The launch event saw many VIPs from across sport, entertainment, local authorities, sponsors and media, including: Froome, Viviani and Moscon.
The winner of the last edition of the Giro d’Italia, Chris Froome, said: “The Giro victory will always be in my heart for the rest of my life because I’ve never won a race in such an iconic way – and I’ve felt an incredible amount of love from the Tifosi all over the country. I like this edition of the Giro very much, it can be won only by a complete rider. It’s a balanced course in between mountains and time trials. A very organised team will be needed too. The stage with Gavia and Mortirolo is a beast! It comes after a rest day and that day the true champions will stand out from the bunch.”
The Italian Road Cycling Champion and winner of the last edition’s Maglia Ciclamino of best sprinter, Elia Viviani, said: “I’ve got good feelings about this Giro: I’m the Italian Road Cycling Champion, the Corsa Rosa ends in Verona… it looks like my dream Giro! Looks like there will be six stages that could end up in a bunch sprint. I’ll do the recce but it looks like the right number for me, this year for instance, I won four and came second twice. The last week of racing will be incredibly tough for the sprinters but I’m looking at this Giro with the goal of arriving in the wonderful Verona, my home town. I haven’t decided with the team if targeting the Maglia Ciclamino again next year will be a goal. It will be very difficult to improve on this year’s Giro for me but I’ll try to do my best.”
Giro d’Italia Director, Mauro Vegni, said: “It will be one of the hardest Giros of recent years with over 46,500 meters of overall vertical elevation and three challenging Individual Time Trials. It’s a race that will be technically very challenging and full of pitfalls right from the first stages and with two tests against the clock in Bologna and San Luca and the longer one in San Marino that will probably result in bigger time gaps. Then, with the Alps and the Dolomites we will have the kind of mountain stages with climbs and finishes that have made the history of this sport. It will be a Giro open to many solutions and therefore to many riders with different characteristics. The last Individual Time Trial in Verona could change the GC and may be the decisive moment. After the experience of 2018 – with the historic departure from Israel – this year we will tell a story that’s virtually ‘all Italian’, except for crossing the border only for one stage finish in the Republic of San Marino. In this journey through our wonderful country we want to show not only the sporting challenge, but also the cultural and tourist heritage of Italy: Leonardo Da Vinci, Gioacchino Rossini, the Arena of Verona, the unique images of our mountains from the Alps to Dolomites, the arrival in L’Aquila ten years after the earthquake… they will be all integral parts of this Giro d’Italia.”
Urbano Cairo, RCS MediaGroup President and CEO, said: “For our Group, sport is a fundamental asset that we continue to support and nurture through La Gazzetta dello Sport and RCS Sport. The Giro d’Italia, one of our sporting pillars, has grown significantly in recent years. This ‘all-Italian’ Giro will raise worldwide awareness of the excellence of our country, thanks to the images that will be broadcast and shared through all communication channels. I am also sure that in 2019, our race will be an edition worthy of the event’s history and tradition.”
RCS Sport CEO and Managing Director, Paolo Bellino, said: “We still have in mind Froome’s great victory last year that projected us, with even more force, into an international dimension of the highest level. In 2019 we want to continue on this trajectory and always keep our attention high outside our national borders. Also next year we will have almost 200 TV channels broadcasting across the five continents, allowing us to reach a potential audience of over 800 million people. We will also have many events that complement the race with three very important social responsibility initiatives of which we are particularly proud: Biciscuola, GiroE and Ride Green. Biciscuola is about introducing the Giro to younger people, and will involve more than 50,000 school children from all over Italy. The Giro E e-bike challenge, which saw its year zero in 2018, will be a zero CO2 emission format. Exclusively electric cars, motorcycles and bikes will anticipate the pro riders on the same route. It will be a unique opportunity for everyone to participate. With the Ride Green project we will make a targeted separate recyclable waste collection in all the municipalities visited by the stages of this year’s race. We are sure that, thanks also to the support of all our partners, institutions, sponsors and media, the next Giro will be an edition not to be missed.”
Italy’s government undersecretary and sports delegate Giancarlo Giorgetti, said: “The Giro d’Italia is part of the sport and a cultural heritage of our country and, as such, we want to embrace it to the fullest. Cycling is a unique discipline that lives on the streets and in the homes of Italians as no other sport can do. It’s a cultural phenomenon that has made the history of Italy and that makes me particularly happy to support it – which is also due to my passion, since childhood, for bikes and for the Corsa Rosa.”