When the BBC leaked the proposed route of the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia 2014 last week it was greeted by ritual wailing and gnashing of teeth by various representatives of the ‘excluded’ west Belfast.
And with the whingeing out of the way, the official announcement was able to be welcomed with more decorum by the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers, as well as the Tourism Minister and the Minister for Regional Development. [And the NI Minister with responsibility for sport?! – Ed] Hmmm…
Stage 1 – Team time trial through Belfast 21.7km
Stage 2 – Start and finish in Belfast taking in Antrim coast 218km
Stage 3 – Armagh to Dublin 187km