Israel scored a major public relations victory when it managed to bring the first three stages of this Grand Tour event, the world’s second largest cycling race after the Tour de France, to our shores. For three days, viewers around the world had a chance to experience Israel as a perfectly normal country.
Even more significant was that the start of the race in Jerusalem coincided with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. It was the first time ever that the Giro d’Italia had been held outside of Europe.
For Israel, it was the first major international sporting event to be hosted in the country. It was not without reason that 700 reporters from all over the world descended on Israel. Those with whom we spoke said they felt completely safe in Israel, and were pleasantly surprised by the creativity of the Israeli spectators, who came out in great numbers to cheer on the cyclists. Even camels were spotted urging on the athletes. “It is simply perfect that this year the Giro d’Italia...
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