The Giro d’Italia could start in Sweden, Austria or even New York in years to come as the Italian Grand Tour continues to develop and become more international.
Mauro Vegni, the technical director of cycling at RCS Sport, has revealed he is already working on the route of the 2017 edition of the Giro d’Italia –the 100th edition of the race, with 100 cities already keen to secure stage starts and finishes.
With Michele Acquarone still suspended from his role of Managing Director of RCS Sport due to the ongoing internal investigation into misappropriation of several million Euro, Vegni has stepped up to become more of a figurehead for the Giro d’Italia.
During a cycling convention organised by Tuttobici, Gruppo Euromobil and Gazzetta dello Sport in the north-east of Italy, Vegni hinted about a possible New York start for the Giro d’Italia. Permission to include a third rest day during the 2014 Giro d'Italia could be replicated in the future for a transfer from North America to Italy. The organiser of the Tour of Dubai has told Cyclingnews that they are also in talks to host the start of the Giro d'Italia in the Middle East.
“It’s wrong (for us in Italy) to think of the Giro d’Italia as a local event, it’s an international event that is liked and admired around the world,” Vegni said, according to Tuttobici.
“Each edition of the Giro is born two years before the date of the race. I’m fascinated by the option of [starting in] New York even if it’s difficult to make it happen.”
“The interest in the Giro outside of Italy is incredible, perhaps because there’s more money available. Last week I was in Montenegro (that celebrates its independence from Serbia in 2016) and I spoke to members of the government. They want to promote their country because it’s not widely known. It’s the same for Vienna, for Sweden….”
Towns and cities bid to host the Grande Partenza of the race and stage starts and stage finishes, paying a fee of around 100,000 Euro to host a stage finish. Northern Ireland and Ireland will spend close to four million Euro on the Grand Partenza of the 2014 Giro d’Italia, with a part of that figure going to RCS Sport.
“We’re already thinking of the 2018 race and we’ve got over 100 requests for between 2015/2017. In 2017 we’ll celebrate the 100th edition of the Giro and the start will definitely be in Italy. We’ve got lots of interest,” Vegni said.
Secret plans for the 2018 Giro d’Italia
Vegni revealed he has a secret plan for the 2018 Giro d’Italia and a possible return to Venice. The Giro d’Italia started on the island of Venice Lido in 2009, while a time trial was held across a series of floating bridges so that a 12km time trial could finish in St. Mark's Square.
“I’ve got a dream that I’d love to see come true but its still in an embryonic stage. It’s a very ambitious idea that could work in a special edition of the Giro. I’m trying to understand how it’d work,” Vegni said.
“We could include in three or fours years time, it includes the Italian islands (Sicily and Sardinia)… I wouldn’t mind going back to Venice too.”