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Budapest hosts spectacle in pink for Giro d'Italia start - Gallery

The opening stage of the Giro d'Italia got underway on Friday in Budapest, Hungary with 176 riders toeing the start line behind the three home riders, Erik Fetter (Eolo Kometa), Barnabas Peak (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Attila Valter (Groupama-FDJ).

Because of the distant foreign Grande Partenza, the first Grand Tour of 2022 started one day earlier than usual, with riders facing a mainly flat 195 kilometre stage from Budapest to Visegrád with a sharp climb to the finish line at the 13th century citadel that towers above the Danube river north of Budapest.

Not all of the riders were pleased with the location of the start, with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) calling the trip "a pain in the ass".

The Budapest start has been in the works for several years and was originally scheduled for 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic postponed those plans until this year.

The virus has not gone away two years later and several riders remained masked up during the teams presentation at the start of stage 1. The Hungarian fans, however, amassed undeterred to witness the first start of a Grand Tour in the country.

Click or swipe through the gallery above.

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.