Giro d’Italia preview
From Belfast to the Dolomites, this year’s Giro d’Italia looks set to be a classic. Three stages will be held on the island of Ireland, with the first – a team time trial in Belfast city centre – now less than a week away. Excitement is mounting on both sides on the border, with images of pink sheep, horses, and even fish and chips posted on Twitter as the arrival of the corsa rosa draws closer.
More serious business is at hand, however. With the likes of 2011 Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), and Colombian climbing sensations, Nairo Quintana (Movistar), runner-up at last year’s Tour de France, and Rigoberto Uran (OPQS), runner-up at last year’s Giro, among the favourites, a thrilling contest is all but guaranteed.
Throw in Irishmen Dan Martin (Garmin Sharp), who came within 300m of defending his Liege-Bastogne-Liege title, before being robbed by a crash, and Nico Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo), and the home fans will have much to cheer during the three-stage Grande Partenza.