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Cycling superstars to race first ever Giro d’Italia Criterium at Expo 2020 Dubai

28/10/2021

Giro d'Italia Criterium

Bernal, Sagan, Ganna and Viviani among the names set to race 30 laps of a 2.1km circuit in Dubai on 6 November.

RCS Sport announces the first ever Giro d’Italia Criterium, organised with the support of MadeinItaly.gov.it, Dubai Sports Council and Expo 2020 Dubai. The 30 lap short-format race will take place on 6 November on a 2.1km circuit in Dubai, as part of the Expo 2020 Dubai – the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, where the ‘Made in Italy’ campaign is showcasing Italian excellence.

Among the high-profile riders already confirmed on the entry list are 2021 Giro d’Italia winner and 2019 Tour de France yellow jersey Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), three-time UCI Road Race World Champion Peter Sagan (BORA hansgrohe), winner of the Maglia Ciclamino (Points Classifications) of the last edition of the Corsa Rosa, nine-time Grand Tour stage winner Elia Viviani (Cofidis), 2021 Giro d’Italia winner of the KOM Classification Geoffrey Bouchard and the two-time UCI ITT World Champion Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers), winner of six stages of the Giro d’Italia.

Organised in collaboration with the Dubai Sports Council and Expo 2020 Dubai, the race will see riders tackle a criterium circuit in the shape of the Giro d’Italia’s ‘Amore Infinito’ infinity symbol. The race will take place near the Expo 2020’s Italian Pavilion – a centre showcasing the beauty of ‘Made in Italy’ products and experiences, where the Giro d’Italia trophy will be on display. The Pavilion will also host a ‘meet and greet’ session with the race’s competitors the day before the event, providing fans the opportunity to speak to their favourite riders. That evening, on 5 November, riders will also attend a gala dinner in celebration of the inaugural race, with a top rider sat at each table.

His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council: “It is a great pleasure for me to announce another high-profile cycling event to Dubai’s exciting sports calendar for 2021. We already host five international cycling events in Dubai every year, and the Giro d ‘Italia Criterium will be a novel new addition, especially since it is taking place in Expo 2020 Dubai, where the world has come together for the greatest show in history. The Giro d ’Italia Criterium is an exciting short-format race and it features top cycling stars like 2021 Giro d’Italia winner Egan Bernal, three-time UCI Road Race World Champion Peter Sagan, and, of course, Elia Viviani. So we are really excited about this one-off event. We are pleased to work alongside our long-time partners RCS to bring this event to our cycling fans, and to promote the many benefits of cycling as a sport and a recreation activity. Cycling has grown rapidly in Dubai and the UAE over the years, since we started with the Dubai Tour in 2014, and now the UAE Tour, and I am confident events like this will give a further boost to the popularity of this sport here.”

H.E. Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, praised the announcement of the organisation and establishment of the first “Giro d’Italia Criterium” at Expo 2020 Dubai, which confirms the UAE’s interest and keenness in sports and the organization of events that contribute to encouraging the community to interact with sports and promote the modern style of a life full of happiness and positive energy for members of the community, stressing that the race will highlight the status of sports events and their distinctive presence within the Expo 2020 Dubai.

“The Giro d’Italia is a true expression of the sense we want to give to Expo: Connecting people, connecting minds and connecting countries,” said the Commissioner for Italy’s Participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, Paolo Glisenti. “Giro d’Italia puts together the beauty of our country, its landscapes, cities and villages and cycling as a factual prove of our tendency to explore, to travel, to know new territories. That’s the perfect spirit of Italy’s participation in Expo Dubai.”

“International sport is a key element of Expo 2020, and we are delighted to be hosting the first-ever Giro d’Italia Criterium with the Italian pavilion and RCS Sport,” said Kevin Brown, VP Events and Entertainment, Expo 2020 Dubai. “Our partnership with RCS Sport unites a shared purpose of international cooperation towards a heathier, happier and safer planet and is a fantastic addition to Expo 2020’s full sports, fitness and wellbeing programme.”

Paolo Bellino, CEO of RCS Sport, said: “For the first time we have managed, together with our partners the Dubai Sports Council, within an important event such as Expo Dubai 2020, to organize the first Giro d’Italia Criterium. This is also a way to export ‘Made in Italy’ to the world, with the support of the Italian Government. The winners of the four leader’s jerseys of the 2021 Giro d’Italia -Egan Bernal, Peter Sagan and Geoffrey Bouchard – will be at the start on Saturday 6 along with other great riders such as Filippo Ganna, Elia Viviani, Marc Hirschi and Lorenzo Fortunato. I am sure it will be a great show and a very important opportunity to promote Italian excellence, such as the Giro d’Italia.”

“There are three ‘hulls’ on the roof of the Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai: one goes in the direction of strengthening the friendship between Italy and the Emirates, the other in promoting Italy and Made in Italy in the MENASA area, and the third goes towards the communication in the world of Italian innovation. MAECI – ICE’s support for the Giro d’Italia Criterium goes in all these directions because the Giro d’Italia is an icon not only of the beauty of the Italian territory, but also of the excellence of the technological clusters that are found along the entire Giro route. In addition, it is because the Italian bicycle industry is among the first in Europe for innovation and technology of materials and components, and we want to promote it in the world “– says Carlo Ferro, President of ICE Agenzia.

For more information about the Expo 2020 Dubai, click here and visit the website.

To learn more about Made in Italy, click here and visit website.

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