May 1, 2018 | Giro d’Italia, the multiple-stage bicycle race from Italy in its 101st year and holding its first three races in Israel for the first time in history, has announced that Israeli model Bar Refaeli will be the official presenter of its ‘Big Start.’ The Italian race is traditionally known for choosing a celebrity presenter to be the face of its ‘Big Start’ events. Refaeli, who was chosen unanimously by the ‘Big Start’ committee, will lead all events associated with the ‘Big Start’ including official presentation of teams and riders on May 3, one day before the start of the race (and broadcast live on the Eurosport television sports network), the start of the race, and podium presentations at the end of the racing day. The ‘Big Start’ will begin in Jerusalem on May 4 followed by the second day’s race from Haifa to Tel Aviv on May 5 and the third from Beersheva to Eilat on May 6. This is the first time one of cycling’s three Grand Tour races (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana) has ever been held outside Europe. The race is not only one of the world’s most significant sporting events, but also said to be the most significant sporting event ever held in Israel, expected to attract around 10,000 tourists along with 22 international cycling teams. The Giro d’Italia race takes place every year over 21 stages during a three week period. The race has begun every other year with a ‘Big Start’ in Europe but outside of Italy since 2006, including in European countries like Holland, Belgium, and Denmark. Israel is the first country to hold races outside of Europe. The event is broadcast on television and watched by viewers in 194 countries.