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Fancy hosting the Giro d'Italia in your local town?

Italy's Grand Tour is looking for towns to apply to host the race online and we want to bring it to the UK

Joe Robinson
6 Oct 2020

Fancy hosting the Giro d’Italia in your local town? Because it turns out almost anybody can.

Alerted to the fact on Twitter by one of our colleagues at Rouleur, Ian Cleverley, it appears that the RCS and Mauro Vegni is flaunting the Italian Grand Tour about to whoever fancies stumping up the cash to host a stage. To the extent that the official Giro d’Italia website has an online form for prospective hosts to fill out with their pitch as to why their town or area should host the race for Maglia Rosa.

From first looks, it appears that the only option for a ‘host nation’ is Italy, but considering the Giro’s love of taking its Grand Partenza abroad, we are certain that you can put in a bid for your local town, whether it be Whitby or Washington.

The site simply lays out the facts, stating: ‘The Giro d’Italia is an unrivalled international event, a unique opportunity to show the world the extraordinary beauty of our country. It isn’t simply a sporting event, but rather a media showcase beyond compare, an unmissable chance to describe a country through the emotion of cycling, a golden opportunity for our cities.’

It goes on to add ‘If you are the legal representative of a Municipality, a Region or any other Promoter Organization, and you would like your institution to become a part of the Giro d’Italia, fill out the form below and send your application’.

According to RCS, there are some short and mid to long term benefits of hosting the Giro, too. In terms of short term benefits, it claims ‘increased expenditure and consumption’ and ‘increased employment, support from and collaboration with local partners’. As for the long-term, that’s ‘media coverage and visibility’, ‘increased tourism demand’ and promotion of the territory and of local excellence’.

While the form may look like something used for viewers of Good Morning Britain to win a Winnebago, this is very much the real deal. It turns out that Giro race organiser Mauro Vegni is happy to take Italy’s Grand race to anywhere willing to pay the relevant fees. After all, it has left Italy's borders to start the race on 13 occasions, including a rainy trip to Belfast in 2014.

And based on reports in Hungarian media reporting on the since-postponed Grande Partenza in Budapest, those fees could total €24 million. The privilege of holding the opening three stages and pre-race team presentation certainly doesn't look like it comes cheap.

Now, while I am roughly €23,999,950 short of the amount needed to host the Giro, I may get onto the local dignitaries of my hometown Swanley and the Sevenoaks District Council regarding a whip-round for the outstanding amount. After all, I think we have all the necessary requirements to host the start of a Grand Tour.

There is a fairly-new Premier Inn on the edge of town for the riders to stay in, a big 24-hours Asda that teams can use for supplies, a traditional pie and mash shop for Giro representatives and VIPs to be hosted in, the main road by the petrol station has just been resurfaced, there are plenty of dual-carriageways for an old school 10-mile time trial and the wider district has some pretty excellent roads, not least one of the steepest in the south-east, York’s Farm hill.

In all seriousness though, considering the utter success of the Tour de France and World Championships in Yorkshire over the last half a decade, bringing the best Grand Tour to the UK is something we really should do. It would be fantastic. I'll get started on Mr Vegni's form right away.

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