Opening Giro d’Italia and welcoming the world to Belfast
My comments from the stage of the Giro d’Italia on opening presentation night.
“Buona sera, Belfast
Tráthnóna Maith, a Bhéal Feirste
Good evening, Belfast
What a great night to be in Belfast as we play host to the greatest cycle race on the planet. And in terms of grit, spectacle, heart and passion, the Giro is number one.
And where else do you put a world-class sporting extravaganza but in a world-class city.
Our Giro visitors will feel the warmth of your hospitality over the next three days but tonight I want them to hear the warmth of your welcome.
So for the Giro organisers and competitors and for cycle fans the world over who are watching Belfast tonight, let’s have a huge cheer to let them know that we are delighted the Giro is starting in Belfast.
For the Tourism Ireland, the NITB, Visit Belfast, all the wonderful volunteers and the Council’s hardworking staff who are making the Giro possible, let’s have a special Belfast goulder.
The Giro is an international event with riders from every part of the world. So when we welcome the Giro, we’re welcoming the world. There are so many European countries represented in the Giro teams that we can’t list them all but tonight we will make an exception and give a special Belfast welcome to two top riders of the Giro who represent a nation which has done so much to build Belfast. So to the Polish riders Niemic and Poljanksi, let’s have the biggest Belfast welcome ever.
Finally, Folks for the next three days, Enjoy the greatest sporting event ever to grace Belfast: Go Team Giro, Go Team Belfast!”