Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 August 2015

Giro d'Italia: Belfast weather will prove to be a main obstacle

By Paul Murphy

Published 09/05/2014

France's Nacer Bouhanni receives the traditional kiss from race hostess on podium after winning the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, from Giovinazzo to Bari, Italy, Tuesday May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Gian Mattia D'Alberto)
France's Nacer Bouhanni receives the traditional kiss from race hostess on podium after winning the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia, Tour of Italy cycling race, from Giovinazzo to Bari, Italy, Tuesday May 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Gian Mattia D'Alberto)
Sickness: Marcel Kittel has pulled out of the remaining stages of the Giro d'Italia. Pictured winning the second stage outside Belfast City Hall. Pic Jonathan Porter
Giro d'Italia 2014 - Armagh to Dublin. Pic Russel Pritchard
Giro d'Italia 2014. Picture submitted by Norm Burns.
The Giro d'Italia is visiting one of Northern Ireland's most scenic routes on the cycling race's second stage. About 200 cyclists set off from Belfast to travel along the north coast before returning to the city. Riders pictured traveling past Dunluce Castle.
The Giro d'Italia is visiting one of Northern Ireland's most scenic routes on the cycling race's second stage. About 200 cyclists set off from Belfast to travel along the north coast before returning to the city. Riders pictured traveling past Dunluce Castle.
The Giro d'Italia is visiting one of Northern Ireland's most scenic routes on the cycling race's second stage. About 200 cyclists set off from Belfast to travel along the north coast before returning to the city. Riders pictured traveling past Dunluce Castle.
Giro dÄôItalia day two. The Giro d'Italia is visiting one of Northern Ireland's most scenic routes on the cycling race's second stage. About 200 cyclists set off from Belfast to travel along the north coast before returning to the city. Philip Jackson from Dromore heads out on his stag do.
The Giro d'Italia passes Dunluce Castle, one of Northern Ireland's most scenic routes. About 200 cyclists set off from Belfast to travel along the north coast before returning to the city.
Press Eye - Northern Ireland 11th May 2014 Stage 3 of the Giro dÄôItaliaÄôs Grande Partenza as the worldÄôs cycling elite set-off from Armagh to Dublin ¬©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
Pacemaker Press 10/4/2014 Cyclists pass threw Drains Bay near Larne in Co Antrim, during the second stage of the Giro d'italia on the coast roads in Northern Ireland Picture Colm/Pacemaker.
Press Eye - Northern Ireland 11th May 2014 Stage 3 of the Giro dÄôItaliaÄôs Grande Partenza as the worldÄôs cycling elite set-off from Armagh to Dublin ¬©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
09th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orica GreenEdge team pictured at the start of the 97th Giro dÕItalia at Titanic Belfast which begun this evening with a 21.7 km team time trial around the city streets.
The peloton passes through Glenarm village during stage two of the 2014 Giro D'Italia in Co Antrim. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 10, 2014. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Day 3 Giro dÕItalia: Armagh as Stage 3 of the 97th Giro dÕItalia gets started travelling to Dublin. Apollo Cycling Team who cycled up from Lurgan
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Day 3 Giro dÕItalia: Armagh Mall as Stage 3 of the 97th Giro dÕItalia gets started travelling to Dublin. Apollo Cycling Team who cycled up from Lurgan
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Day 3 Giro dÕItalia: Armagh City.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Day 3 Giro dÕItalia: Armagh City.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Day 3 Giro dÕItalia: Armagh City.
Northern Ireland- 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day three - Armagh to Dublin. Thousands of cycling fans lined the streets of Armagh to cheer off 200 of the world's top cyclists ahead of their gruelling race to Dublin. The Cathedral City marked the last stage of the biggest cycling race ever to be hosted in Northern Ireland. The race makes it way through the city past the Church of Ireland Cathedral on its way to the starting line.
Northern Ireland- 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day three - Armagh to Dublin. Thousands of cycling fans lined the streets of Armagh to cheer off 200 of the world's top cyclists ahead of their gruelling race to Dublin. The Cathedral City marked the last stage of the biggest cycling race ever to be hosted in Northern Ireland. The race makes it way through the city past the Church of Ireland Cathedral on its way to the starting line.
Northern Ireland- 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day three - Armagh to Dublin. Thousands of cycling fans lined the streets of Armagh to cheer off 200 of the world's top cyclists ahead of their gruelling race to Dublin. The Cathedral City marked the last stage of the biggest cycling race ever to be hosted in Northern Ireland. Crowds gather in the Shambles Market area of the city to see the riders sign on before the beginning of the race.
Northern Ireland- 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day three - Armagh to Dublin. Thousands of cycling fans lined the streets of Armagh to cheer off 200 of the world's top cyclists ahead of their gruelling race to Dublin. The Cathedral City marked the last stage of the biggest cycling race ever to be hosted in Northern Ireland. Local Saxo-Tinkoff rider Nicolas Roche(right) and his teammates sign on in the Shambles Market area on before the beginning of the race.
Northern Ireland- 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day three - Armagh to Dublin. Thousands of cycling fans lined the streets of Armagh to cheer off 200 of the world's top cyclists ahead of their gruelling race to Dublin. The Cathedral City marked the last stage of the biggest cycling race ever to be hosted in Northern Ireland. Crowds gather in the Shambles Market area of the city to see the riders sign on before the beginning of the race.
Northern Ireland- 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day three - Armagh to Dublin. Thousands of cycling fans lined the streets of Armagh to cheer off 200 of the world's top cyclists ahead of their gruelling race to Dublin. The Cathedral City marked the last stage of the biggest cycling race ever to be hosted in Northern Ireland. Crowds gather in the Shambles Market area of the city to see the riders sign on before the beginning of the race.
Northern Ireland- 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day three - Armagh to Dublin. Thousands of cycling fans lined the streets of Armagh to cheer off 200 of the world's top cyclists ahead of their gruelling race to Dublin. The Cathedral City marked the last stage of the biggest cycling race ever to be hosted in Northern Ireland. Local Saxo-Tinkoff rider Nicolas Roche signs on in the Shambles Market area on before the beginning of the race.
Northern Ireland- 11th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day three - Armagh to Dublin. Thousands of cycling fans lined the streets of Armagh to cheer off 200 of the world's top cyclists ahead of their gruelling race to Dublin. The Cathedral City marked the last stage of the biggest cycling race ever to be hosted in Northern Ireland. Crowds gather in the Shambles Market area of the city to see the riders sign on before the beginning of the race.
Pacemaker Belfast 11-05-14 Giro D'Italia (Armagh-Dublin Stage) 2014 Day 3 of the Giro D'Italia as the riders and teams stream through the sleepy village of Hamiltonsbawn on the Armagh to Dublin Stage. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 11-05-14 Giro D'Italia (Armagh-Dublin Stage) 2014 Day 3 of the Giro D'Italia as the riders and teams stream through the sleepy village of Hamiltonsbawn on the Armagh to Dublin Stage. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 11-05-14 Giro D'Italia (Armagh-Dublin Stage) 2014 Day 3 of the Giro D'Italia as the riders and teams stream through the sleepy village of Hamiltonsbawn on the Armagh to Dublin Stage. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 11-05-14 Giro D'Italia (Armagh-Dublin Stage) 2014 Day 3 of the Giro D'Italia as the riders and teams stream through the sleepy village of Hamiltonsbawn on the Armagh to Dublin Stage. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 10th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Day 2 Giro dItalia: The Peloton leaves the Titanic Quarter, Belfast for the race start on the Antrim Road.
10/5/2014 Pacemaker press. The lpeleton crosses Glendun viaduct in the Glens of Antrim as the Giro d'Italia second stage takes place today in Northern Ireland. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
10/5/2014 Pacemaker press. Marcel Kittel of team Giant Shimano wins the second stage of the Giro d'Italia outside Belfast City Hall this afternoon. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
10th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Fans line the route to watch the peloton make it's way through Ballintoy during Stage 2 of the 97th Giro dÄôItalia. The 219km stage started in Belfast and travelled out the North Coast before finishing at the City Hall, Belfast.
Pacemaker Press 10/4/2014 Cyclists pass threw Drains Bay near Larne in Co Antrim, during the second stage of the Giro d'italia on the coast roads in Northern Ireland Picture Colm/Pacemaker.
Locan cycling fans welcome the riders to Glenarm village during stage two of the 2014 Giro D'Italia in Co Antrim. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 10, 2014. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
The Peloton travels along the North Antrim Coast during stage two of the 2014 Giro D'Italia, in Belfast. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 10, 2014. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Local cycling fans await the peloton in Glenarm village during stage two of the 2014 Giro D'Italia in Co Antrim. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 10, 2014. Photo credit should read: Paul Faith/PA Wire
Teresa Patton and Geraldine O Cleary
Linda Steele and friends in Bushmills
Ballyvoy
Eilish McCaw and Bernie McAfee in Ballintoy
Tracey Andrew and Courtney enjoy the pink sheep at the Giants Causeway
Enya Mcshane in Ballintoy
Ballycastle
Having a good time in Bushmills
Gerald Gray at the country Market in Ballycastle during the Giro
Local supporters Sophie, Alanna, Leanna and visitor Tara from Canada rooting for race leader Svein Tuft.
Ballymena Mayor Audrey Wales with members of Ballymena Road club wait for the Giro to hit Ballymena.
10th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Fans line the route to watch the peloton make it's way through Ballintoy during Stage 2 of the 97th Giro dÄôItalia. The 219km stage started in Belfast and travelled out the North Coast before finishing at the City Hall, Belfast.
10th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye People wait in Antrim for the peloton to go through as Stage 2 of the 97th Giro dÄôItalia gets started. The 219km stage starts in Belfast and travel out the North Coast before finishing at the City Hall, Belfast.
Stevie Kinkaid at the Giro at Dunseverick Primary school
The Giro d'Italia passes through Ballintoy - race fans take it all in their stride
10th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Fans line the route to watch the peloton make it's way through Ballintoy during Stage 2 of the 97th Giro dÄôItalia. The 219km stage started in Belfast and travelled out the North Coast before finishing at the City Hall, Belfast.
10th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye The peloton to goes through Ballintoy during Stage 2 of the 97th Giro dÄôItalia. The 219km stage started in Belfast and travelled out the North Coast before finishing at the City Hall, Belfast.
10th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye People wait in Antrim for the peloton to go through as Stage 2 of the 97th Giro dÄôItalia gets started. The 219km stage starts in Belfast and travel out the North Coast before finishing at the City Hall, Belfast.
10th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye People wait on the Antrim Road for the peloton to go through the official as Stage 2 of the 97th Giro dÄôItalia gets started. The 219km stage starts in Belfast and travel out the North Coast before finishing at the City Hall, Belfast.
10th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye People wait on the Antrim Road for the peloton to go through the official as Stage 2 of the 97th Giro dÄôItalia gets started. The 219km stage starts in Belfast and travel out the North Coast before finishing at the City Hall, Belfast.
Svein Tuft celebrates after Orica GreenEDGE won the Team Time Trial and he won the pink jersey after the opening stage the of the 2014 Giro D'Italia in Belfast
Irish rider Dan Martin crashed out of the Giro d'Italia on the lower Newtownards Road during the team time trial. He was taken immediately to hospital and treated for a suspected broken shoulder. Photo Darren Crawford/Pacemaker Press
Day 1 of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, Belfast. Oreca GreenEDGE celebrate being fastest team in the time trials
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, Belfast
Day one of the Giro in Belfast
Day one of the Giro in Belfast
Day one of the Giro in Belfast
Pacemaker Press 9/4/2014 The Giro d'Italia team time trial takes place this afternoon on the Newtonards Road in Belfast , Passing its Iconic Murals Picture Colm/Pacemaker.
Day one of the Giro in Belfast
Northern Ireland- 9th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Picture - Matt Mackey/Presseye.com Giro dÄôItalia day one. Many months of preparation come to fruition this evening in Belfast, when the 97th Giro d'Italia starting with the 21.7 km team time trial stage around the city streets. Starting at the Titanic building the time trail took in Stormont, the Ormeau Road and Stranmillis finishing at the City Hall.
Northern Ireland- 9th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Picture - Matt Mackey/Presseye.com Giro dÄôItalia day one. Many months of preparation come to fruition this evening in Belfast, when the 97th Giro d'Italia starting with the 21.7 km team time trial stage around the city streets. Starting at the Titanic building the time trail took in Stormont, the Ormeau Road and Stranmillis finishing at the City Hall.
Northern Ireland- 9th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day one. Many months of preparation come to fruition this evening in Belfast, when the 97th Giro d'Italia starting with the 21.7 km team time trial stage around the city streets. Starting at the Titanic building the time trail took in Stormont, the Ormeau Road and Stranmillis finishing at the City Hall.
Northern Ireland- 9th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. Giro dÕItalia day one. Many months of preparation come to fruition this evening in Belfast, when the 97th Giro d'Italia starting with the 21.7 km team time trial stage around the city streets. Starting at the Titanic building the time trail took in Stormont, the Ormeau Road and Stranmillis finishing at the City Hall.
Northern Ireland- 9th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Picture - Matt Mackey/Presseye.com Giro dÄôItalia day one. Many months of preparation come to fruition this evening in Belfast, when the 97th Giro d'Italia starting with the 21.7 km team time trial stage around the city streets. Starting at the Titanic building the time trail took in Stormont, the Ormeau Road and Stranmillis finishing at the City Hall.
Northern Ireland- 9th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Picture - Matt Mackey/Presseye.com Giro dÄôItalia day one. Many months of preparation come to fruition this evening in Belfast, when the 97th Giro d'Italia starting with the 21.7 km team time trial stage around the city streets. Starting at the Titanic building the time trail took in Stormont, the Ormeau Road and Stranmillis finishing at the City Hall.
Northern Ireland- 9th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Picture - Matt Mackey/Presseye.com Giro dÄôItalia day one. Many months of preparation come to fruition this evening in Belfast, when the 97th Giro d'Italia starting with the 21.7 km team time trial stage around the city streets. Starting at the Titanic building the time trail took in Stormont, the Ormeau Road and Stranmillis finishing at the City Hall.
Press Eye - Northern Ireland 9th May 2014 Day 1 of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Belfast Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at the Belfast City Hall. Stephen Roach ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
A young fan at the start of the Giro d'Italia in Belfast. Pic Russell Pritchard / Presseye
Pacemaker Press Belfast 09-05-2014: The world's second-largest bike race, the Giro d'Italia, has begun in Belfast. Northern Ireland is hosting the initial stages of the competition over the next few days, which will see about 200 cyclists race through the streets. Stage one of the competition is a team time trial from Titanic Quarter to Stormont and on to Belfast City Hall. A total of 22 teams are competing for the prestigious title. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Press Eye - Northern Ireland 9th May 2014 Day 1 of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Belfast Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at the Belfast City Hall. ©Russell Pritchard / Presseye
09th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Orica GreenEdge team pictured at the start of the 97th Giro dÕItalia at Titanic Belfast which begun this evening with a 21.7 km team time trial around the city streets.
09th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Europcar team pictured at the start of the 97th Giro dÕItalia at Titanic Belfast which begun this evening with a 21.7 km team time trial around the city streets.
09th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Europcar team pictured at the start of the 97th Giro dÕItalia at Titanic Belfast which begun this evening with a 21.7 km team time trial around the city streets.
9/5/2014 Pacemaker press. Team Movistar in action as the Giro d'Italia team time trial takes place this evening in Stormont grounds, Belfast. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
09th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye FDJ team pictured at the start of the 97th Giro dÕItalia at Titanic Belfast which begun this evening with a 21.7 km team time trial around the city streets.
Giro d'Italia team time trial takes place this morning on Belfast's Newtownards road and its famous loyalist murals. Picture Charles McQuillan/Pacemaker.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 9th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com Giro dItalia team make their way through Stormont Estate during Friday morning's Team Time Trial Practice.
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - teams prepare for evening time trials
Memebers of the Tinkoff-Saxo team pass the Harland and Wolff cranes Samson and Goliath during a training session prior to stage one of the 2014 Giro D'Italia
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast. A man wears an Ian Paisley mask as the Newtownards Road goes pink for the Giro
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at Belfast City Hall
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at Belfast City Hall
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at Belfast City Hall
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at Belfast City Hall
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at Belfast City Hall
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at Belfast City Hall
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast - Team Time Trial over 21.7KM, starting at Titanic Quarter and Finishing at Belfast City Hall
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast. Newtownards Road goes pink
Day one of the 2014 Giro d'Italia Belfast. Newtownards Road goes pink
Giro d'Italia launches in the grounds of Belfast City Hall. Matt Mackey/Presseye
The iconic Harland & Wolff cranes, which have dominated the east Belfast skyline for decades, are due for a Giro makeover, starting tonight. At 9pm on Tuesday 6th May, Goliath turned pink to celebrate the forthcoming start of the 2014 Giro DItalia in Belfast. The once in a lifetime lighting event created by NITB and partners will be visible each night until Sunday 11th May. Picture by Brian Morrison.
Londoner Joff Summerfield is pictured riding the Stage 1 Time Trial of The Giro d'Italia Big Start in Belfast, as part of his challenge to ride the routes of the famous Spring Classics on his penny farthing bicycle
Londoner Joff Summerfield is pictured riding the Stage 1 Time Trial of The Giro d'Italia Big Start in Belfast, as part of his challenge to ride the routes of the famous Spring Classics on his penny farthing bicycle
Londoner Joff Summerfield is pictured riding the Stage 1 Time Trial of The Giro d'Italia Big Start in Belfast, as part of his challenge to ride the routes of the famous Spring Classics on his penny farthing bicycle
Londoner Joff Summerfield is pictured riding the Stage 1 Time Trial of The Giro d'Italia Big Start in Belfast, as part of his challenge to ride the routes of the famous Spring Classics on his penny farthing bicycle
Londoner Joff Summerfield is pictured riding the Stage 1 Time Trial of The Giro d'Italia Big Start in Belfast, as part of his challenge to ride the routes of the famous Spring Classics on his penny farthing bicycle
Giro d'Italia Press trophy pictured at the Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, May 7 2014
Kirstin Aston is looking forward to a street party as the Giro De Italia rides through Ballyhackamore village at the weekend. Joined by band The Left Backs - Mathew Hedley, Max Lozowsky, Ben Watt Doak and Lucas McPherson. Picture Mark McCormick
Giro d'Italia mania begins at Queen's University Belfast
A tractor painted pink is parked on a driveway beside the stage 2 route of the Giro d'Italia that passes the village of Ballintoy, Northern Ireland, Tuesday May 6, 2014. Many towns and villages across Ireland have been going pink in preperation for the Giro d'Italia which has three stages in Ireland running from May 9-11. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A pink sheep stands in a field in Ballintoy, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, May, 6, 2014 in preparation for the Giro d'Italia. Many towns and villages across Ireland have been going pink in preparation for the Giro d'Italia which has three stages in Ireland running from May 9-11. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Nicholas Roche, Michele Scarponi, Nairo Quintana, Joaquin Rodriguez, Rigoberto Uran and Cadel Evans pictured at the Wednesday May 7 Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast
Pupils from Scoil an Droichid and Harding Memorial Primary School who have been taking part in Sustrans' Active Schools Travel Programme get ready for the Giro d'Italia
Look out for the Giro Big Start Volunteers, over 1,000 have been recruited by Volunteer Now to marshall the route for over 140,000 spectators during Giro d'Italia 2014
PRESS EYE LTD PRESS RELEASE IMAGE Picture Caption Picture Caption Londoner Joff Summerfield is pictured riding the Stage 1 Time Trial of The Giro dÕItalia Big Start in Belfast, as part of his challenge to ride the routes of the famous Spring Classics including the Liege-Bastogne-Liege which he completed earlier this month in 5 hours 34 minutes on his penny farthing bicycle. Joff, who circumnavigated the world on a penny farthing in 2006, is undertaking this gruelling challenge to invite fans to come and see the Tour de France live when it comes to London on 7 July 2014. Follow his journey here: www.visitlondon.com/letourinlondon.
PRESS EYE LTD PRESS RELEASE IMAGE Picture Caption Picture Caption Londoner Joff Summerfield is pictured riding the Stage 1 Time Trial of The Giro dÕItalia Big Start in Belfast, as part of his challenge to ride the routes of the famous Spring Classics including the Liege-Bastogne-Liege which he completed earlier this month in 5 hours 34 minutes on his penny farthing bicycle. Joff, who circumnavigated the world on a penny farthing in 2006, is undertaking this gruelling challenge to invite fans to come and see the Tour de France live when it comes to London on 7 July 2014. Follow his journey here: www.visitlondon.com/letourinlondon.
PRESS EYE LTD PRESS RELEASE IMAGE Picture Caption Picture Caption Londoner Joff Summerfield is pictured riding the Stage 1 Time Trial of The Giro dÕItalia Big Start in Belfast, as part of his challenge to ride the routes of the famous Spring Classics including the Liege-Bastogne-Liege which he completed earlier this month in 5 hours 34 minutes on his penny farthing bicycle. Joff, who circumnavigated the world on a penny farthing in 2006, is undertaking this gruelling challenge to invite fans to come and see the Tour de France live when it comes to London on 7 July 2014. Follow his journey here: www.visitlondon.com/letourinlondon.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 30/04/2014 A shop front on the Antrim Road in North Belfast is painted pink ahead of the Giro D'Italia which starts 9th may Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
07th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Michele Scarponi pictured at Wednesday afternoon's Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 07-05-2014: Northern Ireland will host the opening stages of the Giro dItalia in 2014, welcoming 200 of the world's top cyclists. Top rider Cadel Evans pictured during a press conference at the Belfast Waterfront. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 07-05-2014: Northern Ireland will host the opening stages of the Giro dItalia in 2014, welcoming 200 of the world's top cyclists. Top rider Cadel Evans pictured during a press conference at the Belfast Waterfront. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
07th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Giro d'Italia Press trophy pictured at Wednesday afternoon's Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 07-05-2014: Northern Ireland will host the opening stages of the Giro dItalia in 2014, welcoming 200 of the world's top cyclists. Six of the Top riders are Nicholas Roche,Michele Scarponi,Nairo Quintana,Joaquin Rodriguez, Rigberto Uran and Cadel Evans pictured during a press conference at the Belfast Waterfront. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Giro d'Italia Mania begins at Queen's University Belfast. Queen's is turning pink to celebrate the race passing its front doors. A carnival of events including a garden party, music and spinathon which are open to the public will take place at 3pm - 8 pm tomorrow.
07th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Nairo Quintana pictured at Wednesday afternoon's Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
Cyclist Joff Summerfield, who circumnavigated the globe on a penny farthing, finishes his most grueling challenge yet at Belfast City Hall as he sets the pro riders a time to beat when he rides the Giro d'Italia time trial route on his penny farthing. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 8, 2014. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Pacemaker Press Belfast 07-05-2014: On the eve of the Giro dÕItalia, the pivotal role played by two Belfast men in the development of modern cycling is to be recognised. In 1887, the Scottish-born veterinary surgeon and inventor John Boyd Dunlop developed the first practical pneumatic tyre, when he fitted inflated tubes of sheet rubber to the rear wheels of his sonÕs tricycle. Almost 125 years later, a plaque was unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Mairtin O Muilleoir, near the spot where that historic event took place, on the Ormeau Road. It will honour the role which both Dunlop and Hume played in the development of cycling as we know it today. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Pacemaker Press Belfast 27-03-2014: Belfast Gears Up For Giro Festival. Belfast is going pink, as it gears up for the arrival of the highly anticipated Giro d'Italia cycling road race. Belfast City Council will be running the fun-filled Giro festival Belfast "Get on yer Bike" to celebrate the city being chosen as the starting point of this prestigious event. Pictured at the festival launch Belfast Lord Mayor, Councillor Mairtin O Muilleoir (R-L) Amy Pue, cycling enthusiast and Natasha Wilton Spring Chicken & Festival of Fools. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
07th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Joaquin Rodriguez pictured at Wednesday afternoon's Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
07th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Nicholas Roche, Michele Scarponi, Nairo Quintana, Joaquin Rodriguez, Rigoberto Uran and Cadel Evans pictured at Wednesday afternoon's Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
07th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Rigoberto Uran pictured at Wednesday afternoon's Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
07th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Cadel Evans pictured at Wednesday afternoon's Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
07th May 2014 Photo by William Cherry/Presseye Cadel Evans pictured at Wednesday afternoon's Giro d'Italia Press Conference at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast.
©Press Eye Ltd Northern Ireland - 7th May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Darren Kidd /Presseye.com BelfastÕs role in development of modern cycling celebrated Pupils from Scoil an Droichid and Harding Memorial Primary School who have been taking part in SustransÕ Active Schools Travel Programme. On the eve of the Giro dÕItalia, the pivotal role played by two Belfast men in the development of modern cycling has been recognised. In 1887, the Scottish-born veterinary surgeon and inventor John Boyd Dunlop developed the first practical pneumatic tyre, when he fitted inflated tubes of sheet rubber to the rear wheels of his sonÕs tricycle. The advantages of the new invention were soon to be become clear, when just two years later Ð on 18 May 1889 Ð the renowned cyclist Willie Hume, captain of the Belfast CruisersÕ Cycling Club, used them in competition for the first time Ð and won all four races at the QueenÕs College Sports. Hume Ð who also was the first person to buy a bicycle fitted with the then revolutionary tyres Ð went on to win multiple races across the island of Ireland and England, establishing their use as the standard for the sport. Almost 125 years to the day after that first race later, a plaque honouring the role which both Dunlop and Hume played in the development of cycling as we know it today has been unveiled by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Mirtn î Muilleoir, near the spot where that historic event took place, on the Ormeau Road. Among those who took part in this morningÕs ceremony were 75 pupils from Scoil an Droichid and Harding Memorial Primary School who have been taking part in SustransÕ Active Schools Travel Programme. Although DunlopÕs invention revolutionised and help popularise cycling, it did not make him the fortune it perhaps should have done: after beginning commercial production in central Belfast in late 1890, he later assigned his patent to William Harvey Du Cros in return for 1
Pacemaker Press Belfast 07-05-2014: Northern Ireland will host the opening stages of the Giro dItalia in 2014, welcoming 200 of the world's top cyclists. Six of the Top riders are (L-R) Nicholas Roche,Michele Scarponi,Nairo Quintana,Joaquin Rodriguez, Rigberto Uran and Cadel Evans pictured during a press conference at the Belfast Waterfront. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Northern Ireland- 29th April 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye. The Antrim coast turns pink ahead of next week's giro d'italia which will pass through the Northern Ireland beauty spot on day two of the bicycle race. A pink bike pictured at the entrance to Waterfoot in Co. Antrim.
Northern Ireland- 29th April 2014 Mandatory Credit - Presseye.com The Antrim coast turns pink ahead of next week's giro d'italia which will pass through the Northern Ireland beauty spot on day two of the bicycle race. Seamus McGinty waits for a bus at his local bus stop in Cushendall, Co. Antrim.
Northern Ireland- 3rd May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Picture - Matt Mackey/Presseye.com Amateur cyclist take to the road in a bid to complete the Big Italian bike ride that follows part of the 2014 Giro d'Italia route.
Northern Ireland- 3rd May 2014 Mandatory Credit - Picture - Matt Mackey/Presseye.com Amateur cyclist take to the road in a bid to complete the Big Italian bike ride that follows part of the 2014 Giro d'Italia route. Sean Kelly pictured along with the participants.
Amateur cyclist take to the road in a bid to complete the Big Italian bike ride that follows part of the 2014 Giro d'Italia route. Sean Kelly pictured along with the participants.
Amateur cyclist take to the road in a bid to complete the Big Italian bike ride that follows part of the 2014 Giro d'Italia route.
Amateur cyclist take to the road in a bid to complete the Big Italian bike ride that follows part of the 2014 Giro d'Italia route.
Amateur cyclist take to the road in a bid to complete the Big Italian bike ride that follows part of the 2014 Giro d'Italia route.
Kirstin will be performing at the Giro Ditalia in Ballyhackamore with the dancers from NiStars
PACEMAKER BELFAST 30/04/2014 A shop front on the Antrim Road in North Belfast is painted pink ahead of the Giro D'Italia which starts 9th may Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Amateur cyclist take to the road in a bid to complete the Big Italian bike ride that follows part of the 2014 Giro d'Italia route.
Clodagh Wilson (7) from Cookstown was 'in the pink' as she picked up limited edition versions of the much-loved Irwin's Nutty Krust and Softee loaves. Over 1 million loaves, which are in stores now, have been given a makeover by Irwin's Bakery to celebrate the Giro D'Italia 'Big Start' in Northern Ireland.
A man cuts the grass beside a bus stop painted pink in preparation for the Giro d'Italia in Cushendall, Northern Ireland, Tuesday May 6, 2014. Many towns and villages across Ireland have been going pink in preparation for the Giro d'Italia which has three stages in Ireland running from May 9-11. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Kirston Aston is looking forward to a street party as the Giro De Italia rides through Ballyhackamore village at the weekend. Joined b Mathew Hedley, Max Lozowsky, Ben Watt Doak and Lucas McPherson. Story by M.Coleman Picture Mark McCormick 30/04/14
The staff of 55 Degrees North, Portrush, 'sport' the colours for the Giro D'italia for this weekends stage of the race on the North Coast.
Ian Knox (left), political cartoonist and historian with Austin Guy (right), Diageo Northern Ireland, Kieran Cassidy (centre), Hatfield House and Gemma McCorry unveil a specially commissioned piece of artwork at the Hatfield House in celebration of the forthcoming Giro dÕItalia. The wall art supported by Harp lager and designed by Ian Knox commemorates 125 years since the City witnessed a great invention that revolutionised cycling when local cyclist Willie Hume won the first race in Northern Ireland with the worldÕs first pneumatic tyre which was invented in Belfast and past the exact same spot where the art hangs.
A Giant pink cyclist welcomes the Giro d'Italia to the Tassagh area of County Armagh. , Tassagh, Co.Armagh
Look out for the Giro Big Start Volunteers, over 1,000 have been recruited by Volunteer Now to marshall the route for over 140,000 spectators during Giro d'Italia 2014 Mandatory Credit - Picture by Brian Thompson / Presseye.com
Ivan Little GIro D'Italia piece Painted Horse
The Antrim coast turns pink ahead of next week's giro d'italia which will pass through the Northern Ireland beauty spot on day two of the bicycle race. A 50-year-old sailing boat goes pink on the shores of Ballygally in Co. Antrim.
A pink sheep stands in a field in Ballintoy, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, May, 6, 2014 in preparation for the Giro d'Italia. Many towns and villages across Ireland have been going pink in preparation for the Giro d'Italia (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
Cool FM's Big Start at local school Cool FM, the official Radio Partner of the Giro d'Italia brought all the fun of the famous Italian cycle tour to Whiteabbey Primary School on Friday. The Cool FM Media Bus and primetime presenter Pete Snodden joined local councillor Alastair Ross in getting the pupils geared up for the tour, which comes to Northern Ireland for the first time next weekend. The event was part of the school's effort to get kids involved in the fun of the Giro in the hopes it will leave a lasting legacy of increased bicycle use and enjoyment. ENDS
Cyclists make their way along the Antrim road in North Belfast, Northern Ireland, Sunday, May, 4, 2014. To celebrate the arrival of the Giro d'Italia cyclists took part in a sportive called the Big Italian Bike Ride which took in the route that the Giro will take on Stage 2. The Giro d'Italia starts in Belfast on May 9th with a Time Trial followed by two road stages finishing in Dublin on May 11. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A pink statue of a man fishing next to his bike sits on the rocks at Waterfoot, Northern Ireland, Tuesday, May, 6, 2014, in preparation for the Giro d'Italia. Many towns and villages across Ireland have been going pink in preparation for the Giro d'Italia which has three stages in Ireland running from May 9-11. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A tractor painted pink is parked on a driveway beside the stage 2 route of the Giro d'Italia that passes the village of Ballintoy, Northern Ireland, Tuesday May 6, 2014. Many towns and villages across Ireland have been going pink in preperation for the Giro d'Italia which has three stages in Ireland running from May 9-11. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)
A Giro d'Italia pink sculpture of a man fishing which can be seen just off the Coast Road in Glenariffe in the Glens of Antrim
The Antrim coast turns pink ahead of next week's Giro d'Italia which will pass through the Northern Ireland beauty spot on day two of the bicycle race. A pink bike pictured at the entrance to Waterfoot in Co. Antrim
The hairpin bend at Dunluce Road near Portrush will give a magnificent view of the race
Volunteers help clear litter and rubbish from part of the Giro D 'Italia route at Stranmiullis embankment, Belfast
People across Northern Ireland, including Belfast Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir, are getting excited about the Giro
The Giro d'Italia is being celebrated with a special Royal Mail postmark
Moyle District Council Chairperson Cara McShane pictured with her father Seamus at the Sheep Island hostel in Ballintoy. Seamus, who has painted his Harry Ferguson tractor pink, says preparations are well underway across the North Coast in preparation for the Giro dItalia cycling race. Picture by Kevin McAuley Photography
East Belfast rocks 'Pink Lycra' for the Giro D'Italia

Northern Ireland's spring weather may just be the missing ingredient the Giro d'Italia needed.

While the flat stages around the Irish coast are unlucky to entice any significant breakaways, the promise of rain and wind could stir up the peloton.

Today's team time trial was always going to be of key significance. Teams spend hours on the road, in wind tunnels and in meetings honing their technique and form.

Little is left to chance and while the race won't be won or lost today, it can put certain contenders at an immediate disadvantage.

Cadel Evans has already underlined the importance of not losing time around the streets of Belfast.

Another rider expected to challenge for the overall victory this year, Joaquim Rodriguez, knows exactly how costly that can be.

His Katusha squad lost 62 seconds back in 2011 – the last time the team time trial featured in the Giro – and eventually 'El Purito' missed out on the podium by just a few seconds.

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A crash or puncture, even at this early stage, can shatter dreams of the maglia rosa.

The dangers of this particular stage may not seem so evident.

There won't be the massive peloton that heads up to the Giant's Causeway to navigate the narrow coastal roads tomorrow.

Rather, teams of nine will set off individually, with the clock their only opponent.

A combination of difficult turns and Belfast weather will, however, put particular demands on all the riders.

Rain is forecast for the morning's practice run and while it is expected to dry up as the afternoon progresses, teams will need to venture with care.

Indeed, it may be that those who depart latest who benefit most if the roads do dry.

Each squad will look to set an early pace and reach speeds of around 55kph, but a series of turns between the Titanic Quarter and the Newtownards Road could spell danger for those looking to ease into the stage.

The trip towards Stormont is the lengthiest climb of the team time trial but, after reaching the summit, riders will need to be alert for the dangerous return to the main road via the tricky civil service grounds.

Some further sharp turns await as the teams progress towards the Ormeau Road, but it is the hairpin turn towards Queen's University from Stanmillis College –and the climb which awaits – which could see stragglers left behind.

Interactive Graphic: Giro d'Italia route

 

Further Reading

Nicolas Roche 'speechless' at Belfast welcome

Belfast hosts opening ceremony of greatest cycling race on earth

Eyes of the world on Northern Ireland

Route

Giro d'Italia route: from Belfast to Trieste

Route profile: stages 1-10

Route profile: stages 11-20

Route map: stages 1-8

Route map: stages 9-16

Route map: stages 17-21

Giro d'Italia team colours

Events to look out for

The pedals are poised and riders are ready – but there's plenty for the public to see and do too as the Giro d'Italia gets under way.

The fun starts today at Titanic Belfast and around the Titanic Quarter.

Make sure you get the best viewing spot for all the action by getting to your destination early and pay attention to any road closures happening near you.

Keep your eyes pealed for the Giro Caravan. A colourful celebration which brings a carnival atmosphere to the race as it arrives before the racers and gets cycling fans whipped in to a frenzy. Spectators are advised to be in position one hour and 45 minutes before the Giro Caravan arrives.

A hub of activity will be happening as the teams prepare for their Team Time Trial housed within the Giro Paddock.

Spectators will get a unique glimpse at the professional cyclists warming up before the action starts at 5.45pm.

The Giro Paddock is open from 9am to 8pm and has a Fan Zone with celebrities, competitions, exhibits and food and wine.

The Team Time Trial leaves from Titanic Belfast and pedals up to the Stormont Estate where there will be an Italian-themed free family festival in full swing. Go Stormont starts at 8am and lasts until 10pm that night and you can watch the action live on a large outdoor screen.

It finishes at Belfast City Hall at around 8pm. An eight-day festival called Get on Yer Bike will keep locals and visitors entertained. Tomorrow, book yourself in for a Belfast Music Bus Tour departing at noon from the Ulster Hall – a journey through the heart of a great rock and roll city. Booking is required.

Writers Square and Cathedral Gardens will be a hive of activity as the Sustrans Cycle Skills Obstacle Course lets the public have a go manoeuvring around a specially designed obstacle course.

Or why not have a go at the nail-biting slow bike race? Last bike over the line wins. Writers' Square will host Ramp-Rage's live freestyle BMX show throughout the day.

Expect big air and big beats as the extreme sports crew bring their crazy antics to Belfast city centre.

Racing starts again tomorrow from Belfast at 10.50am and moves along the scenic Causeway Coastal Route.

It ends at Belfast City Hall at around 3.55pm. The race kicks off at 11.45am on Sunday from Armagh before it rides on to Dublin for 4pm.

Traffic alert as roads set to close

Northern Ireland's biggest ever traffic management plan swings into action today.

Drivers are advised to factor in extra time for journeys and plan ahead, as more than 200 miles of roads close for parts of today and over the weekend.

As the practice session and Stage 1 get under way today, many roads from Belfast city centre to Stormont and main roads in the south of the city will be closed from 9.30am to 12.30pm and 4pm until 8.30pm. Park and Ride facilities at Cairnshill, Black's Road and Sprucefield will be open longer, with the last bus departing the city centre at 9.30pm.

There will be additional capacity on rail and bus services to get people home.

There will be rolling road closures tomorrow starting in Belfast at 8.30am and continuing north thoughout mid-Antrim then back along the north and east Antrim coast from 8am-5pm.

Translink will operate a dedicated shuttle train between Great Victoria Street and Central Station to the Titanic Quarter station from 7.30am until 4pm.

For the final leg of the Big Start a special return coach service from the Europa Bus Centre to Armagh will be available to pre-book. For those wishing to watch the finish in Dublin, Translink will operate an extra return cross-border rail service.

It must be pre-booked online.

There are some crossing points which will allow for limited vehicle access along the route, but these will be closed for long periods of time for the race.

For more traffic information visit trafficwatchni.com/giro

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