Tel Aviv, 12th February 2018 – At the BIT International Tourism Exchange trade show in Milan, the Israel Government Tourist Office in cooperation with RCS Sport, publishing house and official organizer of the Giro d’Italia, is hosting a themed corner at the Israeli booth (Pad 4, B63 – C62) to celebrate the race’s ‘Big Start’.  This year’s Giro d’Italia will start with three stages in Israel, beginning in Jerusalem on May 4thIt will be the first time that one of cycling’s three Grand Tour races (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana) has ever been held outside Europe. 

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the special Giro d’Italia display area took place Sunday 11 February at 12:00, in the presence of Ofer Sachs, Ambassador of Israel in Italy, Avital Kotzer Adari, Councilor for Tourist Affairs of the Embassy of Israel and Pier Battista Bergonzi, Deputy Editor in Chief of Gazzetta dello Sport – Delegate Sport Cycling.
The opening of the dedicated corner was marked by the unveiling of an official Giro d’Italia ‘Big Start’ jersey, which was revealed for the first time. In addition, a commemorative cake inspired by the Giro d’Italia was also on show, specially created by renowned pastry chef Ernst Knam.

“We are excited to continue this wonderful initiative in collaboration with RCS and to present all the news of the sporting event during BIT. The Big Start of Giro d’Italia will be one of the most significant sporting events ever held in Israel and is expected to attract thousands of tourists, in addition to the hundreds of millions of viewers around the world who will follow the three days of live broadcasts from Israel. This initiative will allow Italian tourists to discover more and more the beauties of the country and the many activities that can be experienced related to sport and nature”, said Avital Kotzer Adari, Councilor for Tourist Affairs of the Embassy of Israel.

At the dedicated Giro d’Italia corner, visitors can take photos alongside the iconic Giro d’Italia Trophy and hold the trophy itself. There is also the chance to try an interactive virtual bike ride, which allows visitors to experience the stunning Israel scenery and landscapes, which will feature along the ‘Big Start’ route. The official 2018 Giro d’Italia jerseys are also on display, with a competition to win one of them.   
The three stages of the ‘Big Start’ in Israel are as follows:
– Day One will see riders begin the race against the backdrop of Jerusalem’s iconic Old City on a 10.1km time-trial tour of the city.
– Day Two begins in Haifa, then passes through historic Acre and Caesarea, before riders head to the finish line on Tel Aviv’s beachside promenade, totalling 167km.
– Day Three begins in Beer Sheva and takes in southern Israel’s most dramatic scenery including the breathtaking Ramon Crater, finishing at the Red Sea resort of Eilat, totalling 226km.