Israeli model Bar Refaeli will be the official presenter of the Giro D’Italia’s opening stages – when it gets underway in Jerusalem on Friday.

In keeping with the tradition of the Giro d’Italia – one of the world’s most significant sporting events – a celebrity presenter has been chosen to be the face of the race during the event’s ‘Big Start’, with organisers this year deciding to select an Israeli presenter, in honour of the historic race coming to the country.

While she won’t be involved in any advertising for the race, she will take a leading role in events associated with the ‘Big Start’ – from the official presentation of the teams and riders on 3 May, which will be broadcast live on Eurosport, to the start of the race on 4 May, to podium presentations at the end of the day’s racing, at which winners’ jerseys will be awarded including the Giro leader’s famous pink shirt, known as the ‘Maglia Rosa.’

Daniel Benaim, founder and CEO of the Comtecgroup, the leading producer of the ‘Big Start’ in Israel, said: “The selection of Bar was a natural choice. The race will be broadcast to a billion viewers worldwide and we wanted to be represented by Bar Refaeli, who is a well-known figure in the international media. She has fans all over the world and has been a successful representative of Israel for many years.”

The first time the race, one of cycling’s three Grand Tour races (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana) has ever been held outside Europe, it is also the most significant sporting event ever held in Israel and unprecedented in size, as a logistical event in the country. It is expected to attract around 10,000 tourists, in addition to 22 international cycling teams arriving to compete, plus hundreds of foreign media. Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide will follow the three days of live broadcasts from Israel, showcasing the country’s rich landscapes, sites, heritage and culture.