Giro d'Italia: A 2012 start in Washington DC
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Thursday, November 05, 2009

Giro d'Italia: A 2012 start in Washington DC

by Steve Jones at 7:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

The La Gazzetta dello Sport reported yesterday that the organization behind the Giro d’Italia is considering bringing the start of Italy’s Grand Tour to America’s capital, and today VeloNation was able to confirm with the DC Mayor's office that the two parties are in talks.

“For some time we have had the idea of holding the Giro's start in America. But now there exists a concrete interest from the city of Washington DC,” explained race director Angelo Zomegnan.

VeloNation spoke to the Mayor's office today and they confirmed, "that the District is excited at the prospect of hosting the start of the distinguished Giro d’Italia cycling race."

While much needs be done to make a Giro Washington DC start a reality, both sides seem committed to make this happen. Mayor Fenty’s office indicated that, "the city [Washington DC] welcomes discussions with race officials and shares their enthusiasm for the District to serve as a host city."

The Giro d'Italia's 100th anniversary this year saw a similar stage when it streaked through Rome, passing by the many hallmark views in the ancient city, and ending at the Roman Coliseum. The prologue course in DC would no doubt include Washington’s world-renown landmarks such as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol building, and race along the Presidential Inauguration route of Pennsylvania Avenue most recently walked by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Washington DC's Mayor, Adrian Fenty, has been a long-time cycling advocate, and has been known to race his bike on occasion. He brought a bicycle hiring system to the city that is similar to that of Paris, showing he is a progressive thought leader when it comes to alternative transportation.

While the logistics for bringing the Giro to the Nation's Capital will be a monumental task, starting Italy's Grand Tour in Washington DC would provide a huge opportunity to promote the city as a tourist destination to Europe. Likewise for the Giro organization, who will look to endear their race to the American public, while they continue to watch the race as it travels across the world and through the Italian countryside.

In 2007 when the Tour de France had it's Grand Depart in London they projected the event would bring more than 100 million dollars in revenue to the city. The start also coincided with Britain's cycling boom that has continued to grow each year.

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