2014 Giro set to start in Ireland

Giro d’Italia organisers are expected to confirm on Thursday that the 2014 event will start in Ireland.

Further details will be given at a joint launch in Belfast and Dublin which will outline plans to hold stages on both sides of the Irish border.

BBC Sport Northern Ireland has learned that officials from the Giro will be attending Thursday’s press launch.

The Irish leg of the world famous cycling event is being tipped to take place from 2-4 May 2014.

Tourism officials and government representatives from both sides of the border are expected to attend Thursday’s respective launches at Titanic Belfast and Dublin’s Civic Offices on Wood Quay.

Estimates suggest that a figure of around £4m will be required to bring the event to Ireland but that the commercial return could be in the region of £10m.

If the expected confirmation is made on Thursday, 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.

The Republic of Ireland did welcome the Tour de France in 1998 when the first three days of the race took place in the country.

Canadian Ryder Hesjedal won the 2012 Giro

while previous winners include Ireland’s Stephen Roche, who won in 1987 a couple of months before his Tour de France triumph.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/21512205

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