 weeks ago
5 likes

"This bike race across the Holy Land will be a fascinating journey through time covering thousands of years." - Wow, so professionals really can cycle at 88 mph...

Avatar
Edgeley [481 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Hmm.   The riders of teams domiciled in countries technically at war with Israel are going to have a bit of an issue.   Bahrain Merida won't be there.

And the route to Eilat misses out the Dead Sea.  It would have been good to see the profile maps showing a long climb up to sea level.

 

 

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Yorkshire wallet [1422 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

Looks like 3 days for the sprinters. Rubbish. Why bother.

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beezus fufoon [863 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

Bloody Romans!

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johngwheeler [1 post] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Ush wrote:

Boycotting South Africa for being a racist, apartheid state worked.  The same tactic might work for the racist, apartheid Israeli state.  I certainly won't be watching this and it confirms my already low opinion of Contador.

 

https://www.democracynow.org/2017/9/14/pink_floyd_founder_roger_waters_bds

Avatar
Walo [33 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like
Valbrona wrote:

The 'Terror State Start'.

I would call it rather the last outpost of the west! Unlike we Europeans they know how to handle the terrorists, it seems! When you start a war and loose it, you have to live with the consequences (1967).

Avatar
joules1975 [469 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes
Walo wrote:
Valbrona wrote:

The 'Terror State Start'.

I would call it rather the last outpost of the west! Unlike we Europeans they know how to handle the terrorists, it seems! When you start a war and loose it, you have to live with the consequences (1967).

Hang on. Germany lost WW2 and then (ignoring the eastern bit for the moment, which is a somewhat different scenario) the allies helped to restore and rebuild the country. THAT is how you treat the loosing side, not be fencing them in and regularly stealing more bits of what little land they have.

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madcarew [447 posts] 3 weeks ago
0 likes

It will be interesting to see if Bahrain - Merida ride, as well as UAE. I lived about 40 km from Be'er Sheva for a  couple of years. 80 deg F was generally cool for the daytime. I have ridden from Be'er Sheva to Eilat. It's hardly inspiring terrain (though utterly beautiful scenery).