Special Gran Fondo jersey to mark Roche's feat
Northern Ireland riders can put their shirt on the 2017 Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia Northern Ireland in June this year with a special jersey to mark the 30th anniversary of one of Stephen Roche's most celebrated victories.
Irish cycling great Roche claimed success in the iconic Giro d'Italia in 1987 wearing a pink jersey from famed Italian cycling clothing company Castelli.
As official sponsors of the event, anyone who registers for the Gran Fondo NI before tomorrow's midnight deadline will receive a Castelli Team jersey, developed by professionals to make the demanding journey for those riding around Northern Ireland on June 4 more comfortable.
Roche, also a Tour de France winner, will be one of those racing around the roads in Northern Ireland.
The Gran Fondo NI is a legacy of the Giro d'Italia race which started in Belfast in 2014.
The Giro was a popular event with the public in Northern Ireland with huge numbers around the country turning out to cheer on world class riders for the first three days before the race headed to Italy.
Since then the Gran Fondo NI has become a big hit here with thousands of local riders taking part in 2015 and 2016. Competitors from across Europe and Australia have also been involved.
Organisers say they are determined that the third Gran Fondo here will be the biggest and best one yet, especially with 2017 being the year when the Giro is run for the 100th time.
Plans are being put in place for riders to have the best conditions possible be that with the Castelli jerseys or in terms of food with Italian nutrition company NamedSport coming on board as sponsors.
Organiser Darach McQuaid from Shadetree Sports said: "We are honoured to have two great Italian companies - Castelli and NamedSport - partnering with us on the 2017 edition of Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia NI.
"Castelli's clothing has been iconic for many years throughout the sport, and seeing all of the riders wear the official jersey with pride during our event is something special.
"NamedSport will provide our riders with a range of energy and nutrition products. We thank both companies for their support."
To register for the 2017 Gran Fondo NI go to [http://www.granfondogiroditaliaNI.com<http://www.granfondogiroditaliani.com/]www.granfondogiroditaliaNI.com<http://www.granfondogiroditaliani.com/