Budapest, Hungary – Earlier this month, the organizers of the Giro d’Italia, a major cycling race, and members of the Hungarian government announced that the 2020 Grande Partenza will be hosted in Budapest, where the first stage will be held.
The two following stages will also be held in Hungary, outside of the capital city, according to organizer RCS Sport. The Giro d’Italia will then return to Italy for the rest of the race.
“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 Regni said, as quoted by AFP.
“Today, a dream has come true, one that no one dared hope for”, according to Hungarian government commissary for Active Hungary Máriusz Révész. “The Giro is not only a sporting event but also a great promotion for the territory”.
Budapest has become a highly attractive destination for major international sporting events. In 2017, the Hungarian capital hosted the World Swimming Championship. It will also host the World Table Tennis Championships this month, several games of the Euro 2020 Football championship and co-host, along with Slovakia, the 2022 Euro Handball championship.
The Hungary government announced it had earmarked nearly 30 million dollars for the organizations of the Giro d’Italia 2020 on Hungarian soil.
This will be the 14th time the Giro d’Italia starts in a different country since its inception in 1909, with the first foreign Grande Partenza held in San Marino in 1965. Last year, the race started from Jerusalem, Israel.
Other foreign starting points include Monte Carlo (1966), Belgium (1973 and 2006), the Vatican City (1974), Athens (1996), Nice (1998), the Netherlands (2002, 2010 and 2016), Denmark (2012) and Belfast, in Northern Ireland (2014).
The following year, however, the Giro d’Italia 2021 will return to its roots and begin from the Italian island of Sicily.
The exact details of the 2020 route of the race should be unveiled in June this year, according to the organizers.
Along with the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana, the Giro d’Italia is one of the most prestigious and longest-running cycling Grand Tours in the world.