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Giro d'Italia 2014 NI Route Unveiled

Oct
1

There will be three stages to the race - a 22 km time trial around Belfast, a loop around the north coast and a cross border final stage.

The Giro d'Italia, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana are the most well known and prestigious Grand Tours for top cyclists.

The stages will take place in Northern Ireland from Friday 9 May to Sunday 11 May, 2014.

The Belfast route on Friday 9 May starts at Titanic Belfast and takes in the Newtownards Road, Stormont, Queen's Bridge, the Ormeau Road, Stranmillis and Belfast city centre.

The Saturday leg - a 218 km cycle - starts on Belfast's Antrim Road and goes to Antrim, Ballymena, Bushmills, the Giant's Causeway taking in the coastline from Cushendall to Larne on to Whitehead and Carrickfergus and back to Belfast.

On day three, Sunday, the final stage of the Ireland leg, the riders will embark on a 187km cross border section.

They will leave Armagh and travel to Richhill and Newtownhamilton before heading south, crossing the border at Forkhill en route to Dublin via Dundalk, Castlebellingham and Drogheda.

It is the first time the international event is beginning outside continental Europe.

The start of the 104-year-old Giro has traditionally taken place in Italy, but in recent times has been awarded to an outside country every two years.

Two of cycling's Grand Tours will make visits to Britain and Ireland next year, with the 2014 Tour de France starting in Yorkshire.

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