The Giro d’Italia is one of the biggest cycling events in the world and this weekend the elite peleton is rolling into Dublin.
The Giro d’Italia is one of cycling’s greatest races – second only to the Tour de France. The Grand Tour is hitting our shores this year. Stage 1 and 2 take place on Friday and Saturday in the North and Stage 3 on Sunday will descend 187 km to Dublin from Armagh. 200 elite cyclists are racing to our city to win the coveted pink jersey and will cross the finish line in Merrion Square.
On Your Bike
Ladies, you’re being encouraged to get on your bikes. The One4All Women on Wheels Giro Cycle for Oxfam, is a loop from Merrion Square to Bull Island in Clontarf and back. It takes place on Saturday 10th May and you can register here.
The Bealtaine festival is recruiting a bicycle gang of over 50s and encouraging bicycle mischief – we’re thinking wheelies?
For anyone else who wants to get on an actual bike this weekend try See Dublin By Bike, who are doing a special ‘Let Dublin surprise you’ – Giro special tour, from Fade Street, Dublin 2. Storymap Dublin are also doing alternative tours of the city by bike.
Following that you can check out a free outdoor performance at nearby Café Rothar. And don’t miss the cycle show at the main event Merrion Square on Saturday and Sunday.
There’s plenty to do even without a bike, with an Italian-meets-biking cultural programme running alongside the race: Sample some lunchtime Italian opera in the Open on Friday at Civic offices Amphitheatre or check out the Film Festival at Meeting House Square celebrating 2-wheeled-cinema. Borza Tours are doing special ‘Treasures of Italy’ tours on Saturday May 10th. The tours are free but register attendance here.
For storytelling celebration of the bike the Irish Writers’ Centre is hosting City Bike Tales at The Town We Love So Well for bike related poetry, prose, flash fiction, comedy, music on Friday 9th May.
Pizza & Pasta Parties
There will be Italian food and drink on offer at the Giro Fan Park in Merrion Square and local businesses are putting on special celebrations along the race route. In town Dunne & Crescenzi have some special deals as do Fallon & Byrne’s Food Hall.
What to wear:
Cyclists are competing for a pink jersey and in solidarity with them all we’re being encouraged to ‘pink the city’. Wear pinks, make a blush banner, get some candy floss, pink your bike, rouge your face and dye your hair any shade of fuchsia – Belfast’s Lord Mayor did! A pink raincoat could also be a good idea: The forecast is for showers.
Need to know:
Crowds are expected so come prepared. There are plenty of wonderful viewing points along the Dublin section (taking in Balbriggan, Skerries, Lusk, Malahide, Howth, Clontarf, East Wall Road, City Quay, City Centre). Ensure you are at your vantage point at least 90 minutes before the riders are due as roads will be closed to facilitate the event – it’s also recommended you take public transport.
Stage 3 of Giro d’Italia from Armagh to Dublin finishes in Merrion Square Sunday, 11th of May. Get on your bike, think pink and cheer on the elite cyclists.
All images via Giro d’Italia Big Start; lead image © Graham Watson; Giro d’Italia trophy image credit Brian Lawless, © Sportsfile