Chris Lyttle MLA said: “It is a major achievement for Northern Ireland to be hosting the first three stages of the 2014 Giro d’Italia.
“I hope that as many people as possible will be able to attend one of the stages. It is a great occasion for us to show off brand Northern Ireland on a global stage.
“There has been an increase in interest in cycling in recent years following the victories of Bradley Wiggins, Victoria Pendletonand local man Martyn Irvine. I hope that the Giro d’Italia will lead to even more people taking up cycling. It will be a great way to encourage more people to get out of their cars and take up this more active form of transport.”