The 2024 Giro d’Italia could start in Ukraine, with Italian Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani proposing the idea as a sign of Italy’s support for Ukraine following Russia’s invasion.
“The Giro d’Italia is one of our country’s greatest sporting events and it touches other countries too,” Tajani said in Rome during an event to present the involvement of the Italian tourism and trade departments in this year’s race.
“I remember the racing starting in Israel and other parts of the world. I’d like it to start in Ukraine next year. It would be a sign of attention for a country that we greatly support.
“We consider sport to be a foreign policy instrument,” Tajani added. “The whole of ‘system Italy’ forms our foreign policy by creating ties of friendship, solidarity and good neighbourship.”
Since Russia’s invasion last year, Rome has supported Ukraine, sending military aid to Kyiv and backing western sanctions on Moscow.
The 2023 Giro d’Italia starts in Abruzzo on Saturday and ends on Sunday May 28 in Rome. The Italian capital will host the Ryder Cup golf competition in September and hopes to host the 2030 Expo. Italy will also organise the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina.
“The Giro d’Italia is a way to help people all over the world discover Italy,” Tajani said, speaking to a number of ambassadors, politicians and senior managers of race organisers RCS Sport.
“The riders climb the mountains and cross the plains of Italy, they visit small villages and major cities. We want the Giro d’Italia to help the country showcase our ability to organise major sporting events. That’s why this year’s Giro d’Italia will end in Rome and why we’ll host the Ryder Cup.”
A potential foreign Giro d’Italia start in Ukraine would be the 15th in the history of the race dating back to the first 58 years ago in San Marino. The Grande Partenza has been held in countries including Belgium, Greece, Northern Ireland, Israel, and, most recently, Hungary.
This year’s Giro d’Italia route visits 17 of the 20 regions of Italy, also dipping into Switzerland for the stage 13 summit finish on Crans Montana and the stage 14 start the following morning.
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