Giro d'Italia set to start in Belfast and then visit Dublin in 2014
By Matt Westby - follow @MattSkyCycling. Last Updated: 11/01/13 8:59pm
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A second Grand Tour looks set to be on its way to British shores in 2014 after French media reported that next year's Giro d'Italia will start in Belfast and also visit Dublin.
With the Tour de France already on its way to Yorkshire, L'Equipe today revealed that a £3.9million joint Northern Irish and Irish bid had been approved by Giro organisers RCS Sport.
The proposal was submitted by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) and Failte Ireland in conjunction with Stormont and the Irish government.
It is hoped that hosting the event would generate up to £10million for the local economy.
The Giro has been held outside of Italy on 10 occasions, but never before in the United Kingdom.
The bulk of the funding for the successful bid came from the NITB, although it is understood Belfast City Council contributed £400,000.
It is expected that the Giro's start, known as the Grande Partenza, would take place over the bank holiday weekend of May 2-4.
RCS Sport refused to confirm the reports.