Apeldoorn turned a shade of pink on Thursday evening as the teams and riders taking part in the 2016 Giro d’Italia were presented to the huge crowd of spectators.
The Dutch city will host the opening time trial stage of the Giro tomorrow (Friday), and the traditional pre-race presentation was typically glitzy.
Pink carpets, pink smoke and pink dancers paid homage to the famous and highly-prized maglia rosa of the Giro’s race leader.
Each team filed on stage by bike, with key riders then interviewed including overall contenders Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Mikel Landa (Sky), Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
Friday’s stage features a flat 9.8km time trial around Apeldoorn, with Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) the favourite to win and take the early race lead despite suffering from a stomach problem on Wednesday.
The Giro stays in the Netherlands until stage three on Sunday, before returning to Italy on Tuesday.