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Giro d'Italia heads to Netherlands for 2016 Big Start

Apeldoorn, Nijmegen and Arnhem host Italian Grand Tour as it begins in country for third time

Next year’s Giro d’Italia will start in the Netherlands, the third time the race will have begun there. The announcement has been made just eight days before this year’s Tour de France gets underway in Utrecht.

The 2002 Giro started in Groningen, while the 2010 edition of the race began in Amsterdam – where Sir Bradley Wiggins won the opening time trial to claim the first maglia rosa of what was Team Sky’s Grand Tour debut.

Next year’s race will begin in the province of Gelderland with an 8.1km individual time trial in Apeldoorn – the city that hosted the UCI Track World Championships in 2011.

That will be followed by two sprinter friendly stages, the first from Arnhem to Nijmegen, the second between the same two cities in reverse order by an entirely different route.

The race will start on Friday 6 May to allow an extra rest day the following Monday – similar to last year’s Big Start in Ireland – to allow time for the air transfer back to southern Italy, where the race will resume on the Tuesday.

Race director Mauro Vegni said: “We are really happy to start the Giro d’Italia from the Netherlands for the third time in the race’s history.

“In particular the Province of Gelderland showed how intensely it wanted the Corsa Rosa and beat the competition of other important candidates.

“There couldn’t be a better way of proceeding in the internationalisation process of the Giro that, in the last few years, has seen the Big Start alternating between Italy and abroad, all without overlooking the south of Italy.”

Jan Markink of Gelderland’s provincial executive board added: “I am very proud and excited to host the Big Start of the Giro d’Italia in 2016.

“The Giro in Gelderland will give us the opportunity to show the world how beautiful and unique Gelderland is with its diverse scenery and its magnificent cities.

“I believe that an international event like the Giro d’Italia will boost our economy, the sport and the promotion of Gelderland.

“Gelderland has a lot to offer, not only because of its rich cultural history and splendid museums but also when it comes to nature with excellent paths for cyclists and hikers.

“Finally I would like to welcome our friends of the Giro to Gelderland. We will offer you a great experience in a fantastic surrounding, and make the Big Start of the Giro d’Italia 2016 a start to remember!”

Including this year’s Tour de France, it will be the tenth time a Grand Tour has started in the Netherlands since that race’s first ever foreign Grand Depart in Amsterdam in 2010.

The French race is starting in the country for the sixth time, while the Vuelta began in Assen in 2009. With both the Giro and the Tour getting underway in the Netherlands in 2010, the nation hosted the starts of all three Grand Tours in the space of nine months.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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Simon_MacMichael | 8 years ago

Yeah, there was a possible paracycling allusion there ...

Sniffer | 8 years ago

This is a Bridge too Far.

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