Giro d'Italia: 2018 race route to feature 5 Israeli cities

Team Sunweb in action during the Men's Team Time Trial in the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen, Norway, Sunday Sept. 17, 2017. (Cornelius Poppe/NTB Scanpix via AP)

The Giro d'Italia cycling race says next year's event will open in Jerusalem, with a separate stage down the Mediterranean coast to Tel Aviv and another to Israel's southern tip of Eilat along the Red Sea

JERUSALEM — Giro d'Italia organizers have announced details of next year's start in Jerusalem, which will mark the first time a cycling Grand Tour is held outside of Europe.

After an opening time trial in Jeruselem, the second stage will go down the Mediterranean coast to Tel Aviv then Stage 3 will reach Israel's southern tip of Eilat along the Red Sea.

Giro director Mauro Vegni says at Monday's official announcement in Jerusalem that Israel was selected to host the race because of its "history and uniqueness."

More than 175 of the world's best cyclists will arrive in Israel to kick off the race on May 4.

The Giro is one of cycling's top three stage races along with the Tour de France and the Spanish Vuelta.

It's being labeled as the biggest and most prestigious sporting event ever held in Israel.

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