The 2012 edition of the Giro di'Italia will go down as one of the best.
7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:37 PM

It had everything you'd come to expect in a Grand Tour, and everything that should attract a new generation of cycling fans.

Race director Michele Acquarone passed the test of putting on a world class sporting event with flying colours, and all in his first year on the job.

He gave the world a three-week epic that delivered as a spectacle in every aspect.

The course wasn't overdone. Every stage was filled with excitement, not to mention the breathtaking scenery.

In fact there were times when you could have been mistaken for thinking we were watching the Tour de France and not Italy's famous race.

And that's the point.

In terms of global acceptance and awareness, this year's Giro stepped up a notch or two.

It still had an Italian flavour, one that was embraced by a huge television audience.

The only element missing was the lack of Italian riders on the final podium after at the finish in Milan.

So why are sections of Italy's fickle media questioning Acquarone for the lack of Italian feel to their race?

The Tour de France has grown in stature as a result of a huge global television audience.

Tourists have flocked to France as a result, not only to watch a bike race but to inject millions of euros into the French economy, marking it as a major European holiday destination.

At a time when Italy could also do with a much-needed tourist cash injection, a non-Italian dominated podium should be beneficial in many ways.

Most Italian cycling aficionados may not agree, but the overall victory by Canadian Ryder Hesjedal is a popular one.

It's a welcome and refreshing change to the great Italian riders who have dominated their national race down the years.

Look what Cadel's Tour de France achievement has done for cycling in terms of international acceptance.

There's no reason to suggest Hesjedal's triumph will not do the same.

It's time the Giro caught up with the rest of the world when it comes to showcasing an amazing bike race and a fabulous country.

Acquarone's foresight and vision ensures the Giro will continue to grow, and one day it will no doubt be favourably compared with that big race held across the border every July, if indeed it isn't already.