Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

In Pictures: Belfast Telegraph readers' Giro d'Italia photographs

Marcel Kittel followed yesterday’s Giro d'Italia stage victory to claim the sprint finish in Dublin city centre today.

After a tight finish it was 26 year-old Kittel who prevailed, holding off the close attentions of Ben Swift for Team Sky and  Elia Viviani of Cannondale to win by half a wheel.

The win comes as Northern Ireland waved a fond farewell to the Giro - an event that seems to have turned the entire region pink - as the world's top cyclists headed south to Dublin.

Hundreds of thousands of people lined highways and byways in Ireland to bid arrivederci to the Giro D'Italia.

One of the world's most famous cycle races crossed the border from Armagh into Louth around lunch time then whizzed its way along the east coast towards Dublin.

Along the way young and old packed the streets of Castlebellingham, Drogheda, Skerries, Swords, Malahide and Clontarf for a glance of the speeding peloton and the famous Maglia Rosa - the leader's pink jersey.

Many were kitted out in pink ponchos, raincoats and headwear to protect them from the forecasted rain.

But despite threatening weather in the capital earlier in the day, the sun came out to welcome the 200 odd top level cyclists at the end of their 187 kilometre route.

The ecclesiastical city of Armagh hosted the start of the third and final Irish stage of this year's race, and again thousands turned out for a fleeting glimpse of the peloton.

The Giro appears to have captured the imagination of the Northern Ireland public like few others, and organisers and riders alike have expressed amazement at the reception they have received as supporters, bedecked in the race's emblematic pink, have thronged the roadsides, often in driving rain.

Ahead of the start of the latest leg, which wound its way through Co Armagh before crossing the border for a finish in Dublin, race leader and holder of the pink jersey Michael Matthews paid tribute to the fans.

"You are all incredible," said the Australian cyclist. "I was so cold yesterday and you were five deep the whole course. I am truly honoured to be part of this whole event and you guys have done amazing."

The Shambles market in Armagh, which sits in the shadow of the city's towering cathedral, was a carnival of colour as the third leg got under way.

DAY TWO

The Giro d'Italia moved from Belfast to the north coast yesterday as the second stage of the cycling race continued to attract huge crowds.

Racers sped from the podium at Titanic slipways, before starting their 219 km course towards the coast, the Glens, back through Larne and Carrickfergus, before ending back in Belfast.

Friday kicked off three days of racing action which will today take in Armagh and Dublin.

The race then moves to Italy for the remaining stages.

Thousands of people from Belfast and beyond, plus a host of international visitors, donned their biggest smiles and their best candyfloss-coloured outfits to cheer on the Giro d'Italia cyclists as they began their epic battle for the coveted La Maglia Rosa (pink jersey).

The weather was dry and sunny until just after the first riders set off and then, of course, the rain began to fall.

But the party atmosphere continued unabated for locals, tourists, cycle fans and even those who don't know much about cycling but like to have a good time.

Throughout the event, Belfast Telegraph readers have been sending us their photographs from what is the biggest sporting event ever held in Northern Ireland.

Send us your Giro d'Italia photos:

Email digital.editorial@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Tweet @BelTel

Road closures

Up to date information on public road closures can be found at trafficwatchni.com/giro.

RESULTS AFTER DAY ONE

1Orica Greenedge0:24:42 
2Omega Pharma-QuickStep0:00:05 
3BMC0:00:07 
4Tinkoff-Saxo0:00:23 
5Team Sky0:00:35 
6Astana0:00:38 
7Cannondale0:00:53 
8Movistar Team0:00:55 
9Giant-Shimano0:00:56 
10Ag2r-La Mondiale0:00:58 
11Trek Factory Racing0:01:00 
12Belkin0:01:01 
13Neri Sottoli  
14Bardiani-CSF0:01:07 
15Androni Giocattoli0:01:14 
16FDJ.fr0:01:18 
17Lampre-Merida0:01:20 
18Colombia0:01:22 
19Katusha0:01:33 
20Lotto Belisol0:01:34 
21Europcar0:01:48 
22Garmin-Sharp0:03:26 

To keep track of all our Giro d'Italia coverage, click here

BACKGROUND

97th staging of the event

During its three days in Ireland, cyclists will travel 426.7km.

Over the three weeks, they will cycle almost 3,450km.

A potential audience of 775 million people is expected across 174 countries.

Expected to generate £2.5m for the economy, with some £10m-worth of international media coverage.

Giro d'Italia route: from Belfast to Trieste

Giro d'Italia route profile: stages 1-10

Giro d'Italia route profile: stages 11-20

Giro d'Italia route map: stages 1-8

Giro d'Italia route map: stages 9-16

Giro d'Italia route map: stages 17-21

Giro d'Italia team colours

Interactive Graphic: Giro d'Italia route

Belfast Telegraph Digital