Top cycle race set to give a boost to area

A previous Giro d'Italia.
A previous Giro d'Italia.

ONE of the world’s biggest sporting events is coming to north Antrim next year, it has been reported.

BBC News NI last week said they could reveal the route of next May’s prestigious Giro d’Italia cycle race - ahead of the official launch on Monday. And the news has been welcomed by local politicians.

A leg - a 218km cycle - starts in Belfast and goes to Antrim, Ballymena and up through the Ballymoney Borough to Bushmills and then on to the Giant’s Causeway taking in the coastline from Cushendall to Larne and back to Belfast.

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has welcomed the announcement.

He said: “This will be a huge boost to tourism in this area. It will also be a huge boost to cycling and we now need to ensure that NITB and Tourism Ireland do the work that is required to maximise the economic benefits of this for the North Antrim area and the economy as a whole.”

And the news that The Giro d’italia cycle race next May will cover almost the entire length of Moyle has been welcomed by The Chairperson of Moyle District Council, Sinn Fein Councillor Cara McShane.

She said: “I am delighted that The Giro d’italia will travel right through Moyle. It was announced that the race will travel from Bushmills, through Ballycastle and into The Glens on its way back to Belfast. It will present us with an opportunity to showcase Moyle to a worldwide audience as coverage of the race is broadcast in over one hundred countries around the globe. I would like to congratulate the staff at Moyle District Council who have put a great deal of work into attracting The Giro to our area.”

Glens Sinn Fein councillor Colum Thompson said: “It is a massive coup to attract this race to The Glens. Images of the route through parts of Cushendun, Cushendall and Glenariff will be beamed into millions of homes.

Independent councillor Padraig McShane said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for Moyle to showcase itself to a worldwide audience. I must pay tribute to the staff of Council who acted out our call for the inclusion of Moyle in the Giro. In addition to the officers I would sincerely like to thank Patsy and Armando Bertuccelli who’s call to have the Giro come to Moyle was heeded by organisers.”