Michele Acquarone Video: It’s very important for the Giro d’Italia to go global
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Michele Acquarone Video: It’s very important for the Giro d’Italia to go global

by Shane Stokes at 6:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Giro d'Italia, Video
 
Race chief talks about Belfast start, logistical challenges, growth of race and the big stars

Michele AcquaroneA little over a year and a half after he took over from Angelo Zomegnan as the central figure in the organisation of the Giro d’Italia, Michele Acquarone has said he believes the race is breaking new ground.

“I am very, very happy,” he said of the growth and increase in profile the race has experienced in that time. “Our strategy is easy – just look at the fans, at what the fans want, and give them what they want. It’s very, very easy.

“And, remember that our fans are not just the Italian fans – we have fans all around the world. We have to think about what they want, but on an international global basis.”

Aquarone was speaking to VeloNation at the announcement that the 2014 Giro d’Italia will begin in Belfast and spend a total of three days on the island of Ireland. It will be the first time for the race to visit the country, and also the first time for it to begin outside mainland Europe.

Starting the race there poses several logistical challenges, including considerations about whether or not to include time trials due to the bikes involved, but he believes that the benefits will outweigh the difficulties.

“I think it is very important for both of us,” he said, referring both to the race and also to the sport in Northern and Southern Ireland. “It is a very good partnership. From our point of view, we really believe this is a great opportunity for us because we love when we can go and embrace our fans all around the world. It is incredible for us that we can start from here. It will be a very huge start and a huge event.”

Acquarone has been pushing hard to increase the profile of the race, with the Giro d’Italia and the RCS Sport company making the most of social media to engage with the fans, and also courting the big name riders in the sport. By building relations with them and also designing a balanced route that doesn’t wear them out prior to the Tour de France, interest in the event has increased.

Acquarone’s strategy is to try to get as many big riders as possible to take part, thus boosting the race’s standing in the sport and inching closer to the commercial and sporting success of the Tour de France.

In the video below Acquarone talks about the challenges of bringing the Giro to Ireland, outlines the current situation with regards to finalising the route, talks about the growth of the race and also reveals to the assembled crowd why the race is so important in uniting the country.

He also talks about his expectations for this year’s contest. “It will be a very big event,” he said, talking about the big names that will take part. “It will be a great challenge for Wiggins to win the Giro and to wear the Maglia Rosa again. But I think that so many other riders are coming…it will not be so easy to win the Giro.

“I am thinking about Hesjedal, of course, our former champion, and Nibali, or Gesink, Samuel Sanchez, Basso – it will be a very good race and I hope that everybody can enjoy it.”


 

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