Will the first iconic pink jersey of the 2014 Giro d’Italia be settled in Dublin? Let’s hope so…..
The Governments in the Republic and Northern Ireland and councils in Dublin and Belfast have been approached with a plan to host the opening stages of the Giro d’Italia.
The proposal has been put forward by Darach McQuaid, operating as Shadetree Sports. McQuaid is a former Irish international, is the brother of UCI president Pat McQuaid and also ran the now defunct Tour of Ireland professional bike race.
He also acted as a consultant when Richmond in the US last year successfully bid to stage the World Road Race Championships in 2015.
Sources in Dublin City Council have confirmed to stickybottle that Darach McQuaid approached the council last year with proposals to start the Giro in the city in 2014. Political sources in Dublin have also confirmed that the Irish Government was approached around the same time, but some have said they believe the start date is “moveable”.
Documents obtained by stickybottle reveal the idea has been discussed at Belfast City Council. Those discussions, which appear to have been brief, took place in February.
Exact details of the plans are unclear at this stage, but sources in Dublin have indicated while the city council was approached with the plan last year there has been no work done to date within the council to progress the matter.
The same sources said the council was waiting until McQuaid’s Shadetree Sports returned to them with a blueprint, and that the proposal could not be considered properly until it was outlined in detail, including costs.
Dublin City Council and the Irish Government anticipate that McQuaid’s next step would be to reach an agreement in principal with the company that organises the race to bring it to Ireland. If that agreement was secured, the plan would be at the point of being considered by the Irish authorities.
It is unclear what stage the talks are at between McQuaid and the race organisers.
The Giro is run by RCS Sport, which also runs key Italian one-day races such as Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Lombardy. It also manages the commercial interests of the Italian soccer team and organises other events such as the Milan Marathon and a range of motorsport and rugby events.
If the Giro were to come to Ireland it would most likely involve a prologue or Team Time Trial opening stage, followed by two road stages.
The route of the 2013 race is due to be unveiled in Milan later this month. While there has been no news, until now, that a plan to bring the race to Ireland was even under consideration it is possible the exposure on stickybottle this evening will lead to an announcement in the days ahead at the World Road Race Championships in Valkenburg or shortly after.