D.C. Mayor Fenty Meets with Giro d’Italia Organizers

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Organizers of the Giro d’Italia met with D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty yesterday to discuss plans to bring one of professional cycling’s most prestigious events to the streets of the District, as The New York Times reports.

While the meeting seems to make it more likely that the bicycle race will make it stateside in 2012 — not 2011 as we had originally heard — head race organizer Angelo Zomegnan offered cautious optimism that it will actually happen. “We can’t say it will 100 percent start here, but we think that it is very, very possible and we’re moving forward to work together. There are a lot of things that must happen in the next few weeks before we can say it’s 100 percent. But I think it looks good,” he told The Times.

Under a proposal presented to race organizers, the District would play host to an opening prologue and a first stage — both of which would stay within the city’s geographic boundaries. The prologue, most often an individual time trial, would likely take place around the District’s federal monuments, while the first stage would be a circuit race with a finishing circuit around the federal core and a longer circuit weaving through the city’s neighborhoods.

The most pressing concern for race organizers is likely the transfer times involved. Professional cyclists involved in stage races often face transfers from the end of one stage to the start of another, but almost none rivaling the eight-hour plane ride and six-hour time difference that would come as a consequence of starting the Giro in the District. CyclingNews.com wrote yesterday that the transfer complications could be somewhat mitigated by adding other stages in cities including Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Toronto.

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