Global cycling stars will participate in the first Giro d’Italia Criterium on 6 November, with a 30-lap short-format race on a 2.1-kilometre circuit at the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
The criterium is the celebratory event of the Giro d’Italia, aimed at showcasing the excellence of the 104-year-old Grand Tour race, one of world cycling’s most prestigious events.
The high-profile riders who have signed up for the challenge include 2021 Giro d’Italia winner and 2019 Tour de France yellow jersey winner Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers); three-time UCI Road World Champion Peter Sagan (BORA – hansgrohe); winner of the Maglia Ciclamino (Points Classifications) of the last edition of the Corsa Rosa, nine-time Grand Tour stage winner Elia Viviani (Cofidis); 2021 Giro d’Italia winner of the KOM Classification Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën); and two-time UCI ITT World Champion Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers), winner of six stages of the Giro d’Italia.
His Excellency Saeed Hareb, Secretary General, Dubai Sports Council, said: “We are very, very happy to officially announce this today. Everyone is happy about this. This is a very important event for us especially. It has been planned for a long time ago between the government of Italy, the Italy Pavilion, with Expo 2020, to do a special thing and bring Giro d’Italia to Dubai.”
The race at Expo 2020 will see riders take on a criterium circuit in the shape of the Giro d’Italia’s ‘Amore Infinito’ infinity symbol. The race will take place near the Expo 2020’s Italy Pavilion, where the Giro d’Italia trophy will be on display.
Ahmed Al Khatib, Chief Development and Delivery Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai said: “It is the season of sports. Activities start now. It is going to have a massive impact on the growth of sports in the community.
“We always look at the big historical masters in specific sports and Giro d’Italia is one of the best, most famous and most attractive events, that is going to be a big addition to Expo 2020. It is the first time ever that it will be held outside Europe and at an Expo.”
The pavilion will also host a meet-and-greet session with the cyclists on 5 November, giving fans an exclusive opportunity to speak to their favourite riders, ahead of a gala dinner held in celebration of the inaugural race for the competitors.
The Italy Pavilion, located in Al Forsan, provides visitors with an unforgettable experience that presents new educational, professional, and business opportunities. It displays buildings, systems and technologies that play a major role in sustainability, the circular economy and digital architecture.