176 cyclists will be competing in this year’s Giro d’Italia, which begins in Jerusalem and will move on to Europe before ending in Rome on May 27.









Photo credit: Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

Cyclists from over 22 countries will be riding through the streets of Jerusalem as the Giro d’Italia race kicks off Friday afternoon. Multiple roads will be blocked across the country.

The 176 competitors, including two Israelis, will go through three different stages of the prestigious race while in Israel, going from north to south. It is the biggest sporting event ever to take place in Israel and the first time this particular race is being held anywhere outside of Europe.

The opening ceremony, which included the presentation of the competitors, was held on Thursday at Safra Square in Jerusalem. Among them was Chris Froome from the UK, a four-time Tour de France champion widely considered one of the best cyclists in history.

Due to an expected heat wave, the Israeli Health Ministry has instructed spectators to drink plenty of water, remain in shaded areas and dress properly to protect the skin from sun exposure.