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Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia Northern Ireland 2016


Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Northern Ireland 2016

The Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia Northern Ireland takes place this weekend, June 4/5. This official legacy event of the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start will see over 4,000 participants from all over the world ride on closed roads on two routes which are designed to be both challenging and of course enjoyable!

The Mourne Route is 175km with over 2.500mt. 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 USA, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, England, Scotland, Wales and of course, Republic of Ireland.

The event is part of the NI Festival of Cycling which will see a host of family related activities taking place throughout the province over two weeks, with the Gran Fondo weekend scheduled to include Street Velodrome (televised round of UK Tour), Sustrans NI organised Picolo Fondo on Saturday morning, bike skills, bling your bike and of course, a Slow Bike Race at Titanic Belfast and Titanic Exhibition Centre over the weekend.

When the riders return back to Titanic Belfast on Sunday afternoon they will be awarded their finishers medal and enjoy a post ride pasta party with Menabrea Beer and Fantini Wine. Northern Ireland’s very own Yellow Door Ltd, run by Simon Dougan will have created an Italian inspired menu for the riders to feast on and share stories from their ride.

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

Ireland’s 1987 Giro d’Italia champion Stephen Roche is riding and the event has also attracted 1990 Giro d’Italia champion and double world champion, Gianni Bugno. It gives many cyclists new to the sport a great thrill to share the road with these big champions.

Darach McQuaid, of Shadetree Sports said: We are very happy to be almost on the start line of our second 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 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 hard to keep the disruption to a minimum.”

Friday 3rd June the Giro Trophy will make an appearance at Coppi Restaurant in Cathedral Quarter, Belfast. Our official charity, Co-operation Ireland are hosting the Gran Fondo opening dinner and local Italophile Tony O’Neill is creating a very special menu and welcoming guests along with Stephen Roche and Gianni Bugno.
In the official event App (iOS and Android), which was updated 2nd June, there will be rider and spectator photo competitions in association with our official media partner, Belfast Telegraph. It also feature unique riders location functionality so family and friends can keep an eye on a rider’s progress. So make sure to download the app and be in with a chance to win!

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

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