Belfast Telegraph

Giro d'Italia: Plan ahead to secure the perfect view

By Claire Williamson

Make sure you don't miss one pedal of the Giro d'Italia as it races through Belfast, the Causeway Coast and Armagh. Wherever you are intending to enjoy the Giro, you must be in position one hour and 45 minutes before the Giro caravan – a colourful celebration which arrives ahead of the racers – is due.

Roads will be closed to facilitate the event and you will need to be stationed before they take place.

Here is a selection of the best spots for optimum viewing over the three days.

Stage 1 – Belfast Team Time Trial. Tomorrow

1. Titanic Belfast and the Titanic Quarter will be a hub of activity as Stage 1 (Team Time Trial) starts here tomorrow.

Meet at Titanic Belfast and visit the Giro Paddock at Titanic Quarter. Open 9am-8pm.

Experience the excitement of the teams preparing at the paddock, where team buses and staff will be around all day. The riders' final warm-up begins at 5pm.

2. Stormont – home to the Northern Ireland Assembly, you can watch the cyclists as they ride towards Parliament Buildings and loop back again towards the city. You can also watch the action live on a large outdoor screen.

3. The Newtownards Road has really got into the spirit of the Giro, with businesses and shops all 'going pink'. The riders willtravel on this road twice, so it is a key area to catch the action up close. Restaurants have special menus and you can sit outside with an Italian drink or meal and watch the riders go by.

4. Belfast City Hall – stage one will conclude in front of City Hall. The beautiful grounds outside provide the perfect location for an al fresco lunch and spectators can view the big sporting event on the large outdoor screen. The winning team is presented to the crowd and official race jerseys awarded to individual riders and teams. This event is open to the public. The race is expected to end around 7.30pm, but spectators are advised to come early.

Stage 2 – Causeway Coastal Route Stage Saturday

5. The Giant's Causeway. The stage passes by the iconic Giant's Causeway before it makes its way along the North Antrim coast. Flanked by the wild North Atlantic Ocean on one side and a landscape of dramatic cliffs on the other, it is a great location as the riders pass the 90km mark.

6. Portrush is a beautiful seaside town and spectating points include from Ballybogey to the Royal Court Hotel and on to Dunluce Castle. At the hairpin bend at Dunluce Road near Portrush, spectators will see riders tested to the max, as they wind their way around the challenging bend on to Dunluce Road near Portrush during stage two of the race.

7. A brilliant vantage point is located just above Red Bay Castle on a hill between Waterfoot and Cushendall, where you can see a huge amount of coastline where the racers will be.

Stage 3 – Armagh to Dublin Road stage. Sunday

8. Armagh's iconic Mall will host the participating teams. Come along and see the team buses, the Giro publicity caravans and the riders as they prepare for the final stage to be held in Northern Ireland. The area will also have live broadcasts, celebrity appearances and prize giveaways for spectators to enjoy.

9. Cyclists will make their way through Armagh's historic city streets, departing from the Shambles through Dawson Street, Irish Street, Ogle Street, Thomas Street, Market Street, Russell Street, convening at the Mall.

10. Forkhill is the last point of the race in Northern Ireland. A village nestled among the rugged hills of the Ring of Gullion in South Armagh, this geological wonder is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty and is known as a ring dyke. It will provide a suitably dramatic backdrop for a fond and final farewell to the Giro event.

Belfast Telegraph


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