The Giro d’Italia will announce tomorrow its plans to start the 2012 edition in the USA, becoming the first Grand Tour to start outside of Europe, according to Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore.



The newspaper reported today that Washington, DC, Mayor Adrian Fentry will join Giro d’Italia Race Director Angelo Zomegnan at the Italian Embassy to make public their search for American sponsors.



The Giro d’Italia will race only its first day, a Saturday, in the USA, according to the newspaper, instead of a rumoured trip up the nation’s east coast. Riders will travel back on Sunday, have a rest day on Monday and resume racing in Italy on Tuesday.



“For some time we have had the idea of holding the Giro’s start in America,” said Zomegnan during a trip to the USA in November. “But now there exists a concrete interest from the city of Washington.”



Mayor Fentry, a fan of cycling and a competitor in triathlons, helped push along the bid.



The three-week Giro d’Italia first ventured abroad 45 years ago, starting in San Marino in 1965. This year, the race will start with three stages based around Amsterdam, Netherlands, before travelling back to Italy during the rest day and resuming racing with a team time trial to Cuneo.



None of the three Grand Tours – Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España – though, has ever begun outside of Europe.



The major problem facing Giro d’Italia organiser RCS Sport, and the race’s participants, is travel time and jet lag. A typical flight takes eight hours from DC to Milan, including a six-hour time difference.

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  • David Kelso

    Me thinks they haven’t given this deal much thought and the riders obviously count for nought !!

  • Andrew Russell

    This can only be for money, and would seem a pointless excersise otherwise.
    If the riders are offered enough money they will do it.
    Personally I think a tour of Italy should be in Italy, and if there are any excursions to other countries I would keep that to neighbouring ones.
    But thats me, a bit of a purist who doesn’t think money is that important …. probably a dying breed!

  • Phil Atkinson

    I cannot believe the intensity of negative comments on your site. I don’t give a hoot where the GdI kicks off as long as we get loads of publicity for cycling. Please wake up to the role of PR and marketing a marginalised sport.

  • Malcolm Richardson

    Whats the betting that Lance Armstrong will be on the start line, he’ll be about 40ish then.

  • Kirk M

    How about a lap on the International Space Station? I think it will bring lots of fame and publicity to the Giro, although it will be a little tough on the athletes.

  • Tim Danaher

    This really is stupid. I can see teams not turning up at the 2012 Giro because of this. I mean, who’ s actually benefiting from this?

  • Simon E

    Stupid stupid stupid.

    Very glad I’m not expected to travel to USA for PR and one day’s riding then travel to Europe for 3 weeks of racing in the mountains!

  • Christian L

    Looking forward to when big Asian sponsors start making demands.

  • Richard M

    Does the Giro need the cash? This is nonsense Start in USA, fly back, have a rest day. then start race again.

    If the riders can hold a protest over the non use of race radios they should hold a general strike over this one!

    Sell out, USA has plenty of races of its own, we dont need to be doing this.

  • Mr. C

    Cheap. What next – Tour de World (lasts for 10 months with team relays). I could be on to something here. LoL

  • Sean Lally

    No grand tour has started outside of Europe before because it’s mental! I hope the riders organize a decent protest about this.

  • DanG

    Washington DC? Why not little Italy in Manhattan? Or a Tour des Mafiosi in Noo Joisey?
    Madness!

  • tony moran

    Sheer loonacy!!!. I am sure other cyclists and tour fans will join me in condeming the Giro organizers for for putting the rders through this farce. They simply don’t need it.

  • Mike Lucas

    What next, the Tour of Britain to be held exclusivley in Moscow?

    The Giro is Italian and belongs in Europe. It just proves the old adage that some people will do ANYTHING for money.

    Shame on the organisers of the Giro (Tour of Italy).