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Giro d'Italia 2014

Date range:
May 9 - June 1
  • Giro d'Italia, ITA, WorldTour
  • Stages Expand the race menu
    • Stage 1

      Distance:
      21.7km
      Start location:
      Belfast
      End location:
      Belfast
    • Stage 2

      Distance:
      219km
      Start location:
      Belfast
      End location:
      Belfast
    • Stage 3

      Distance:
      187km
      Start location:
      Armagh
      End location:
      Dublin
    • Rest Day

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 4

      Distance:
      112km
      Start location:
      Giovinazzo
      End location:
      Bari
    • Stage 5

      Distance:
      203km
      Start location:
      Taranto
      End location:
      Viggiano
    • Stage 6

      Distance:
      257km
      Start location:
      Sassano
      End location:
      Montecassino
    • Stage 7

      Distance:
      211km
      Start location:
      Frosinone
      End location:
      Foligno
    • Stage 8

      Distance:
      179km
      Start location:
      Foligno
      End location:
      Montecopiolo
    • Stage 9

      Distance:
      172km
      Start location:
      Lugo
      End location:
      Sestola
    • Rest Day 2

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 10

      Distance:
      173km
      Start location:
      Modena
      End location:
      Salsomaggiore
    • Stage 11

      Distance:
      249km
      Start location:
      Collecchio
      End location:
      Savona
    • Stage 12

      Distance:
      41.9km
      Start location:
      Barbaresco
      End location:
      Barolo (ITT)
    • Stage 13

      Distance:
      157km
      Start location:
      Fossano
      End location:
      Rivarolo Canavese
    • Stage 14

      Distance:
      164km
      Start location:
      Agliè
      End location:
      Oropa
    • Stage 15

      Distance:
      225km
      Start location:
      Valdengo
      End location:
      Montecampione
    • Rest Day 3

      Start location:
      End location:
    • Stage 16

      Distance:
      139km
      Start location:
      Ponte di Legno
      End location:
      Val Martello/Martelltal
    • Stage 17

      Distance:
      208km
      Start location:
      Sarnonico
      End location:
      Vittorio Veneto
    • Stage 18

      Distance:
      171km
      Start location:
      Belluno
      End location:
      Rif. Panarotta
    • Stage 19

      Distance:
      26.8km
      Start location:
      Bassano del Grappa
      End location:
      Cima Grappa (ITT)
    • Stage 20

      Distance:
      167km
      Start location:
      Maniago
      End location:
      Monte Zoncolan
    • Stage 21

      Distance:
      172km
      Start location:
      Gemona
      End location:
      Trieste
  • Race history

May 10, Stage 2: Belfast - Belfast 219km

By:
Cycling News
Published:
April 16, 2014, 19:56 BST,
Updated:
May 01, 2014, 4:34 BST

May 10, 2014 - Belfast, 219km

LOCAL HERO
Notwithstanding the glory years of the 1980s, Irish cycling owes a debt of gratitude to the late Shay Elliott. It was he who left the security and sanctuary of family life in the late 1950s, he who risked everything for a career in continental cycling. Moreover it was he, one glorious afternoon in 1960, who delivered Ireland's first Giro stage.

On the stage to Belluno, Shay's boss, maglia rosa Jacques Anquetil, gave him leave to ride for himself. With the talented Graziano Battistini up the road, he jumped out of the peloton in the company of a local named Aurelio Cestari. He was a good rider, Cestari, but when the rain came his bike-handling let him down. When he crashed Shay had no choice but to try to bridge across to Battistini alone. He did just that, then dumped him 5 kilometres from home, and would add stages of both the Tour and Vuelta. He wore the yellow jersey at the Tour as well, but died in tragic circumstances in 1971. He remains, however, a genuine Irish cycling icon.

SEE, HEAR, FEEL...
Despite a population of just 1.8 million, Northern Ireland boasts an extraordinary artistic patrimony. The writer C.S. Lewis was born into a Belfast family whilst Seamus Heaney, arguably the finest poet in the world before his death last year, grew up close to Lough Neagh. Today's stage will pass through Ballymena, home town of the actors James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson, whilst both Stephen Rea and Kenneth Branagh are Belfast boys. So too is the great Van Morrison. Is there anything remotely as ethereal and haunting as his seminal "Into the Mystic"? We very much doubt it…

MOMENT IN TIME
The first road stage of the Giro can be a real banana skin. Take 1991, for example, when the race began in Sardinia. The theory was that three ascents of the San Pantaleo climb would thin them out, but that a fast-finishing passista would prevail. All eyes, therefore, were on Silvio Martinello and Dmitri Konyshev, the new Russian star.

The problem was that the big hitters of the gruppo were so preoccupied with one another that they let a couple of foot-soldiers sneak under the radar. Two unknown Frenchmen, Didier Thueux and Perpignon's Philippe Casado, wriggled clear on the final ascent, and Casado held them off to win. Born in Morocco to a Spanish mother and a French father, he couldn't believe his luck. The odd criterium aside he hadn't won a race for three years, and his "Z" team had only sent him to keep Greg Lemond out of the wind. And yet here, on a clay-hot afternoon in Olbia, he somehow found himself… in the pink!

SCINTO SAYS
You look at the profile and it seems a no-brainer. It seems like a sprint, but the fact is that we're in the middle of the Atlantic. That's a very long way north, and it's also on the coast. The net result of that is that it's likely to be wet and extremely windy. If that's the case then anything can happen, and if someone loses a wheel the peloton could easily start blowing apart. Then we could see echelons, crashes and who knows what else. You're going to have 198 extremely nervous riders out there, and the last thing they will be doing is enjoying the view.

So yes, it ought to be a sprint, and if the weather is fine it will be a sprint. This isn't Southern Italy though, and that's why it's such an intriguing stage…

2014 Giro d'Italia map for stage 2
2014 Giro d'Italia profile for stage 2