Denmark to Host Three Opening Stages of 2012 Giro d'Italia

News & Results

04/1/2011| 0 comments
by AP and Roadcycling.com
The 2012 Giro d'Italia will start in Jutland in the Western part of Denmark.
The 2012 Giro d'Italia will start in Jutland in the Western part of Denmark.

Denmark to Host Three Opening Stages of 2012 Giro d'Italia

The 2012 Giro d'Italia will start in Jutland in the Western part of Denmark.

The 2012 Giro d'Italia will start in Jutland in the Western part of Denmark.

The 2012 Giro d'Italia will begin with a prologue in the city of Herning on May 5, followed the day after with a 200 kilometer second stage in the flat hinterland with a start and finish in Herning, Giacomo Catano of race organizer RCS Sport said on Friday.

The riders will then move to the nearby city of Horsens for a 200 kilometer third stage before transferring to Italy by plane to complete the remaining part of the race in Italy.

In 2010, the Giro started with a time trial in Amsterdam. This year's edition starts in Turin. The start in Denmark will be the 10th time that the Giro has started on non-Italian soil. Aside from Amsterdam, the Giro has started in the San Marino Republic in 1965, in Monaco/Monte-Carlo in 1966, in Verviers, Belgium in 1973, in the Vatican State in 1974, in Athens, Greece in 1996, in Nice (France) in 1998, in Groningen (The Netherlands) in 2002 and also from Seraing in Belgium in 2006.

Herning Mayor Lars Krarup said the city had also tried to attract the start of the Tour de France but in vain.

His colleague from Horsens, Jan Trøjborg, said getting the Giro was "huge for us" and added "We share a strong tradition for cycling and are experienced in handling large, international events and we look forward to this challenge and to giving the Italians a perfect start to the race in 2012."

Giro organizers RCS Sport commented "At RCS Sport we are impressed by the commitment and professional approach that the Danish authorities have displayed while creating and presenting the project to host the Giro d'Italia in their country."

RCS Sport added "In return, RCS Sport will do its absolute best to provide value and visibility to the grand opening in Denmark to more than 300 million fans of the Giro all over the world. It is an opportunity that we are pleased to offer to this wonderful country (Denmark) and its charming people, to showcase their well-known tolerant and hospitable lifestyle."

Herning, 170 miles west of Copenhagen, is the hometown of team Saxo Bank-SunGard owner Bjarne Riis, who in 2007 admitted using performance-enhancing drugs to win the 1996 Tour de France.

The Saxo Bank-Sungard squad has been invited to this year's Giro d'Italia, and its top rider Alberto Contador plans to make the race his first major three-week race since the Spanish cycling federation cleared the Tour de France champion of doping.

The World Anti-Doping Agency and International Cycling Union have appealed Contador's acquittal. The Spaniard can continue racing until the Court of Arbitration for Sport issues a ruling.

The third-tier Continental team of disgraced former Tour de France leader Michael Rasmussen is also based in Herning.

"It would be great to have it start here below our office windows," Rasmussen said in a TV interview earlier today. Rasmussen's Team Christina Watches-Onfone is hoping to receive a wildcard invitation to the 2012 Giro and Roadcycling.com is hoping to

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