AQW 26571/11-15

Mr Chris Hazzard
Sinn Féin
South Down

Tabled Date: 01/10/2013
Answered On Date: 07/10/2013
Priority Written: No

To ask the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for her assessment of the recent announcement that the route of the Giro d'Italia 2014 will not include the Mournes.

RCS Sport, the event owners, have the ultimate say in where any stage of the race route goes. Shadetree Sports, as the local organiser of the Big Start, have been consulting with RCS on the potential stage routes since the very beginning of the bid process.
Above all else, this is a professional sporting event and sporting considerations have to be paramount during the decision making process.
Road races and time trials require different types of road to fit the disciplines whilst the nature of the road closures, which an event of this size has, also comes into play in a critical manner.
You will understand that there are many areas of the country that are not included and it would be impossible for the event to go through every area of Northern Ireland so that everybody has the race passing through their locality.
The route that will be announced on Monday 7 October 2013 in Milan, Italy is the agreed route that RCS Sport and all of the partners in Northern Ireland have agreed on. A lot of work has gone into getting these stages right from a Giro d'Italia point of view. When an event comes this far away from its home base, we must take care to look after their interests and ensure the central sporting considerations of the race are met.