Vantage points: The best spots to catch the Giro d’Italia
Stages one and two of the race start at Titanic Belfast and finish in from of Belfast City Hall. The 187km stage three takes the riders through Armagh, Dundalk and Drogheda before finishing up in Merrion Street in Dublin
The pack rides on: during the third stage of the Giro d’Italia around Horsens, Denmark in 2012. Photograph: LUK BENIES/AFP/Getty Images
The Giro d’Italia will begin with a team time trial, a group test against the clock in which each team’s time is taken on its fifth rider. Two road-race stages will follow, with bunch sprints the most likely outcome.
STAGE ONE, FRIDAY, MAY 9TH: BELFAST TEAM TIME TRIAL (21.7km)
Starting at Titanic Belfast, riders will pass Stormont Estate, home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, before they travel up and then back down Newtownards Road, giving spectators increased opportunities to watch. Restaurants along the route plan to serve Italian dishes. The day’s race will finish in front of Belfast City Hall.
STAGE TWO, SATURDAY, MAY 10TH: BELFAST TO BELFAST (218km)
Stage two starts once again in front of Titanic Belfast. Riders will cycle to Bushmills, home of the Old Bushmills Distillery, which dates back to 1608. They will then head for the Giant’s Causeway and travel along the north Antrim coast before heading into Portrush, where spectating points include Ballybogey and Dunluce Castle. Another vantage point is just above Red Bay Castle, on a hill between Waterfoot and Cushendall; the riders will be visible along a length of coastline. As with stage one, today’s route concludes in front of Belfast City Hall.
STAGE THREE, SUNDAY, MAY 11TH: ARMAGH TO DUBLIN (187km)
The race will start at the Shambles in Armagh and move through Dawson Street, Irish Street, Ogle Street, Thomas Street, Market Street and Russell Street, convening at the Mall. Before this, the team buses will be at the Mall, giving spectators a chance to see the riders up close. The riders will race across the Border and into Dundalk, travelling down Clanbrassil Street and Crowe Street, before entering Drogheda. Balbriggan, in north Co Dublin, will also feature, as will Skerries and Lusk. The peloton will pass through Malahide and travel by Howth en route to Clontarf and then into the city, where it will travel down East Wall Road and on to City Quay before finishing at Merrion Square.