New start date for Giro d'Italia in Belfast
The Giro d'Italia 2014 will start from Belfast on Friday, May 9 and not on Saturday, May 10.
International Cycling Union (UCI) has accepted and ratified the request made from AIJCP, the International Association of Professional Cycling teams, to bring forward by one day the start of the Corsa Rosa adding an extra day of rest to facilitate the transfer of the caravan from Ireland to Italy. RCS Sport has given its consent.
The new programme includes the Grande Partenza on Friday in Belfast.
On Saturday, May 10 the second stage will also start from Belfast terminating again in the Northern Ireland capital.
On Sunday, May 11 the third stage will start from Armagh and arrive in Dublin. Monday, May 12 will be a rest day, then the Giro will start again on Tuesday, May 13 in Italy.
Northern Ireland Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said: "I have been advised of the earlier start date for the Giro d'Italia in Belfast – which moves forward by one day to May 9 – and I am confident that this will not cause any difficulties.
"Everyone in Northern Ireland is looking forward to welcoming this hugely exciting competition to our shores next year and to embracing the passion, colour and atmosphere that comes with the Grande Partenza."
Meanwhile, Sir Bradley Wiggins was unable to end a troubled year with the Road World Championships time-trial victory he had coveted in Florence yesterday.
The Olympic champion had to settle for second place as Germany's Tony Martin cruised to a hat-trick of world time-trial titles over the 58km course.
Martin finished 46.09 seconds ahead of Wiggins, who stormed home over the closing stages to overhaul four-time world champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland for the silver medal.