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by Shane Stokes
September 19, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Bjerg beats McNulty to win under 23 world TT title; Pirrone wins junior world championship time trial; Wiasak and Cavanagh take Amy’s Otway Tour success; Giro d’Italia confirms 2018 start in Israel; Van Vleuten extends contract with Orica-Scott; Van Baarle joins Team Sky; Contador’s Polartec-Kometa Continental team names first eight riders; Elinor Barker Returns to Wiggle High 5; Obree to sell medals, Beastie bike and other memorabilia at auction this week; Rooderkerken grabs the Human Powered Speed Title and Dutch record in Battle Mountain, Slappendel places second; Video: Hotter’n Hell Hundred 2017 Mini-Doc; Video: Cycling around the world in 80 days – BBC News; Video: Worst Retirement Ever Short – Pepperdine Hill KOM, with data
Confirming rumours from last month, the Giro d’Italia announced on Monday that the first three stages of next year’s race will be held in Israel. Marking the first time a Grand Tour will start outside Europe and the 13th Big Start outside Italy, the race will get underway on Friday May 4 with a individual time trial taking place in Jerusalem and finishing close to the walls of the Old City.
Day two is a 167 kilometre road race from Haifa to Tel Aviv, with the route undulating around Acri and taking in the race’s first King of the Mountains prime at Zikron Yakov. From there the second half of the stage flattens out on wide roads, with the likely bunch sprint occurring on the seafront.
The third stage is longer at 226 kilometres. It runs from Be’er Sheva to Eilat on the Red Sea, with some gentle climbs early on. The route launch in Jerusalem included a tribute at the Yad Vashem Memorial to Gino Bartali, who helped Jewish people during World War 2, and was attended by former winners Alberto Contador and Ivan Basso.
“It is amazing that the Giro d’Italia will start outside Europe, and that’s good news for the world of cycling,” said recently-retired Contador. “I have already visited Israel and Jerusalem in 2012 so I know how this will be an exceptional Giro and a great opportunity for the people. For me it is an incredible race with special fans; in the three years I raced the Giro I rode every day with a smile on my face.”
“The start from Jerusalem is a metaphorical bridge between our two lands, made up of history, culture and traditions,” said Luca Lotti, Italian Minister of Sports. “There is another aspect that makes me particularly proud: the fact that this edition of the Giro d’Italia will celebrate the memory of the great Gino Bartali. It is beautiful that he is remembered right here in Jerusalem.”