Coleraine prepares for Giro D’Italia!

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One of the biggest cycling events in the world will swing into the Borough of Coleraine next May.

On May 10, around 200 elite cyclists like Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome will experience our North Coast as the world famous Giro D’Italia comes to the Province.

Northern Ireland will be hosting the opening stages of Giro d’Italia 2014.

The annual multiple stage race is primarily held in Italy and along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, the Giro makes up cycling’s prestigious, three week-long Grand Tours.

The professional cyclists will enter the borough of Coleraine from Ballybogey at the Royal Court hotel, along the coast roast past the iconic Dunluce Castle to Bushmills - a seven mile route.

Members of Coleraine Borough Council were briefed about the event at last Tuesday night’s meeting.

Corporate Director of Leisure and Development, Richard Baker told members that some plans were already in place for the event.

Describing it as an ‘incredible spectacle’, Mr Baker told members that 165 different countries televise the race. He added hat there is a daily audience of around 1.7 million.

Outlining the benefits to the borough, the Director went on: “There are around 140,000 visitors expected in Northern Ireland for the race, and around £10 million worth of media coverage.

“We will be taking advantage and marketing our North Coast by dressing the route to the get best from it.”

He outlined events already planned including a schools event coinciding with the pink theme of the race, and a local race organised by the Bann Wheelers.

“It’s a real opportunity to promote the borough, probably the most attractive part of their route, so we really want to sell the area,” said Mr Baker.

Welcoming the race, UUP councillor Richard Holmes said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Northern Ireland and the borough of Coleraine.

“We already know that we’re good at creating a buzz, we must do the same for this.”