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Giro d'Italia to start in Belgium in 2016?

Stephen Farrand
March 13, 2013, 06:21,
March 13, 2013, 06:25
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Giro d'Italia
Michele Acquarone.

Michele Acquarone.

  • Michele Acquarone.
  • Esnesto Colnago and Michele Acquarone
  • Paul Smith's designs for the leaders' jerseys of the 2013 Giro d'Italia were unveiled today in Milan.

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Acquarone opens doors for more international starts

Michele Acquarone and RCS Sport have shown they are not afraid to innovate by deciding to hold the Grande Partenza of the 2014 Giro d'Italia in Ireland, with stages in Belfast and Dublin, before a transfer back to Italy.

UCI rules no longer allow rest days early in stage races or allow them to be used for long transfers. The 2014 Giro d'Italia will begin with three stages in Ireland, with stage four in Italy being held the following day. The whole Giro caravan will fly between Ireland and Italy. It could be a logistical nightmare but if RCS Sport pulls it off, then future editions of the Giro d'Italia could start from anywhere in the world.

"The start in Ireland will be a big test for the future of the Giro d'Italia. Everything has to work perfectly. If it works, we can go everywhere: Belgium, the United States and yes, even Dubai," Acquarone said.

Antwerp is apparently a strong candidate to host the start of the 2016 edition in Belgium. The Giro d'Italia most recently started in Belgium in 2006.

"There's no place in the world where cycling is loved like in Belgium.

"It's loved in Italy but it's the national sport in Belgium," Acquarone said, happy to flirt with candidate cities.

"We've had a lot of talks with different countries to talk about the Giro d'Italia in the future, including some in Belgium. The 2015 Expo in Italy will probably mean the Giro d'Italia will start in Italy then but we could start in Belgium in 2016. Why not? We're speaking to people and I hope to soon announce a Grande Partenza from Belgium it's always been a great start in the past and so I can't wait to go back."



PascalLap More than 1 year ago
WIth all these Grand Tour starts abroad, why not just start a new GT taking place all over Europe?
emeraldaly More than 1 year ago
I liked international starts back when they were rare. It was a treat to see the '07 TDF begin in Britain, because when does the TDF begin in Britain? Never, that's when. I get that there's places where great racing could be had that race fans almost never see, but if we're gonna have Grand Tours in places like Denmark and Ireland and Saudi Arabia and Washington DC (or has that last one been completely killed?) it sorta lessens the esteem. Maybe it shouldn't, but it does. Is this gonna be an every two years thing now? '10 Giro start in Netherlands, '12 in Denmark, 14 in Ireland, '16 in Belgium? That's too much. It's the Giro d'ITALIA. Prior to '10, the last start outside Italy was '06 I believe (Belgium) and then didn't it start in Greece in the late '90s sometime? That seems about right. This can be a special thing, but not if it happens every other year.