The Belgian region of Wallonia, the French-speaking community in the country's South, has applied as a candidate to host the start of the 2006 Giro d'Italia. "After the start of the Tour de France last year in Liège, Wallonia has decided to bring forward its candidacy for the start of the Giro in May 2006," the prime minister of the region, Jean-Claude Van Cauwenberghe said on Wednesday. If the Belgian bid is successful, the Giro d'Italia would pass through the cities of Seraing, Mons, Charleroi, Perwez, Namur and Wanze from May 5-9, before entering Germany.
The project, which has gathered a budget of 1.25 million Euros, is rivaling with a bid from Switzerland. The Dutch city of Amsterdam has already proposed to Giro organisers to host the start of the Italian stage race in 2007.