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The Tour de France discovers Italy, "a historic event" 


Once the protocol for the Grand Depart has been signed, three stages will be held in the Belpaese between Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Piedmont. Prudhomme: 'A race that unites' (ANSA)

In 2024 the Tour de France will start from Italy for the first time, and today the signatures were placed on the memorandum of agreement for the organization of the Grand Départ, the eagerly awaited route of the most important two-wheeled event: the first of three stops in the Bel Paese (scheduled between Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont) will start from Florence.

In Rome, in the headquarters of the French Embassy, ​​the host, Ambassador Christian Masset, defined the Grand Depart in Italy as "an event of historic importance".

"The Tour de France is the most watched sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the World Cup".

Cycling is "a common passion for Italy and France", and the stops in the Bel Paese "will allow the world public to get to know Italian excellence", continues Masset.

Tour general manager Christian Prudhomme believes it is "almost an anomaly" to have waited so long for a Grand Depart in Italy.

"I thank the three Regions, CONI and Federciclismo for the help they have given us. The Tour de France is sport, but it is also culture, history, geography, it is above all something that unites. Anyone can ride a bike, the Tour it should be seen as the 'locomotive' of a more sustainable lifestyle".

The initial stage will be much longer than usual, "to show all the beauties and exceptional places of Italy", adds the general manager.

"We want to make this Grand Depart a great chance to turn the spotlight on Italian cycling all over the world" underlined the mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella.

To build with director Prudhomme "a project that looks at the bicycle at 360 degrees. We have calculated that the economic return for Florence will be ten times higher than the two million euros invested, and will lead to the creation of 400 jobs".

"My land, Emilia-Romagna, is used to arrivals, departures, hospitality. In the stage that will start from Cesenatico we will be able to remember a great champion like Marco Pantani - said the president of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Stefano Bonaccini - The Tour de France is a great popular celebration".

For the deputy vice president of CONI, Silvia Salis, "it is an important day of cooperation, because major sporting events are fundamental for our country: they generate a quantifiable induced activity and promote Italy abroad, an extraordinary nation which by geography and climate can host any sporting event. And this can be done thanks to the help of the federations".

The departure of the Tour in Italy "is a good sign, which will leave a great legacy in history - highlighted the number one of the Italian Federciclismo, Cordiano Dagnoni - an indelible mark for cycle tourism in our country, while according to the councilor for sport of the Piedmont, Fabrizio Ricca, "Piedmontese and French are almost cousins". 

Source: ansa

All life articles on 2023-02-07

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