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Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia NI - New Venue 2017



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Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Northern Ireland
New Start/Finish Venue and Economic Impact Grows

Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia is moving to a new venue for the start/finish, rider registration and event expo. Stormont Estate, which was featured in the iconic opening team time trial of the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start, will be the new headquarters for the event June 3rd and 4th.

Darach McQuaid of Shadetree Sports, the event organisers said:

We have really enjoyed our two years of having the event based at Titanic Belfast. We had great partners there from TB to TQL and the Harbour Police. Moving to Stormont Estate we hope to minimse the impact our event road closures have on Belfast in particular. The route changes are minimal and the overall length of both the Mourne and Strangford routes will not see much of a change. We are excited to move to Stormont Estate which saw such big crowds during the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start opening stage. In particular, the estate will offer our riders and their families a beautiful setting throughout the weekend to relax and enjoy the grounds. Also for Shadetree Sports, delivering on our economic impact aims for our key partner Tourism NI is very important, and this has been a success.”

A Spokesperson for the Department of Finance NI Stormont Estate Management Unit said:

“The Stormont Estate is a public park situated five miles out of Belfast City Centre with beautiful gardens, walking and fitness trails and a children’s play park. The Estate has been recognised as one of Northern Ireland’s best green spaces with the prestigious Green Flag award. Stormont Estate also is home to several Northern Ireland Civil Service government department buildings including Parliament Buildings, where the Northern Ireland Assembly is based. On Sunday 4 June 2017 the Estate is delighted to welcome thousands of cyclists and supporters when it hosts the start and finish of the third edition of the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Northern Ireland.”

A short list of previous big events which have been held at Stormont Estate:

The 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start
Red Bull Crashed Ice
The Queens visit
Race for life (Cancer Research)
Walk Ten (Marie Curie)
Memory Walk (Alzheimer’s Society)
Run In The Dark (The Mark Pollock Foundation)

There will be free parking within the grounds on Saturday and Sunday for Gran Fondo participants. Further details of the registration and Gran Fondo Expo will be released in the coming days.

Tourism Northern Ireland’s Director of Business Support and Events, Aine Kearney, said:

“The Gran Fondo is a major legacy event following 2014’s hugely successful Giro d’Italia Big Start, with a growing economic impact on Northern Ireland. It showcases our beautiful landscape to riders and international media, increasing awareness of Northern Ireland as a premium cycling and tourism destination.

Almost a quarter of participants in the 2016 Gran Fondo were from out-of-state and the economic impact was immediate, with riders and their families filling local hotels and restaurants.”

Each year the event has grown and 2017 will see it’s biggest field yet, with riders registered from Russia, USA, Canada, Australia, all over Europe and Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

The economic impact of the event has grown year on year. In 2016 over 23% of the participants were from out of state and over 7750 bed nights were generated for the Northern Ireland economy. The 2016 event generated an economic impact of over £1.5m for the local economy with over 88% of our visitors describing the event as “good” or “extremely good."

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