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2014 Giro heading to Ireland

A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.

22 Feb 2013 09:06

Dazed and Confused wrote:Italy with the best cycling terrain in the world wants to find roads in Ireland. Everybody wants to milk the Sky cow.


You know if they had decided to start anywhere else but freekin Belfast, one might detect a bit of willful projecting on your part. However, given the history Northern Ireland has with Britain means that your assertion is grounded.

Then this is what La Gazzetta dello Sport had to say in today's paper:

"Once again La Gazzetta's race is unleashed from abroad, while it's not by chance that it will be an English speaking country that hosts the "Great Departure." It's not by chance because the world of cycling has expanded its horizons, and in recent years the sport's growth has largely taken place in countries that speak the Queen's tongue (the US, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland...)."

The article goes on to report that it was through the auspices of Darach McQuaid, Pat's brother, who raced in Coppi's time, and 5 million euro supplied by the local administration, that the improbable design has worked out. Improbable, because it's the most complicated Grand Tour start ever, given that the first two stages will be held in Belfast (capital of N. Ireland, which is part of Great Britain), while Monday 11 the stage takes off from Armagh and arrives in Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland.

It would have been impossible, according to La Gazzetta, just fifteen years ago to unify the two antagonistic states because of the legal, cultural, religious and political dichotomies that have separated them through centuries of conflict. Great strides, however, have been made over recent years, again according to La Gazzetta, along the path of reconciliation and harmony, while the Giro intends to be a symbol of that progress and will be an occasion to emphasize the trend.

PS: As well as tapping into the Sky cash cow.

PSS: As an aside, in a second article in the same daily, an interview with Stephen Roche, who lives between Antibes and Majorca (lovely places!), the Irish ex-champion says his son Nicholas is strong and this year with Contador at Saxo Bank will have some nice satisfactions. Yet his other son, 14 year-old Alex, who has just started racing with a Nice based team - naturally on Carrera bikes - Roche claims is a phenomenon. "He's got the peddle stroke of athletes of talent. I'm sure he will win the Giro and Tour of 2024. You wanna bet?"

So there you have it, you heard it first hear.
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22 Feb 2013 10:17

Me, i love murals so i love the belfast murals. I wish they could show that.
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22 Feb 2013 11:16

Zam_Olyas wrote:Me, i love murals so i love the belfast murals. I wish they could show that.


Ok, but I was being ironic of course. I mean Belfast usually isn't considered one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland, nor is it exactly synonomus with urban charm - no offense to any from the city on here.

I understand all the symbolic and business reasons for holding it there, personally, though, I'd much rather it have been in the area around Cork, if it must begin in Ireland.
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22 Feb 2013 12:29

rhubroma wrote:Ok, but I was being ironic of course. I mean Belfast usually isn't considered one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland, nor is it exactly synonomus with urban charm - no offense to any from the city on here.

I understand all the symbolic and business reasons for holding it there, personally, though, I'd much rather it have been in the area around Cork, if it must begin in Ireland.


I agree that the Cork area is more typically Irish and has bigger hills/more rugged backdrops, but Belfast itself has a unique character and is quite befitting of the dramatic ethos of the Giro. Hopefully the prologue takes in some of the murals etc. Also, the road stage will probably go up the Antrim Coast Road and into the Glens of Antrim, which will make for some spectacular scenery and racing.

And yes, me being glad about the Giro coming here might be a bit selfish, but only in the same way as fans who pray for rain before Paris Roubaix, or who complain when there aren't enough mountain top finishes in a GT.
element
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22 Feb 2013 12:29

rhubroma wrote:As an aside, in a second article in the same daily, an interview with Stephen Roche, who lives between Antibes and Majorca (lovely places!), the Irish ex-champion says his son Nicholas is strong and this year with Contador at Saxo Bank will have some nice sadisfactions. Yet his other son, 14 year-old Alex, who has just started racing with a Nice based team - naturally on Carrera bikes - Roche claims is a phenomenon. "He's got the peddle stroke of athletes of talent. I'm sure he will win the Giro and Tour of 2024. You wanna bet?"

So there you have it, you heard it first hear.


Brave lad, by all accounts. As a 9 year old, gave a bone marrow transplant to the youngest of the three brothers, Florian, then 7, who had leukaemia (Nick Roche, 'Inside the Peloton', chapter 9).
"There's someone coming through the mist . . . it can't be . . . it is! .. Oh, sorry, my mistake. It isn't"
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22 Feb 2013 12:46

rhubroma wrote:Ok, but I was being ironic of course. I mean Belfast usually isn't considered one of the top tourist attractions in Ireland, nor is it exactly synonomus with urban charm - no offense to any from the city on here.

I understand all the symbolic and business reasons for holding it there, personally, though, I'd much rather it have been in the area around Cork, if it must begin in Ireland.


Fodor's listed Belfast as one of "The 21 places in the world to visit."

Most comments here seem to be 10-15 years out of date.

While I also know and like Cork more, it is Belfast who have come up with the cash, which is the only meaningful factor in determining stage locations.

Cavehill and Upper Springfield, and then a loop through the mountains of Mourne might not be selective among a field like the Giro, but will be a lot more scenic than many flatlands opening stages.
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User avatar Armchair cyclist
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22 Feb 2013 14:49

element wrote:I agree that the Cork area is more typically Irish and has bigger hills/more rugged backdrops, but Belfast itself has a unique character and is quite befitting of the dramatic ethos of the Giro. Hopefully the prologue takes in some of the murals etc. Also, the road stage will probably go up the Antrim Coast Road and into the Glens of Antrim, which will make for some spectacular scenery and racing.

And yes, me being glad about the Giro coming here might be a bit selfish, but only in the same way as fans who pray for rain before Paris Roubaix, or who complain when there aren't enough mountain top finishes in a GT.


Well, then, I look forward to the Irish scenery, while your comment about Belfast being befitting of the drama and ethos of the Giro is certainly intriguing.

I'd still prefer Cork county, however, you raise some valid points and, given that I'm certain the Irish will embrace the Giro with exceptional spirit, the event should be memorable.
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22 Feb 2013 14:57

Armchair cyclist wrote:Fodor's listed Belfast as one of "The 21 places in the world to visit."

Most comments here seem to be 10-15 years out of date.

While I also know and like Cork more, it is Belfast who have come up with the cash, which is the only meaningful factor in determining stage locations.

Cavehill and Upper Springfield, and then a loop through the mountains of Mourne might not be selective among a field like the Giro, but will be a lot more scenic than many flatlands opening stages.


Well, no offence, but my list of "21 places in the world to visit," if that be all, would not include Belfast. Although I'm sure you are correct about a certain perception being 10-15 years passé.

At any rate, the Giro will certainly afford an occasion to reformulate sensibilities toward Northern Ireland's capital.
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22 Feb 2013 15:13

Mad Elephant Man wrote:Another reason to be disgusted by the move.
These kind of stupid decisions make me so angry.

Just to be clear - you have gotten angry about someone guessing what may happen?

Mad Elephant Man wrote:And to those saying it is good decision because they get to see racing, you are just putting your own selfish desires above the good of the Giro and the sport.

Now you are saying that your selfish interests are better than other peoples selfish interests, fair enough.

The Giro organizers seem happy to accommodate the start - surely they are the ones to know what is best for their race. While I don't like the idea of a rest day so early in a GT that may not happen.
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22 Feb 2013 16:11

rhubroma wrote:Well, no offence, but my list of "21 places in the world to visit," if that be all, would not include Belfast. Although I'm sure you are correct about a certain perception being 10-15 years passé.

At any rate, the Giro will certainly afford an occasion to reformulate sensibilities toward Northern Ireland's capital.


I take no offence: one of the biggest travel publishing companies in the world might consider that their opinion carries more weight than yours...

Frommers, another travel publisher, named it as one of 12 places to visit...
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22 Feb 2013 17:04

I can think of 12 places in Italy I'd rather go to than Ireland.
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22 Feb 2013 17:17

From Fodor, "Northern Ireland has had a long and often ferocious history. But all such thoughts vanish in the face of the country's natural beauty, magnificent stately houses, and the warm hospitality of its people. The Six Counties cover less than 14,245 square km (5,500 square miles). These boundaries contain some of the most unspoiled scenery you could ever hope to find on this earth: the granite Mountains of Mourne; the Giant's Causeway, made of extraordinary volcanic rock; more than 320 km (200 miles) of coastline beaches and hidden coves; and rivers and leaf-sheltered lakes, including Europe's largest freshwater lake, Lough Neagh, that provide fabled fishing grounds". Also the black humour & craic in the Belfast bars is a force of nature in itself. Can't wait to immerse in this sensational reality!
cocteau_ireland
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22 Feb 2013 17:21

Armchair cyclist wrote:I take no offence: one of the biggest travel publishing companies in the world might consider that their opinion carries more weight than yours...

Frommers, another travel publisher, named it as one of 12 places to visit...


I don't know, Armchair, I've been to some pretty fascinating places...though, admittedly, that's just my opinion. In the end, it's a question of style and preferences.

Though wasn't it Fodor's? At any rate, I don't need one of the biggest travel publishing companies to explain what should be in the "top 21" preferences, but that's just me with top lists in general, which are commercial.

Whereas in Ireland, I prefer other locations.
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22 Feb 2013 17:41

cocteau_ireland wrote:From Fodor, "Northern Ireland has had a long and often ferocious history. But all such thoughts vanish in the face of the country's natural beauty, magnificent stately houses, and the warm hospitality of its people. The Six Counties cover less than 14,245 square km (5,500 square miles). These boundaries contain some of the most unspoiled scenery you could ever hope to find on this earth: the granite Mountains of Mourne; the Giant's Causeway, made of extraordinary volcanic rock; more than 320 km (200 miles) of coastline beaches and hidden coves; and rivers and leaf-sheltered lakes, including Europe's largest freshwater lake, Lough Neagh, that provide fabled fishing grounds". Also the black humour & craic in the Belfast bars is a force of nature in itself. Can't wait to immerse in this sensational reality!


Alright now given that I'm a big fan of passionate and sincere enthusiasm, and adore black humor and good craic, you've peaked my interest. Fair enough. :)
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23 Feb 2013 10:46

rhubroma wrote:You know if they had decided to start anywhere else but freekin Belfast, one might detect a bit of willful projecting on your part.

snipped....



Very nice, thanks. I like Ireland very much and understand the reasons behind the Giro's decisions. Just don't like the concept no matter where they want to go outside of Italy. Tour of Poland going to Trentino? Don't like that either.
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