Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Giro d'Italia Considers Start in Washington DC, Part III

More details of the planning taking place, from

Mark Sommers, a local race promoter who put on the 2008 Capital Criterium, told DCist that "lots of preliminary work on potential courses" is taking place, and that he remained in active discussions with Giro officials, Mayor Adrian Fenty's office and city agencies. (Sommers not only races alongside Fenty on local team D.C. Velo, but he has also been nominated by the mayor to serve on the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.)

While the prologue would stay within the city's federal core, Sommers said, the first stage would likely incorporate parts of Rock Creek Park and Massachusetts Avenue up toward the National Cathedral to add climbs to what is an otherwise relatively flat city. (The Italian Embassy is located just off of Massachusetts Avenue along Embassy Row, adding certainty that the race would use the hill as part of the route.) He added that they were looking to include as many Italian-inspired sites as possible along the route, hinting at a pass by the Watergate, which was designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti. Both the prologue and first stage would remain within the city's boundaries.

Nothing is yet certain, though, as race organizers still have to contend with the cross-Atlantic commute and consequent time differences, neither of which is likely to make the close to 200 cyclists and their support staff very happy. Regardless, Sommers pointed out that interest exists on both sides to make a Giro appearance in the District a reality.

Read Part I and Part II of this series.

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