Giro d’Italia 2014 announcement expected tomorrow

It looks increasingly likely that confirmation of the rumoured plans to start the 2014 Giro d’Italia in Belfast, before heading to Dublin, will be made tomorrow.  As Cycling Weekly reports

The Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport has a lot on its plate this week, announcing the 2014 start from Belfast tomorrow and dealing with 19 WorldTour teams.

The organiser sent an invitation on Friday for the “Official presentation of a new collaboration between RCS Sport and the Island of Ireland.”

The presentation will take place tomorrow in Belfast at 11:00 and in Dublin at 16:00. It follows the report by French newspaper last month that the Giro d’Italia would begin the 2014 edition in Belfast.

Giro Director Michele Acquarone kept his cards close to a chest when contacted last month by Cycling Weekly. With a laugh, he said, “I don’t even know where we are starting in 2013 at this point!”

But to clarify the BBC report that, if confirmed,

…it will be the first time the Giro has come to Ireland and will mean that cycling’s two Grand Tours will both make visits to Britain and Ireland next year, with the Tour de France starting in Yorkshire.

It will mean that two of cycling’s three Grand Tours will both start in the UK next year, with the Giro also visiting Ireland.  The 2014 Tour de France takes a different route…  And the Vuelta is the Vuelta.

Update  And it’s confirmed

Next year’s Giro d’Italia will begin in Belfast as part of three days of action on both sides of the Irish border.

The cross-border start to the world-famous event will be held over three stages from 10-12 May.

The stages will involve routes taking in Belfast, Armagh and Dublin.

Adds  From the notes to the NI Tourism Minister’s press release

  • The funding for the Grande Partenza will come from a range of tourism stakeholders and sponsors, including the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) through the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Belfast City Council, Tourism Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Mediolanum International Funds/Life.
  • The total cost to Northern Ireland is expected to be in the region of £4.2million, with £3million sought from DETI/EU to cover the costs to RCS Sport and secure the Giro for Northern Ireland in 2014.
  • Belfast City Council has also confirmed support of £400,000 to the project: £120,000 to securing the event and the remainder to the event’s delivery in Belfast.
  • Fáilte Ireland will fund the Dublin part of the event.
  • Negotiations for the hosting of the Grande Partenza started in March 2012.

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