Giro d’Italia 2018 from Jerusalem to Eliat

Giro d’Italia 2018 from Jerusalem to Eliat

Big. Really big.

As predicted, the Giro d’Italia took over the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Grio d'Italia book and press tag for Jerusalem start

The information book was big and heavy. The press passes required ID photos.

Near finish line of Jerusalem Giro d'Italia huge I love Jerusalem sign

The ‘I love Jerusalem’ sign near the finish line was big, the biggest I have seen.

Jerusalem street closed to build finish line for Giro d'Italia start

Streets were closed on Thursday to construct the start and finish lines, and the spectator boxes near Mamilla Mall and the Old City.

Scene near Old City Jerusalem Giro d'Italia

Thousands of people came to support and report on the 176 riders of 22 participating international teams. Italian- speaking tour guides were in demand, but English was also the main language.

Bahrain in Jerusalem for Giro d'Italia

I met two riders from the Bahrain team who were window shopping in Mamilla Mall.

Jerusalem Israel Giro d'Italia stage in Municipal Square for opening ceremony

Bahrain was one of two Arab countries which sponsored cycling teams.

Jerusalem Giro d'Italia cyclists from UAE

UAE, United Arab Emirates, also had a team of riders in Israel.

Two cyclists from in Jerusalem Israel for Giro d'Italia

Warm-up runs through the Jerusalem, Israel streets, were easier to photograph,

Giro d'Italia rider in Jerusalem Israel

as riders were not flying by as quickly as they were for individual time trials held all afternoon.

Jerusalem Giro d'Italia

Teams could be seen pacing their turns together.

Jerusalem Giro d'Italia finish line

At the finish line, crowds came early to get a good spot.

Finish line Jerusalem Giro d'Italia

These big stands at the finish line hosted the VIP spectators on Friday.

Giro d'Italia preparations in Jerusalem Israel

On Thursday, there were piles of building materials.

In honor of Gino Bartali an honor ride before Giro d'Italia

Before the official time trials began, the media gathered for a special ride in memory of Italian cyclist hero Gino Bartali. If you do not know his story, look HERE how he saved Jewish lives during the Holocaust.

Jerusalem Cycling Academy set to ride Giro d'Italia in Jerusalem Israel

Oops, anyone can have a false start.

At a press conference before the Giro d’Italia began, cycling promoter Sylvan Adams told of his vision for Israel and Giro d’Italia.  Israel Cycling Academy General Manager Ran Margaliot added his thanks to Adams for initiating and funding this first Giro d’Italia outside of Europe, while Guy Niv, one of the two Israeli cyclists, sat and listened closely.

Helicopters flew over the riders with cameras to broadcast the race around the world. After Jerusalem, the Giro d’Italia went north for Stage 2, and then south from Beer Sheva to Eilat for Stage 3,  Along the way Bedouin came out from their tents to watch. After the 229 kilometer ride through the desert Elia Viviani won the Stage 3, as well as the Stage 2 from Haifa-Tel Aviv.

Jerusalem Giro d'Italia

The big, pink Giro d’Italia took over the Jerusalem streets. The cyclist from Bahrain explained the color to me. The Italian sports paper from over 100 years ago when the Giro d’Italia began, was printed on pink paper.

It was almost possible to overlook Lag B’Omer this year. In some neighborhoods the bonfires were fewer and smaller.

Chabad Lag B'Omer parade in Jerusalem at Mamilla Mall

However, these boys leading a Lag B’Omer children’s parade from Mamilla Mall drummed loud enough to remind everyone.

After an overnight stay in Eilat the Giro d’Italia has a three hour flight to Catania, for a rest and the next stage.

The race ends in Rome on May 27, 2018.

With the Giro d’Italia completed in Israel, streets in Jerusalem will go back to blue and white.

Preparations for Yom Yerushalayim, Jerusalem Day, are especially significant this year with announcement of US Embassy moving, and other embassies returning to Jerusalem.

However, for more Jerusalem Giro d’Italia photos please look HERE 

Shabbat Shalom

Giro d’Italia has taken over the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

Thousands have come to Jerusalem, Israel, for the professional cycling event.

A billion are to watch on live televised showing of the race.

This ‘I love Jerusalem’ sign will show as cyclists reach the finish line.

Zahal Square with I love Jerusalem sign for Giro d'Italia

שבת שלום

Shabbat shalom

Tour de Jerusalem

The first ever Tour de Jerusalem bicycle race was held on December 6, 2011

featuring both Tour de France winner Alberto Contador

and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat as riders.

Some bicycle enthusiasts arrived through Mamilla Mall

and then climbed the steps toward the Old City.

Time to call home and let Mom know, “I am riding with Alberto.”

Crowds gathered by Jaffa Gate

where the race was to begin.

Some of the cyclists came up the hill toward the Jaffa Gate

and others waited by the gate for their entrance.

When the race did not begin at the announced 4:30pm start time,

this was the scene inside of Jaffa Gate.

The race finally did begin and

the expert cyclists came off the mark quickly.

Of the thousands of spectators,

 these girls from Denmark, here to volunteer in a local soup kitchen,

were some of the most vocal when they spotted a rider they knew from home.

The riders were not the only ones who had to be careful on their hilly route.

Even with years of  infrastructure work the plaza needs more, so watch your step.

As the moon rose,

the first lap of the race was ending.

The walls of the Old City were a beautiful sight at sunset.

 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador won the first ever Tour de Jerusalem.

No surprise there and only one reported rider injury…

 this cycling event was a success.

Additional photos on The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook Page:

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.285448974831248.66555.152997821409698&type=1