Before the start, he met with the entire BMC Racing Team — sponsored by TAG Heuer — to get some last-minute tips from the pros.
Despite being more used to the motor racing track than cycle routes, TAG Heuer ambassador Patrick Dempsey today took part in the 7th stage of the Giro d’Italia, which is celebrating its 100th edition in 2017, with TAG Heuer as its Official Timekeeper.
To mark this occasion, Dempsey sported a replica of a vintage official Giro pink jersey. Leaving from Castrovillari, a small commune in the south of Italy, he rode the first 5k of the course between the start line and the Km 0 marker. He was accompanied by the BMC Racing team riders, sponsored by Tag Heuer, and the current holder of the pink jersey, Bob Jungels.
He had visited BMC Racing Team before setting off, chatting to fellow countryman Tejay van Garderen, a favourite to win the Giro, and Italian national time trial champion, Manuel Quinziato.
Before setting off, Dempsey said: "I'm a huge fan of cycling. For me, the Giro d’Italia is one of the greatest races in the world. I am proud and honoured to have the opportunity to ride on the Giro routes, and, what's more, to be accompanied and coached by the cyclists from BMC Racing Team!"
Paolo Bellino, general manager of RCS Sport, stated: "We are delighted with the partnership with Tag Heuer, a premium international brand which allows us, through events such as this, to reach out beyond the world of cycling. It is an honour to have Patrick Dempsey with us today, at the start of the toughest race in the world, through the most beautiful country in the world."
Even though Dempsey usually spends his free time behind the wheel of his beloved race cars, he is also passionate about cycling. In October, the #DempseyChallenge cycle race will be taking place in Lewiston (USA), with proceeds going to the “Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing”.