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Giro d’Italia to start in Budapest in 2020

The 2020 Giro d’Italia multiple-stage cycling race will begin in Budapest, with another two stages also to be held in Hungary, organizers confirmed on Monday. The Hungarian government is allocating HUF 7.8 billion for hosting the Giro dʼItalia stages.

At Monday’s press conference at the Italian Cultural Institute in Budapest, Giro d’Italia race director Mauro Vegni announced that the first three stages of next May’s 103rd Giro will be held in Hungary, according to a report by cycling news site VeloNews.com. The field will then continue the tour in Italy following a rest day.

Next yearʼs event will the 14th occasion that the race starts outside of Italy, with Athens, Amsterdam, and Belfast among the cities to have already hosted the Grande Partenza, the opening stage. Last year’s edition started in Jerusalem, the first time one of cycling’s three major races began outside of Europe.

“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,” Vegni told reporters.

Organizers said further details, including where the other two Hungary stages will be held, will be given in June.

“Today a dream has come true, one that no one dared hope for,” said Máriusz Révész, the government commissioner for the Active Hungary program. “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.”

Hungaryʼs government has allocated HUF 7.8 bln for the organization of the first three stages of the Giro dʼItalia, shows a resolution published in the latest issue of the official gazette Magyar Közlöny.    The resolution allocates HUF 2.2 bln for 2019 and HUF 5.5 bln for 2020, while earmarking HUF 80 mln more to popularize the event.

Deputy Mayor of Budapest Alexandra Szalay-Bobrovinczky underlined that it is a great honor for Budapest that the race will start from the city, according to government website kormany.hu.

“In recent years Budapest has proven that it is a good host for high-quality and high-level sports competitions,” she noted, adding that “Budapest is a sport-loving, and increasingly sporty city.”