Stars of Giro d'Italia arrive in Belfast

Published Wednesday, 07 May 2014
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The stars of the Giro d'Italia have arrived in Belfast ahead of the start of the race on Friday.

It's one of the biggest events in the cycling calendar and Northern Ireland is getting ready to welcome hundreds of the world's top riders to its streets this weekend.

And with the final countdown to the start of the Giro d'Italia well underway, some of the star athletes have landed in Belfast to fine tune their preparations.

Irish cyclist Nicholas Roche is one of three Irishmen who will be on the start line in the city, alongside his cousin Daniel Martin and Philip Deignan.

Roche said: "I have been looking forward to this moment for the last months now.

"I am super excited to actually be here today and to get going because it has actually been a pretty long while if you think about it."

However he's not expecting any hometown advantage.

Roche said: "To be the home boy, does it make a home advantage? I'm not quite sure - not a lot of tricky situations on the way down to Dublin so you know I think we are pretty all fair."

Many of the cyclists have not been to Northern Ireland before - but former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans said he has no concerns about the safety of the race.

He said: "We understand that all countries have had their troubles in the past but I hope, by the number of police I see, we're going to be safe.

"I can't imagine the Giro organisers would think the race isn't going to be safe but it's all part of job, we have to race and we don't have much choice anyhow."

The official Giro d'Italia opening ceremony takes place in the grounds of Belfast City Hall on Thursday.

Full traffic and travel details, including road closures and public transport arrangements, are available here.

© UTV News
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