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Giro gets Irish pulses racing ahead of 2014

If you were in the Garden County last Tuesday, Bray was the place to be. The town's people were left in awe of the cavalcade that was en route to Rosslare and the start of the Giro d'Italia today.

I caught up with Darach McQuaid, who is behind the successful venture to bring the race to these shores in 2014.

"I remember 15 years ago standing outside Duff's (pub) in Bray beside the Town Hall for the 1998 Tour de France," said Darach.

"I decided that I would bring a little bit of nostalgia to this unique town in the shape of the Giro, which comes here in 2014.

"Yes, we are away for the entire 'Giro' selling Ireland to the Italian public. I am fully aware that Ireland is up for the Giro next year and what you see here in Bray is only a small taste of what is to come. Just one instance for you to digest!


"We have four cars supplied by Donnelly Motor Group in Dungannon for this Italian adventure. The same group will supply the entire entourage of vehicles for the event in Ireland. Talking in the region of 350 vehicles plus. Mind boggling!

"As regards a winner this time, my money would be on Bradley Wiggins. He had a super year last season and I cannot see beyond him. The team time-trial will suit his strong Sky team, and the 55km individual test could well end with Brad in the familiar pink jersey as race leader.

"The Italian Vincenzo Nibali is the only guy in the line-up that could upset the Londoner," added Darach as he set off.