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Giro boss meets D.C. mayor

Giro head honcho Angelo Zomegnan (right) introduces the 2010 race.

Giro head honcho Angelo Zomegnan (right) introduces the 2010 race. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Giro d'Italia organiser Angelo Zomegnan is scheduled to meet with Washington, D.C., mayor Adrian Fenty today, Thursday, to discuss a possible 2012 start of the race in the U.S. capital city. Since the idea first came up in June this year, both sides have worked hard to draw up a plan that would make a transatlantic Giro possible two years from now.

According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, two preparatory meetings have already taken place, and Fenty has designed a prologue course through the capital that would include all its highlights: start near the Jefferson Memorial, then the Smithsonian, The Mall, Capitol, Lincoln Memorial and - of course - the White House.

The talks to make this outstanding event become a reality will be held with members of Fenty's work group, but also with Robin Morton, the former manager of the first American professional team to participate in the Giro in 1984, Gianni Motta Linea MD. "This project generated an enormous buzz and much interest, and we continue to talk with RCS and the municipality of Washington," Morton said. "The project is a great challenge, but a very exciting one," she added.

The logistics of a transatlantic bike race will be the main problem to solve. The Giro has already started in other countries, but all European ones. A start in Washington, D.C,. would also imply at least three to four days of racing in the U.S., with other stage city hosts already lining up: Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Rumours even indicate that the Canadian city of Toronto, which has an Italian community of 750,000 persons, would be interested in welcoming a stage.

"There is great enthusiasm in America for the Giro," said Zomegnan. "Certainly, the participation of Lance Armstrong in the Centenary Giro contributed to this. I can't deny that a Giro start [in the U.S.] in 2012 would be legendary - not a start from an Italian community abroad, but from the capital of the world's most important nation."