Japan could host start of Giro d'Italia 2018 cycle race
The 2018 edition of the Giro d'Italia cycle race could kick off in Japan, it has been suggested, with four stages held in the Shizuoka Prefecture to the east of Tokyo.

A detailed reported in the Italian publication La Stampa outlines the plans, which would see riders tackle the 3,776-metre peak of Mount Fuji as part of the challenge.

Mauro Vegni, director of the race, is said to have spent time in Japan, scoping out the possibilities and may have even made a provisional agreement to hold the first stages of the Giro d'Italia in the country.

To help sure up plans, a delegation from Japan is expected to visit this year's Giro d'Italia.

Enzo Cainero, who is involved in organising various stages of the race, including the Monte Zoncolan climb at the end, has twinned it with the climb on Mount Fuji.

There is significant interest in professional cycling in Japan and the Giro d'Italia is broadcast on TV in the country.

Mr Vegni played down reports that the race could start in Japan when speculation first started last year.

He told Cyclingnews: "There's always a lot of interest in the Giro d'Italia and I'm not going to deny that there's been contact with people in Japan but it's very premature to say if anything will come of it."

If the Giro d'Italia was to start in Japan, it would be only the 13th time in the race's 100-year history that it had been kicked off outside of Italy.

News source: insidejapantours.com
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