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Giro 2014: Common Questions

Download the Giro d'Italia Essential Guide for all the details:

Giro Essential Guide

1. What is Giro d'Italia?

Giro D'Italia is one of the world's most prestigious sporting events and one of the European cycling calendar's three Grand Tours, along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. It is a long distance, multi-stage bicycle road race for professional cyclists, held primarily in Italy, over a three-week period in May and June each year.  Every other year its opening stages are held outside its home country. 

2. When and where is the Giro Taking Place?

The Grande Partenza or ‘Big Start’ of the Giro d’Italia will take place over three days from 9 - 11 May 2014 and involves routes in Belfast, around the stunning Causeway Coast and Armagh before moving on to Dublin.

Festivities will kick off on the evening of Thursday 8 May with the Giro d'Italia Opening Event - Come Meet the Riders! in the grounds of Belfast City Hall. This will be a great opportunity to see the teams up close and enjoy the party atmosphere. Unfortunately tickets have now all been allocated.  For information on collecting tickets from Visit Belfast see here.

Day 1 Friday 9th May: Team Time Trial, Titanic Quarter, Belfast - City Hall, Belfast (21.7 kilometres)

Day 2 Saturday 10th May: Titanic Quarter, Belfast - City Hall, Belfast (taking in the Causeway Coastal Route) (218 kilometres)

Day 3 Sunday 11th May: Armagh - Dublin (75.4 kilometres)

For race timings see Question 4.

3. What is the Giro Route?

Detailed information on the Giro route in Northern Ireland can be found below.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

4. What is the Giro Caravan and where will it visit?

A highlight of any Giro d'Italia is the Caravan. This colourful race convoy of branded cars will tour the route before the race arrives, bringing with it a real wave of excitement plus entertainment to the towns and villages along the way... as well as plenty of freebies!  Watch out for the last vehicle in the Caravan, The Broom Wagon, which sweeps up everything left behind.

The Caravan will stop at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Day 1 of the race as well as seven locations on Day 2 and two locations on Day 3.

See below for Caravan stops, and when to expect the Caravan and Peloton (main body of riders) on each day of the race.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

5. What is the Fan Park and Team Paddock, and where will they be?

The Fan Park in Belfast will be an atmospheric hub where you can enjoy live radio/TV broadcasts, celebrity appearances, competitions, prize giveaways, trade stands, entertainment and children's activities.  The Fan Park will be located at Hamilton Dock, beside SS Nomadic, on Thursday 8 May (1pm - 5:30pm), Friday 9 May (10am - 8pm) and Saturday 10 May (8am - 6pm). 

Visiting the Team Paddock is an amazing opportunity for fans to get up close and personal to the riders and teams as they go through their various preparations for the race.  In Belfast the Team Paddock will be located at the Slipways behind Titanic Belfast from 9am - 8pm on Friday 9 May.  On the following day, teams will arrive at the Paddock area around 8:30 to 9:30am for Stage 2.  In Armagh the city's iconic Mall will be home to the Team Paddock on the morning of Sunday 11 May.

6. What will the event be like?  Will it be suitable for families?

See The Giro d'Italia for Families

Giro is traditionally a great family event.  It's the perfect opportunity to see cycling's elite in action and there'll be a carnival atmosphere to match.

In addition to the spectacle and entertainment at the Caravan and Fan Park, special Giro-themed events and festivals will be held in locations all along the route, particularly in the start venues of Belfast (where there will be an eight-day Giro festival running from 3 - 11 May) and Armagh.  See here for details of all events. 

7. What Riders/Teams can I expect to see?

Expect to see some of the biggest names in the sport. 

View the confirmed rider list for the competing 22 teams here.

8. Which roads will close and when?

Full road closures will be in operation whilst the race takes place and a full list of those affected areas can be found below.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3

There will be road closures for non-emergency vehicles at start and finish towns, especially near the start/finish lines. These closures will last longer than at other points along the route. People are advised to avoid driving in these town centres on race day.

9. Will there be parking available along the route?

Local authorities along the route have arranged car parking provision. Cars cannot park on the roads of the route, even if this is where you usually park.

Full details of car parking provision can be found here.

10. What public transport will be available for Giro?

Translink are organising a host of special and additional train and bus services during Giro.  There will be enhanced Park and Ride facilities and extra shuttle services so check online for details.  Also, expect some changes to normal services due to the race and road closures.  Allow extra time for your journey.  Some timetable changes and diversions to bus services will be in place.

Visit www.translink.co.uk/giro for details or call the contact centre on (028) 9066 6630.

Please note: on Friday 9 May, the 20:05 Belfast - Dublin Connolly Enterprise train service has been deferred to 21:05 to allow travel back to Dublin after the Team Time Trial.

11.  Do I have to pay to watch the Giro d'Italia anywhere along the route?

The Giro d’Italia is a free event which is fully accessible and opened to the public.  Therefore you do not require a pass or ticket to watch or take part in the three stages being hosted in Northern Ireland.

12. How do I access Health Care if required during Giro?

Health care information for visitors during Giro can be found here.

13. How do I Book Accommodation?

Information on booking accommodation along the route plus special offers can be found here.

14. Can I watch Giro live on TV?

BBC Two NI will screen live, free-to-air coverage of the three opening stages of Giro in Northern Ireland and the Republic from 9 - 11 May.

Viewers outside Northern Ireland will be able to watch BBC Two NI’s live coverage on Sky channel 972 or Freesat 969, or online via the BBC Sport website.
 
Once the event leaves Ireland, fans can follow the event with BBC Northern Ireland by watching daily stage highlights on the BBC Sport NI website as the race continues in Italy.

Live TV coverage of the stages in Belfast and Dublin, as well as all the remaining stages in Italy, will also be broadcast by British Eurosport, while Sky Sports will also screen daily highlights of every stage from the event.

Activities you'll love...

Official Giro Links

Giro d'Italia Big Start 2014

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Visit Belfast Causeway Coast & Glens Visit Armagh Translink - Northern Ireland Public Transport