Washington, DC start to 2012 Giro falling into place

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) after winning the Giro d'Italia's pink jersey in 2008

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) after winning the Giro d'Italia's pink jersey in 2008 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

An announcement regarding a Washington, DC start to the 2012 Giro d'Italia is not imminent, contrary to reports in the Italian press, but it appears that momentum behind the city's bid to make the US the first overseas host of a departure for a Grand Tour is building.

The possibility of beginning the race in the US capital was made public after Giro organiser RCS Sport sent its head Alberto Zomegnan to the city back in November.

Terri Washington of the Washington Convention and Sports Authority explained to Cyclingnews that Zomegnan will be back in DC to meet with the key people behind the effort and to introduce the concept to potential sponsors tomorrow, but there is no confirmation yet that the race will visit American shores in two years time.

The 2012 Giro d'Italia Working Group, headed by Mark Sommers and g4 Productions, has been working on the details of the proposed stages with the support of DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, a triathlete and avid cycling fan. Garmin-Transitions rider Christian Vande Velde, once a wearer of the Giro's maglia rosa, came out in favour of the start in his home country last year.

The race is proposed to begin with a prologue, which would take place among the city's most iconic features including the Memorial Bridge which fittingly has two large statues donated to the country by the Italians after World War II. It would also pass by the famed Lincoln, Jefferson and Washington monuments, the National Mall and the US Capitol.

A second stage would stay within the city for a circuit that finishes on Pennsylvania Avenue, and there have been discussions about having an additional two or three stages on the east coast before the race would head back overseas to Italy.

Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for details of the announcement as they develop.

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