Giro d’Italia a bit hit in Israel

May 7, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Giro d’Italia ‘Big Start’ reached its climax in southern Israel as the 175 riders from 22 teams raced towards the finish line in the country’s southernmost city, Eilat.

It was the closing chapter of an historic three days, during which cycling has captured the Israeli public imagination.

 

Photo: LaPresse – D’Alberto / Ferrari / Paolone / Alpozzi

Stage three set off today from Beer Sheva before taking in southern Israel’s dramatic scenery, including the Ramon Crater. The riders were cheered along the 226km route by groups of local supporters, with many having prepared visual displays on the roadside in pink, continuing the Israeli public’s enthusiastic embrace of the Giro d’italia. The race has dominated the front pages and headlines of all Israeli news outlets since the race began on Friday.

Having led much of yesterday’s stage from Haifa to Tel Aviv, Israel Cycling Academy’s Guillaume Boivin once again hit the front of the race early on, narrowly missing out on the King of the Mountains blue jersey. The riders were aided by a strong wind and eventually the race was won by Elia Viviani for the second day in a row.

General Classification Leader at the end of the Big Start Israel, Rohan Dennis, in a Press Conference following the race, said that the crowd “took to the race very well, it is almost as if they were a really big cycling country.”

 

Honorary President of ‘Big Start’ Israel Sylvan Adams said: “I thought we reached the pinnacle Thursday with the Team Presentations and gala opening party. But the time trial in Jerusalem was simply magical, as the helicopter footage of this historic and splendid city, lined with cheering fans took it up to another level. Then yesterday’s wow, as tens of thousands of fans watched the riders depart Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, and then thousands more in Acre, Zichron Yaakov, Caesaria, Netanya before reaching Tel Aviv, where the biggest crowds of all received the riders.

But on our last stage, through the dramatic Negev desert, we were entirely entertained by ICA [Israel Cycling Academy] rider, Guillaume Boivin. After yesterday’s courageous solo breakaway, he once again got in the break, and again narrowly missed the King of the Mountains jersey.

Photo: LaPresse – D’Alberto / Ferrari / Paolone / Alpozzi

This race has exceeded my expectations. Israelis are the greatest fans in the world. Even the Italians told me that they hadn’t seen crowds and energy like this before.

For me, Israel has already won this race, as it afforded hundreds of millions of TV spectators to see our beautiful country, and feel the warmth of our people, bearing witness that Israel is a diverse, open, free and safe country. This was a Giro d’Israel, a three-day tour around our special country.”

According to Ministry of Tourism estimates: to date, more than half a billion people around the world have been exposed to the ministry’s campaign, within the framework of the Giro d’Italia Big Start in Israel.

This includes, among others, various media platforms and during the broadcast of the race on Eurosport TV and online. In light of this success, Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin has instructed the ministry to expand the various campaigns currently live in countries around the world, with an emphasis on Europe. This, in order to exploit the tremendous exposure and interest in Israel as a result of the race.

The cyclists and their entourage now headed to Sicily on three specially chartered aircraft.

Stage 3:   Beersheva to Eilat   Photos: LaPresse – D’Alberto / Ferrari / Paolone / Alpozzi

 

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