Giro d'Italia: Full video, pictures and results as thousands line streets of Belfast for day one of world's second largest cycling race
Full video and gallery of the first day of racing
The Giro d'Italia has begun - with hundreds of the world's greatest riders taking to the streets of Belfast for day one of the second largest cycling race.
>>Scroll down for full video report<<
Team Columbia kicked off proceedings, as the riders set off shortly before 6pm at the Titanic slipways.
Some 22 teams raced from the starting podium - where thousands of eager spectators cheered them on - before heading across the city, travelling on to Stormont, and then back into Belfast, finishing at City Hall.
And of course the iconic colour of the Giro took over the city - with splashes and swathes of pink lining the 21.7 km route.
There was a carnival atmosphere across the city, as thousands gathered to take in the spectacle of one of the world's greatest sporting events.
Among those setting off on Friday was Irishman, Nicolas Roche.
His father, Stephen, was the first Irishman to win the Giro in 1987.
After setting off from Titanic, and racing across greater Belfast, the riders were greeted to a hero's welcome as they flew past cycling fans lining the streets around City Hall.
Meanwhile, out on the course today, Irishman Dan Martin's Giro d'Italia dreams were ended as he suffered a serious crash.
The rider seemed to slip on a drain in wet conditions during the team time trial.
That caused causing several of his Garmin-Sharp team-mates to hit the ground.
Martin made little attempt to get back up as he waited for medical attention.
Road closures have been in place for much of the day in many parts of the city.
On Thursday night, Belfast welcomed the Giro to Northern Ireland, with the official 'Big Start' launch drawing a sold out crowd at Belfast City Hall.
Belfast's traditional shades of orange and green gave way to a generous coating of pink.
Friday kicked off three days of racing action across Belfast, the Causeway Coast, Glens of Antrim, Armagh and finishing in Dublin.
Four jerseys are up for grabs, pink for the leader, red for the competitor with best points classification, blue for the top climber and white for the most promising young rider.
RESULTS AFTER DAY ONE
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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.
Belfast Telegraph Digital