Registration for the 3rd edition of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia NI is now open to the public. The success and growth the event has seen in the last two years is a testament to the strong appetite in Northern Ireland for high profile cycling events.
Darach McQuaid, Event Director said: “We are very pleased to launch registration for the 2017 Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia NI. The event has quickly gained a reputation as a world class Gran Fondo and this is reflected in the number of out of state participants we saw in 2016, from as far away as New Zealand and North America.”
“With the Giro d’Italia celebrating its 100th edition in 2017, we are working with RCS Sport to organise some special events to honor this. We are thankful to work with wonderful partners such as Tourism NI, Newry, Mourne & Down Council, Garmin, PSNI and many others.”
The event is organised on fully policed closed roads, one of only a handful in the UK & Ireland with this “pro-race” experience for the participants. The Mourne Route (175km) and Strangford Route (58km) are designed to appeal to both experienced riders and beginners.
John McGrillen, CEO Tourism NI said: “The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia NI is growing into one of Northern Ireland’s signature mass participation events. It is great to see riders traveling in from all over the world to ride on fully closed roads through our beautiful countryside, over the Mourne Mountains and along Strangford Lough.”
“We at Tourism NI are very satisfied to see the event grow and importantly, create a significant local economic impact and boost to tourism.”
The event is rider and family focused with a strong emphasis on what is important to Gran Fondistas which delivers a remarkable rider experience. The “Piccolo Fondo” takes place on Saturday and allows kids to experience the magic of cycling in under the Gran Fondo finish gantry.
Mauro Vegni, Giro d’Italia Race Director said: “2017 will see us celebrating the 100th edition of the Giro d’Italia. We are planning many special events to mark this milestone in the history of our event. The 2014 Big Start in Northern Ireland still resonates strongly with us and we are delighted to see the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia NI official legacy event growing bigger and bigger every year. The 2017 Gran Fondo will take place just one week after the conclusion of the Giro – we wish all of the riders an enjoyable and safe weekend.”
Richie Porte, Gianni Bugno and Stephen Roche have been part of our ride and big name stars for 2017 will be announced in the coming weeks. The Giro d’Italia trophy, “Trofeo Senza Fine” will be on site at the Giro Expo and will be available for riders and fans to get their photo taken with this iconic sports trophy.
The Giro Expo will take place Saturday 3 June and Sunday 4 June. Rider registration, cycle industry, Food NI vendors and post ride pasta party will all be buzzing over the whole weekend.
Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Northern Ireland will take place one week after the special 100th edition Giro d’Italia finishes and there will be unique activities put in place over Gran Fondo weekend to celebrate the Giro’s 100th edition.
Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia is organised by Shadetree Sports in association with RCS Sport. Tourism NI provide event funding via the international events fund.