Gear Up For Giro d'Italia

Mountain bike athlete Andrei Burton performs tricks at some of the cycle race's Northern Irish stages

Giro d’Italia will arrive in Belfast on May 9 for the ‘Grande Partenza’ stage of the race, and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board has enlisted the help of world-renowned professional mountain bike trials athlete, Andrei Burton, to showcase the stunning scenery and landmarks of the Giro route by embarking on an amazing Big Start Road Trip.

The Giro d'Italia is a long distance, multi-stage bicycle road race for professional cyclists and every other year its opening stages are held outside its home country of Italy. The organisers chose Northern Ireland for 2014 because of the 'magical landscapes, quality roads that are ideal for the race, the iconic architecture of our cities and the warmth and enthusiasm of our people'.

Burton, who has been riding since the age of 13, is one of the most successful mountain bike athletes in the UK, and has been the highest placed UK rider in the UCI World rankings for several years and in the top 10 in the world for the past six years.

Northern Ireland Tourist Board PR Officer Marie-Therese O’Neill said: 'Andrei is a huge name in the cycling world and we are delighted that he could come to Northern Ireland to experience the route and perform some of his breath-taking tricks and stunts at some of our famous landmarks.

'The dare-devil tricks which saw Andrei jump to amazing heights and across long distances will astound viewers. This video helps to demonstrate what an exciting place Northern Ireland is to be right now and we hope that viewers will enjoy and share with their friends.'

The Big Start Road Trip video shows Burton travelling to various well-known landmarks around Northern Ireland, including the stones of the Giants Causeway, wheelies across the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and balance on the famous Titanic sign at Titanic Belfast, to name a few.

The Big Start Road Trip kicks off three days of excitement and drama on May 9, 10 and 11, with the Giro d'Italia time trials at Titanic Belfast, through the magnificent Causeway Coastal Route and the historic city of Armagh. The event is supported by NITB and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

Visit the Giro hub at the Discover Northern Ireland website for the latest news, social updates and event information or for more information.