Posted by Editoress on 05/4/18
The first official event of the 101st Giro d'Italia took place Thursday evening with the presentation of the teams. The Giro has become the first of the three Grand Tours to begin outside of Europe, with the first three stages taking place in Israel, largely thanks to the efforts of Montreal billionaire Sylvan Adams, who is also an owner of Israel Cycling Academy.
As usual, the Team Presentation was an event of spectacle, with each team riding up a pink runaway through the crowd before posing on the stage. Among the presenters was Israeli star Bar Refaeli, former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover model and actress. The biggest cheers were for the first team - Israel Cycling Academy - which includes Canada's Guillaume Boivin. There are two other teams in the race with Canadians - Mike Woods at EF Education First Drapac Cannondale, and Svein Tuft at Michelton-Scott; Tuft is appearing in the final Grand Tour of his career. [Note we have interviews with all three Here]
Chris Froome (Team Sky), the current champion of the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana is trying to simultaneously hold all three titles with a win here. However, his participation is controversial, since he is currently fighting a sanction for excess use of Salbutamol. This case has dragged on for months, and Froome can race while he appeals the finding. When he was introduced and interviewed on the stage, there were scattered boos among the cheers.
The race opens Friday afternoon with a 9.7 kilometre time trial through the streets of Jerusalem.
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