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BUDAPEST (AFP) — The 2020 Giro d’Italia will begin in Budapest with another two stages also being held in Hungary, organizers confirmed on Monday.
“Today a dream has come true, one that no one dared hope for,” said government commissary for Active Hungary, Máriusz Révész. “Having an event of international importance such as the Giro d’Italia, which will start from Budapest, is a source of great pride for our country. The Giro is not only a sporting event but also a great promotion for the territory.”
It will the 14th time that the race will start outside of Italy with Athens, Amsterdam, and Belfast among those cities to have hosted the Grande Partenza.
Last year’s edition started in Jerusalem — the first time one of cycling’s three major races began outside of Europe — with two more stages held in Israel before a return to Italy.
“After Israel, we wanted to bring it back to a wonderful European city, and Budapest has been becoming more and more popular for Italian visitors and tourists,” race director Mauro Vegni told reporters.
Organizers said further details, including where the three Hungary stages will be held, will be given in June.
This year, the Giro — the first of the year’s three grand tours — starts in Bologna on May 11 and finishes on June 2 in Verona.
Team Sky’s Chris Froome won last year’s Giro but the Briton will not defend his title focusing instead on becoming only the fifth rider to win five Tour de France crowns.
In 2017, Budapest hosted the World Swimming Championships.
The Hungarian capital also hosts the World Table Tennis Championships later this month and four games at Euro 2020.
Revesz added that his country had earmarked 7.8 billion forint (24 million euros; $27 million) for the Giro.