Gelderland turns pink to launch the 99th Giro d’Italia cycle race
The 99th edition of the Giro d’Italia round-Italy cycle race starts in Gelderland on Friday with three days of racing involving 22 teams of nine riders.
The Giro starts with a time trial through central Apeldoorn on Friday, when king Willem-Alexander will be on hand to welcome the riders. On Saturday there is a 190 km stage from Arnhem to Nijmegen and on Sunday the teams will head back from Nijmegen to Arnhem again.
Then, after a rest day, there will be 18 further stages to reach the finish on 29 May.
The local organisers have put nearly €13m into the event, which they expect to earn back from the thousands of cycling fans who will flock to the province to watch the race.
In total, Gelderland expects 460,000 people to turn out to support the riders during the three Dutch days of cycling. Worldwide, some 800 million television viewers are expected to tune in, which the local organisers hope will give a major boost to local tourism.
The Netherlands has been the start of several big cycle races in recent years. In 2015, the Tour de France kicked off in Utrecht, as it did in Rotterdam in 2010. Amsterdam also staged the start of the Giro that year.