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Eurosport gears-up for first Grand Tour of the year in what promises to be its biggest ever cycling season

02/05/2018

Eurosport is gearing-up for the first Grand Tour of the season in what will be the biggest ever year of cycling on Europe’s number one sports destination.

With over 2,500 hours of total coverage across 200 days of live cycling, from more than 110 professional events, Eurosport remains the ‘Home of Cycling’ in Europe in 2018 for all passionate fans of the sport.

Eurosport will once again provide unrivalled coverage of cycling’s most prestigious races including every Grand Tour, the five Monuments, over 30 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Tour events and, following a deal announced last year, all major UCI World Championships during 2018.

On the eve of the 101st Giro d’Italia, Eurosport is looking to build on a record-breaking 2017 edition - the most-watched ever in over 15 years of covering the event. The dramatic final stage time-trial, which saw Dutchman Tom Dumoulin reverse a 53-second deficit over Nairo Quintana, was watched by a peak audience of over 4.8 million - the highest ever for a single Giro stage on Eurosport. The 24-day Grand Tour also registered the highest average viewing audience throughout its duration with 1.3 million tuning in to live coverage on average across the 21 stages.

This year’s event promises to be equally thrilling and historic as, for the first time ever, a Grand Tour will set off outside Europe with Jerusalem hosting the first three stages in the battle for the Maglia Rosa. The 101st edition of Giro features 21 days of racing totalling 3546.2km with eight mountain finishes and only 44.2km of time trials in a route that is set to suit general classification specialists.

This year Eurosport will dedicate more than six hours of Giro coverage per day across linear and digital platforms – with all produced coverage live and ad-break-free – plus bonus feeds on Eurosport Player via eurosport.com and the integrated Eurosport app. Four hours of live race coverage per stage will be supported by two daily Giro Extra shows, previewing and reviewing the day’s best action and biggest talking points, plus a new two-hour comprehensive highlights show – Giro Today – at 20:00 CET on each race day.

Eurosport will offer more dedicated digital coverage than ever before for the first Grand Tour of the year with an enhanced multi-market video offer featuring stage previews and profiles, near live clips and post-race analysis, telling the inside story of every single stage. This will be complemented by further content focused on taking fans closer to the sport, the riders and the event, using Eurosport’s unprecedented access and creative approach to storytelling on digital and social platforms.

Laurence Schirrecker-Mothes, Director, Global Cycling Production at Eurosport, said: “This year’s Giro will be a historic event as the sport’s top riders battle it out for the Maglia Rosa starting outside Europe for the very first time, and Eurosport will cover the complete story both on and off the road, across all platforms.

“If you’re a cycling fan, Eurosport remains the only place to follow the sport and we are delighted to offer even more races and coverage than ever before to confirm our position as the ‘Home of Cycling’ in Europe.”

Eurosport continues to work with the biggest names in the cycling for their unique analysis and insights. Two-time Giro d’Italia winner and legend of the sport, Alberto Contador, joins Eurosport Spain’s coverage for 2018 providing Spanish fans with unprecedented expertise as a seven-time Grand Tour champion. Roberto Vacchi (Sweden), Richard Virenque (France) and Carlton Kirby (UK) will provide headline commentary and local expertise. Tour de France stage winner, Juan Antonio Flecha, and Sean Kelly, conqueror of nine monument classics, continue to lead Eurosport’s international coverage.

Commenting on this year’s Giro, Eurosport cycling expert, Alberto Contador, said: “Tom Dumoulin and Froome are the strong favourites and I expect a good performance from Miguel Ángel López from the Astana team. Marc Soler can do big things in this Giro while the success of David de la Cruz (Team Sky) will be dependent on the intentions of his team.’’

About his new role as a commentator on Eurosport, Contador added: ‘'I am very happy to embark on this new path, in which I also hope to learn things while being on the other side of the action, and, of course, to have a good time watching good cycling on Eurosport.’’

Eurosport’s broadcast coverage of the Giro d’Italia starts on May 4 from 13:00 CET on Eurosport 1 supported by comprehensive digital coverage of the sport at eurosport.com/cycling and via the integrated Eurosport app.