The Giro d'Italia, one of the most prestigious professional road cycling races, came to Ireland on 9th to 11 May 2014. The 'Big Start' or 'Grande Partenza' was held in Belfast and then involved routes around the stunning Causeway Coast, Armagh and Dublin before moving to Italy for the remainder of the race.
If you want to test your ability on the same terrain and routes as the professionals rode as part of the Grande Partenza then please see each of the stage maps below.
Start – Belfast (Titanic)
Finish – Belfast (City Hall)
Start – Armagh City Centre
Finish – Dublin City Centre
The first stage of the Giro d'Italia started from the Titanic Slipways in Belfast for the Team Time Trial, the 22 teams then made their way separately towards Stormont Estate before finishing at City Hall.
The winning team, Orica GreenEdge, completed the 22km course in a time of 24 minutes and 42 seconds. Team member, Svein Tuft was awarded the pink jersey or the 'Maglia Rosa' at the presentation at City Hall, which also marked his 37th birthday.
Day two started at Titanic Belfast after which the competitors made their way towards the Coast via Ballymena and Ballymoney. Once hitting the Coast just outside Portrush they continued to make their way back to Belfast via the stunning Causeway Coastal Route.
After racing for just over 5 hours, this stage race ended in a sprint finish at City Hall with the outstanding favourite, Marcel Kittel from Giant-Shimano taking the win. Eighth place for Michael Matthews from Orica GreenEdge was enough to move him into the lead place securing the pink jersey.
Day three's race started from the Mall in the Cathedral City of Armagh before heading south where it eventually crossed the Border into the Republic of Ireland. From here the route continued onto Dundalk and finally into Dublin for a stage finish in the City Centre.
Marcel Kittel from Giant-Shimano claimed back-to-back stage wins with another victory having completed the day in less than 4.5 hours. Michael Matthews from Orica-GreenEdge retained the pink jersey leading the race back to Italy.