The 2016 Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia NI will close for registrations on Sunday 15 May at 24:00 hours. After the huge success of the inaugural event in 2015, the cycling legacy of the 2014 Giro d’Italia Big Start will live on and cyclists are being urged to register before it is too late.

The event will take place on Sunday June 5th and will give participants a truly authentic Giro experience with fully policed closed roads. With nearly 4,000 riders registered, traveling from countries such as Australia, Spain, Sweden, Canada, France, Germany, Lithuania, Malaysia, Norway and the USA, this promises to be one of the stand out sportive events of the season.

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Big name champions Stephen Roche (1987 Giro d’Italia winner) and Gianni Bugno (1990 Giro d’Italia winner) will take part and will also attend the official opening dinner held at Coppi on Friday 3rd email or call+44 (0) 28 9089 1004 to reserve a place. Official sponsors of the dinner are Menabrea Beer and Farnese Vini – which along with Tony O’Neill’s famous Italian cuisine, will ensure a great evening takes place.

Gran Fondo organiser Darach McQuaid said“We are absolutely delighted at the growth the event is seeing for our second edition. We aim to make this event one of the must-do sportives in the UK & Ireland and working with our key partners Tourism NI, Menabrea Beer, Newry Mourne & Down Council, Garmin and others, the rider experience will be enhanced and Northern Ireland will be promoted as a great place to cycle. It is also very satisfying to see how many riders are traveling from all corners of the world to participate and this is something we will continue to focus on growing.”

There will be two routes to cycle for the Gran Fondo Giro d’Italia.  The Mourne Route, a 175km ride will challenge the fittest riders by providing tough climbs and take them through some breath-taking scenery including the Spelga Dam and Slieve Croob with views over Lough Neagh. The Strangford Route, a 58km loop achievable for beginner and novice cyclists covering a route around North Down with the beauty of Strangford Lough to keep them company for much of this route. Both routes start and finish in Belfast, at the iconic Titanic Belfast building. Event registration takes place on Saturday 4th at Titanic Exhibition Centre which will also host our event from the NI Festival of Cycling, including a televised round of Street Velodrome, the UK pop up track series.

Participants will enjoy mechanical support on route, fully stocked food and hydration stations on both routes, a Giro Gift Bag with unique items, a post-ride pasta party with Menbrea beer and Farnese wine and finishers’ medals and a closing ceremony on the Sunday at 17:30. Lots of family activities will take place as part of the NI Festival of Cycling