(Reuters) – Budapest’s oldest bridge will be crossed by riders on stage one of this year’s Giro d’Italia after its use was originally ruled out because of planned renovation works.
A statement said race organisers had reached agreement with the Municipality of Budapest to include the iconic Szechenyi chain bridge for stage one, an 8.6km individual time trial.
The bridge across the River Danube was completed in 1849 and remains one of the city’s most visible landmarks, although increased traffic means major work is required.
It is the 14th time the Giro has started outside Italy but the first time an eastern European city has been chosen.
After the initial time trial there will be two further stages in Hungary before the race switches back to Italy.
The Giro begins on May 9.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)