The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Northern Ireland takes place this weekend, June 3/4 and the official legacy event of the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start will see over 4,630 participants from all over the world ride on closed roads on two routes which are designed to be challenging.

The Mourne Route is 175km with over 2,500m of climbing over some very tough climbs through the Mourne Mountains. The Strangford Route is 58km and brings the riders along a lovely route alongside Strangford Lough.

The success of this official legacy event can certainly be qualified by the international attendance. Participants are traveling from the Australia, USA, Canada, Russia, India, South Africa, Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, England, Scotland, Wales and of course, Republic of Ireland.

This year the event will start and finish in Stormont Estate, sight of the famous opening team time trial of the 2014 Giro d’Italia. When the riders return back to Stormont Estate on Sunday afternoon they will be awarded their finishers medal and enjoy a post ride pasta party with Moy Park chicken and Menabrea Beer.

Photo: Fabio Ferrari – LaPresse

The famed Giro d’Italia trophy, Trofeo Senza Fine, will be on site at Stormont Estate and available for photo opportunities with riders and friends. This proved a very popular attraction the last two years and we are sure to see this famous trophy appear in a lot of selfies over the weekend.

Ireland’s Giro d’Italia champion Stephen Roche is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his famous 1987 Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and World Championships victories. Stephen will be around all weekend and is always available for photos and autographs.

Photo: Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia NI

Darach McQuaid, of Shadetree Sports said: “We are very happy to be almost on the start line of our third edition Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia NI. I would like to express my thanks to our partners Tourism NI, PSNI and Newry, Mourne & Down Council amongst others including commercial partners such as Moy Park, Garmin, NamedSport and Greggs in helping us make this event a big success. We are also very grateful to the local communities we are passing through who affected by the closed road traffic management operation. We have worked very hard to keep the disruption to a minimum. We also have a big number of international journalists traveling in to ride which really emphasises how the profile of this event, and Northern Ireland has grown in just three years.”

The Closing Ceremony will take place at 17:00 on Sunday 21st June at NICSSA Pavilion where various category winners will be presented with prizes.



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