Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sports has partnered with the Dubai Sports Council and Expo 2020 Dubai to create the first ever Giro d'Italia criterium race, hosted in Dubai on November 6.
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), this year's Italian Grand Tour winner, will headline the 30-lap short format race, held on a 2.1km circuit in the shape of the Giro d'Italia's 'Amore Infinito’ infinity symbol.
The is a part of the 'Made in Italy' campaign at the World Expo, with organisers hoping to showcase Italian excellence plus the cooperation of working towards a more sustainable and healthier planet.
Kevin Brown, VP Events and Entertainment at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “International sport is a key element of Expo 2020, and we are delighted to be hosting the first-ever Giro d’Italia Criterium with the Italian pavilion and RCS Sport.
“Our partnership with RCS Sport unites a shared purpose of international cooperation towards a healthier, happier and safer planet and is a fantastic addition to Expo 2020’s full sports, fitness and wellbeing programme.”
The race will take place near the Expo 2020's Italian Pavilion, which will also host a 'meet and greet' session with the riders the day before the event, plus a gala dinner in celebration of the inaugural event. The Italian Pavilion is designed to showcase 'Made in Italy' products and experiences, and is where the Giro d'Italia trophy will be on display.
Time trial world champion and six-time Giro stage winner Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) will also race, with this year's mountains classficiation winner Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën Team) and cyclamen jersey winner Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) joining the Italian, among others, to make up what is a competitive field of strong riders.
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, said: “We already host five international cycling events in Dubai every year, and the Giro d ‘Italia Criterium will be a novel new addition, especially since it is taking place in Expo 2020 Dubai, where the world has come together for the greatest show in history.
“We are really excited about this one-off event. We are pleased to work alongside our long-time partners RCS to bring this event to our cycling fans, and to promote the many benefits of cycling as a sport and a recreation activity.
"Cycling has grown rapidly in Dubai and the UAE over the years, since we started with the Dubai Tour in 2014, and now the UAE Tour, and I am confident events like this will give a further boost to the popularity of this sport here.”
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