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Giro d’Italia visits Stormont

This weekend very close to where I live we had an exciting event – the Giro d’Italia cycle competition was held in my home city and part of stage 1 was a 15 minute walk from my house! For the past couple of weeks shops and houses along the cycle route were decorated pink (the colour of the winners jersey) and there were even old bicycles sprayed pink and suspended from buildings. Schools and businesses chose Friday as a pink themed day so Miss P was excited that she was allowed to wear pink socks and pink nail polish to school. I even got to finish work early so that I could get home before the roads were closed.

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Stage 1 – Friday 9th May was from Titanic Belfast to the City Hall via Stormont.

One of the main roads from Belfast (the Newtownards Road) was closed to traffic twice on Friday so the time trials could be held, quite an event as this is an approximate 5 mile stretch of road. How surreal it was to walk to Stormont with no traffic on the road, it was almost like a zombie movie in that there were no cars and anyone who was walking were all walking in the same direction. My girls were all kitted out in their pink t-shirts, baseball caps and hand clapper things ready to make lots of noise.

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When we got there so many people had already arrived to take their space on the pavement leading up the big hill – and we thought we were early.

After a wait of about an hour the racing started. and when each team cycled past we whooped and cheered (to the embarrassment of my 5 year old).

We had a fun couple of hours before the rain started so we didn’t get to see all the teams as we weren’t prepared for wet weather (silly me!)

Stage 2: Saturday 10th May was from Belfast up the North Coast road and back to Belfast.

Stage 3: Sunday 11th May was from Armagh to Dublin

We watched some of the stage 2 and 3 on the TV and did not envy those men cycling all those hills, especially in the rain.

It’s fantastic that such ‘once in a lifetime’ events can be held here in Northern Ireland when maybe 15 years ago it would’ve been unthinkable. I’m proud of my wee country hosting such a world famous event and I think we did it pretty well.

Jean

7 thoughts on “Giro d’Italia visits Stormont

  1. I must live very close to you I watched all the excitement on the Upper Newtownards Road at KFC, it really was a fantastic event I loved every minute of it, like you I am so proud of my wee country.

  2. what a lifetime experience that is. You are so lucky that it was close to your home. I watch the Tour de France each year on television, here in Australia, but it is on very late at night. I would love to see a race in real life.

  3. How exciting and special. I love those times you feel tuned in and connected with the people around you, your community, church or family. It’s so exciting to be a part of something bigger.

  4. Hi, I live on the North coast, the Giro was also close to my house on Saturday. My husband and I got our waterproofs on and made our way to the White Rocks. Such a pity about the weather though…. but it is Ireland after all 🙂

  5. All my family were at stormont too but mini and I stayed home and watched on tv as shes still too little. Such a fab event though. Like you I think our little country should be so proud at how well we did the Giro x

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