The Giro d’Italia 2016 start could take place in the Netherlands. Race organisers RCS has reportedly struck a deal with former cyclist, and Grand Tour stage winner, Cees Priem to bring the race back to the country.
Dutch company Libéma Profcycling issued a statement earlier today that the deal had been finalised. However, RCS Sport chairman Mauro Vegni told Cyclingnews that this was not the case. "We've had a proposal from Priem and his company but its only one of several proposal we've had for 2016. We'll evaluate them all and then decide," said Vegni.
If it were to go ahead, it would be the second time in six years that the race has begun in the Netherlands and the third time in the race history. Amsterdam hosted the last Grande Partenza in 2010, when Bradley Wiggins won his first grand tour start in the prologue, and Groningen was the start in 2002. There have only been 11 starts outside of Italy, with San Marino hosting the first ever in 1965. Both the Netherlands and Belgium have hosted two ‘big starts’ in the past.
Northern Ireland held this year’s in Belfast and the race began on Friday, for the first time, to accommodate the travel involved in making it back to Italy.