2014 Giro d'Italia to start in Belfast, reports L'Equipe

Race will start in Belfast before crossing the border and heading to Dublin, says French sports daily

by Simon_MacMichael   January 11, 2013  

Giro d'Italia ristorante (copyright Simon MacMichael)

Belfast will reportedly stage the start of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, according to French newspaper L'Equipe. If true, it means that two of next year's Grand Tours will start in the United Kingdom, with the Tour de France Grand Depart taking place in Yorkshire, although in fact plans for the Giro have a very Irish flavour, including visiting the Republic of Ireland.

According to L'Equipe, the Giro will begin in the Northern Irish capital before crossing the border and heading to Dublin, which itself hosted the start of the ill-fated 1998 Tour de France, which became overshadowed by the Festina Affair.

The Giro d'Italia first started 'abroad' in 1965 when it visited the landlocked Republic of San Marino, which borders two Italian regions, Emilia-Romagna and the Marche. Most recently, it began in Denmark last year, while May's race starts on Italian soil in Naples.

Plans for an Irish Grande Partenza were first revealed at the end of October last year, with the cross-border bid to host the Giro  jointly submitted to organisers RCS Sport by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) and its counterpart in the Republic, Failte Ireland, and it reportedly has the backing of the governments of both countries.

The bid was said to be handled by Dublin-based company Shade Tree Sports, which was co-founded and is managed by Darach McQuaid, brother of UCI president Pat McQuaid.

 

 

 

9 user comments

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Just hope Willie Frazer learns how to tell the difference between Irish and Italian tricolours by then...

Otis Bragg's picture

posted by Otis Bragg [116 posts]
11th January 2013 - 18:05

2 Likes

I hope that is true.

Still smiling politely at a persistently flat chain.

velophilia's picture

posted by velophilia [38 posts]
11th January 2013 - 18:51

5 Likes

I SO hope it's true Big Grin

posted by kitkat [206 posts]
11th January 2013 - 20:08

4 Likes

Such a great thing that would be.

Lets hope the feckin fleg issues sorted before marching season or else politics may negatively influence cycling once again in Ulster.

posted by Farky [179 posts]
11th January 2013 - 23:26

5 Likes

Great! It's easier to get to than Leeds so it is! Big Grin

Sq

Squiggle's picture

posted by Squiggle [414 posts]
12th January 2013 - 4:28

3 Likes

For Ireland and cycling I hope this is true. Although it does smack of conspiracy and nepotism when Pat McQuaid's son has been involved in bringing it over - and lets face it, the McQuaid name is hardly free of controversy is it? Thinking

It would be great to see it in the UK and Ireland though Smile

Strax

jdstrachan@yahoo.co.uk's picture

posted by jdstrachan@yaho... [53 posts]
12th January 2013 - 9:37

6 Likes

I predict fantastic helicopter-shot scenery.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1345 posts]
12th January 2013 - 11:49

5 Likes

Well said Farky !!

Scott A. Harkins

scottharkins1971's picture

posted by scottharkins1971 [19 posts]
12th January 2013 - 16:52

4 Likes

All went well until someone proposed raising the italian flag at the town hall, at least there are lots of tyres to burn.

'It's the closest you can get to flying'
Robin Williams response when asked why he enjoyed riding so much

posted by Simmo72 [312 posts]
13th January 2013 - 13:32

2 Likes