Human rights groups call for Giro d’Italia Israel start to be cancelled

An open letter urges Pope Francis to reject an invitation to bless the start of the Italian Grand Tour in Israel

Tom Dumoulin is led by his Sunweb team on stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia (Sunada)

(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

The Giro d'Italia is coming under pressure from various human rights groups to cancel its planned start in Israel on May 4, 2018, over the country's conflict with Palestine.

The race, won in 2017 by Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), is hoping to attract Chris Froome, Mikel Landa and many other top stars to its 101st edition. But the mix of politics and sport is too much for some critics.

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.