The “Great Launch” has finally been unveiled: Hungary will have the honour of hosting the first three stages of the 2022 Giro d’Italia. We’re making plans for the run-up to the prestigious event, offering special programs leading up to and throughout the Grande Partenza.
The Grande Partenza 2022 was unveiled in Budapest City Park in the 120 year old Artist’s Track banquet hall with the participation of many honorary guests and the management of RCS Sport, organizer the Giro d’Italia. Government commissioner Máriusz Révész – the man responsible for bringing the Giro to Hungary – stated that cancellation of the Grande Partenza in 2020 has probably been the best outcome for Budapest. Since then, Attila Valter performed a miracle in this year’s Giro, putting even greater focus on the Giro in the eye of the Hungarian public. Révész promised plenty of cheering during the first stages along with a genuine welcoming atmosphere.
The importance of the event for tourism cannot be understated either. People were not able to travel much in the previous two years, next May will definitely see tens of thousands of visitors to Budapest for this great event. Hosting the first stages of the Giro will serve the “grand launch” for the local tourist season.
The route to Grande Partenza 2022 was presented by Paolo Bellino, director of RCS Sport. The program of the 105th Giro d’Italia will start with a team presentation on Wednesday, May 4, the first stage taking place on Friday, May 6.
The first of three Hungarian stages will see the peloton racing 195 kilometers form Budapest to Visegrád with a total altitude gain of 900 meters. Although the stage profile suggest a battle among the sprinters, the ascent up to the Royal Citadel in Visegrád could easily shuffle the cards. Not only organizers expect a hectic day in the saddle: our topmost professional, Attila Valter also expressed his affection for this climb. It’s his favorite training ground, and he wants to achieve a good result on the first stage. The start will be in Budapest, then the peloton heads first towards the historic city of Székesfehérvár, then turns north in the direction the religious capital Esztergom, from then it follows the scenic Danube Bend to Visegrád.
On Saturday, May 7, the Hungarian capital will host 9.2-kilometer time trial. The route will be more or less the same as the one planned two years earlier. In fact it could serve as a sightseeing tour of Budapest, but at such speed the riders will see very little of the famous buildings and monuments. The race against the clock starts from Heroes’ Square, the route then follows Andrássy Boulevard passing by the Parliament to the pillars Margaret Bridge. There riders traverse the Danube to Buda from where they ride along Bem Quay to the iconic Chain Bridge. Taking the Tunnel under the Royal Castle, it’s an uphill ride to the finish line at the Fisherman’s Bastion.
The start of the third stage will be in Kaposvár, a new venue compared to the route planned for the 2020 Grande Partenza. From this atmospheric town in the heart of Somogy, the peloton encircles Lake Balaton in the westerly direction towards Nagykanizsa, riding over the Balaton Uplands, the Káli Basin and finally the iconic Tihany Peninsula. It’s almost certain that the stage will see the battle of the sprinters. Mr. Bellino was keen to emphasize that spectators and television viewers will be able to witness some truly magnificent images of the Balaton region.
The Giro d’Italia is a professional cycling race, but we mustn’t forget that the route itself also serves the purpose of presenting the most spectacular regions of Hungary to a world-wide audience. Thanks to initiative the Hungarian Tourist Association Foundation, last summer we were able to organize a study tour the route for the media. It proved to be a great opportunity to get acquainted with the regions negotiated by the Giro d’Italia. We are in the midst of planning more cycling tours and cultural programs leading up to the 2022 Grande Partenza. The week of the event will likely to see a multi-day happening, follow the website for the details!