Irish clinch Giro d'Italia for 2014

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The Giro d'Italia 2014 will start on May 9th. Photo: Jens Beltofte Sørensen/Flickr
12:31 CEST+02:00
The Giro d'Italia - Italy's answer to the Tour de France - will take an unlikely detour in 2014 by taking in Belfast and Dublin.

The route for the 428km ride around the Emerald Isle was announced on Monday during a presentation in Milan.

The first day will see the world’s best cyclists take in the landscape around Belfast, followed by a 218km day two ride up Northern Ireland’s coast before returning to the nation’s capital.

Cyclists will cross the border into Ireland on day three, racing 187km from the Northern Ireland town of Armagh to Dublin.

Watch a video of the Giro d’Italia 2014 route:

The Irish stages will begin on May 9th, ahead of the Italian start from the southern city of Bari on May 13th.

The Giro d’Italia start date was brought forward by a day for 2014, a decision which required the approval of the International Cycling Union.

As a result cyclists will have a day off on May 12th, giving them enough time to travel across the continent. It is unclear how their support teams, loaded with equipment, will make it to the heel of Italy’s boot in time.

This is not the first time the Giro d’Italia, launched by Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, has started on foreign soil. The city states of San Marino, Vatican City and Monaco have played host to the event, while participants have also pedalled as far away as Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Greece.

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Watch a video of the Giro d'Italia:

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