Giro d'Italia set for NI announcement

Giro d'Italia set for NI announcement

One of the world's largest cycling events, the Giro d'Italia, is coming to Northern Ireland next year.

The Grande Partenza - or 'Big Start' - of the race will be held over three days next May, taking in routes though Belfast, Armagh and Dublin.

Two hundred top cyclists from around the world are expected to come here to compete.

UTV Sport's Ruth Gorman is in Italy ahead of the official route announcement on Monday.

She said: "I'm here to get a taste of what northern and southern Ireland can expect when the Giro d'Italia gets underway next year.

"Today is the final one day road classic of the season, the tour of Lombardy. It started in Bergamo this morning and around six hours later finished in Lecco.

"Taking part today were some of the top names in cycling including world champion Rui Costa, Rica Berta Duran, Alberto Contador and his Irish team-mate Nicolas Roche.

"Tomorrow the official route of the Giro d'Italia will be announced in Milan."

The Giro d'Italia one of professional cycling's three Grand Tour events.

It is watched by up to 800 million people and tourism officials in NI are keen to use it as an opportunity to showcase the region to the rest of the world.

Three days of pre-race celebrations will be held in Belfast before the opening stages of the competition get underway on 10 May 2014, with the final race going from Armagh to Dublin.

Cyclists will then fly out of Dublin to continue their race in Italy.

© UTV

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