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18 septiembre 2017

2018 Giro d'Italia Big Start: quotes from Israel

Presented today in Jerusalem the Big Start of the Corsa Rosa – to be raced from 4 to 27 May 2018 and organized by RCS Sport / La Gazzetta dello Sport – which will be in Israel, outside of Europe for the first time. Here are the quotes from the event.

Paolo Bellino, RCS Sport General Manager, said: “For the whole RCS group, and for the Giro d’Italia in particular, it is a unique opportunity to bring our event to Israel; a Grand Tour outside Europe for the first time. The internationalisation of our events, and exploring new frontiers – in particular for the Corsa Rosa – are objectives than make us look beyond the borders of Italy, without ever forgetting our own history and country. The Giro needs to become more than a showcase to promote the Italian country to the world. It’s also for this reason that we have chosen Israel as the venue for the 2018 Big Start from the many requests we have received both from within Italy and from abroad. During the Giro we will visit unique places that I am sure will be appreciated by the viewers in the 194 countries across five continents that will receive live broadcasts of the Giro.”

Mauro Vegni, Giro d’Italia Director, added: “We are really proud to announce this Big Start to the world today. Every year the Giro tells the stories of places of great interest. Cities such as Jerusalem, with the initial ITT, Tel Aviv, with the finish on the seafront, the starts from Haifa and Be’er Sheva, Eilat and the Red Sea, are part of this philosophy. The territories crossed by the stages in Israel will show to the world tradition, culture and beautiful landscape. We will see spectacular stages, that will surprise both from a sporting perspective and from the landscape point of view. I am convinced the welcome for the Corsa Rosa – as we have already seen in the previous Big Starts abroad – will be really special.”

Luca Lotti, Italian Sports Minister, said: “The start from Jerusalem is a metaphorical bridge between our two lands, made up of history, culture and traditions. There is another aspect that makes me particularly proud: the fact that this edition of the Giro d’Italia will celebrate the memory of the great Gino Bartali. It is beautiful that he is remembered right here in Jerusalem because the great ‘Ginettaccio’ – as he was named by his fans and all his fellow sportsmen who loved and followed him – was not just a great champion of sport. He was also an extraordinary champion of life, and a man of heroic virtues, and this need to be commemorated, and shared, especially with the younger generations… never to be forgotten.”

Alberto Contador, 2008 and 2015 Giro d’Italia winner, said: “It is amazing that the Giro d’Italia will start outside Europe, and that’s good news for the world of cycling. I have already visited Israel and Jerusalem in 2012 so I know how this will be an exceptional Giro and a great opportunity for the people. I encourage everyone to go on the streets to watch the race live and experience the great emotions that only the Giro can give. For me it is an incredible race with special fans; in the three years I raced the Giro I rode every day with a smile on my face.”

Ivan Basso, 2006 and 2010 Giro d’Italia winner, said: “The Giro d’Italia is always an incredible emotion, especially for any Italian like me – I dreamt of it since I was I kid. This race is something really special, full of surprises. Every year the Giro introduces new things, which makes it unique. Next year, starting from the world’s most spiritual city will make the Giro even more special.”

Yariv Levin, Israel’s Minister of Tourism, said: “This year marks a record year for tourism to Israel. As part of this revolution in marketing Israel as a destination for leisure and tourism, we are bringing the Giro d’Italia to our country – a spectacular race which will showcase Israel’s amazing landscape to hundreds of millions of viewers in nearly 200 countries across the world. At the Ministry of Tourism, we place great importance on encouraging tourism to Israel through sport. We have worked during the last year with the Giro to publicise Israel through the race on Eurosport. This year, we will increase this cooperation and I am sure we will see very positive results. Together, we will promote Israel as an attractive tourist destination. Images of Israel’s spectacular landscape will give further impetus to our campaigns across the world and I am sure that it will help bring further growth to tourism in Israel.”

Miri Regev, Israel’s Minister of Culture and Sport, said: “It is our tremendous privilege to be a host country for a sporting event so great and important. I call on you, everyone who loves the Giro, to come here to Israel. This bike race across the Holy Land will be a fascinating journey through time covering thousands of years. I’m sure it will be a thrilling experience for everyone.”

Nir Barkat, Mayor of Jerusalem, said: “We are proud to host one of the world’s biggest and most prestigious sporting spectacles, and the largest sport event ever held in Israel, here in the city of Jerusalem. Hundreds of millions of viewers around the globe will watch as the world’s best cyclists ride alongside the walls of Jerusalem’s ancient Old City and our other historic sites. Our message to the world is clear: Jerusalem is open to all.”

Sylvan Adams, Honorary President Big Start Israel, said: “The historic Big Start of the 101st edition of the Giro is about showcasing our country to hundreds of millions of TV viewers and live spectators. With it we are sharing our beautiful scenery, our history, our culture, and most of all, our people, in this diverse, free, pluralistic and fiercely democratic society. Let me personally invite you – and 800 million of your cycling friends – to travel here and experience the Giro in Israel next May 4th-6th. If you’ve never visited before, you will be amazed by this special place. For returning visitors, come join the celebration, which may very well be the biggest outdoor party ever.”

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