The Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) has secured the services of legendary cyclist and former Giro d’Italia winner Stephen Roche to market and promote tourism in the lead up to the major cycling event.
Roche will promote tourism messages, images and footage, including accompanying media representatives and competition winners around part of the Giro d’Italia route in Northern Ireland.
He will also represent NITB at key events and provide authoritative comments to the world’s cycling press.
Naomi Waite, Director of Marketing at NITB said: “Stephen’s achievements in cycling make him one of the towering figures of the sport and we are thrilled to be working with him as an ambassador for NITB at the Giro d’Italia.
“His presence as part of our marketing activities will certainly capture additional attention and allow us to make the most of the massive global media spotlight that comes with the Giro d’Italia.”
Commenting on his appointment Stephen Roche said: “I am excited to be playing my part in promoting the world-class assets, both cycling and tourism, of Northern Ireland.
“There is enormous prestige in being selected as the start venue of the Giro d’Italia, so winning the Grand Partenza was a great coup for Northern Ireland. The passion for cycling, and shots of this beautiful part of the world, will be viewed in over 165 countries and this can do nothing but good for tourism.”
The opening stages of the world famous race take place in Northern Ireland from 9 – 11 May, preceded by the team presentation event on 8 May.
Over 200 riders from over 30 different countries, together with their teams and sponsors will arrive for the race.
It is expected to attract 140,000 visitors to Northern Ireland, 42,000 of these from out of state, and generate £10 million of worldwide media coverage.
In 1987 Stephen Roche touched greatness to become only the second cyclist ever to win the triple crown of victories in the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and World Championship.
He is still connected to the cycling world through a cycling vacations firm.