Ministers warn they will drop backing for bike race, which had been scheduled to begin in Israel, if wording does not change

Israeli ministers are threatening to withdraw their backing for the start of next year’s Giro d’Italia cycle race – one of the most important grand tours on the racing calendar – after organisers described the start point as “west Jerusalem”.

The race departure, whose first three stages were scheduled to begin in Israel before returning to Italy for the remaining 18, had been announced to great fanfare this year as the first time a European Grand Tour would start in Israel.

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