Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour de France winner, says he feels safe in Northern Ireland despite its past troubles.
Evans is expected to shine for Australia during the Giro D'Italia, which starts in Belfast on Friday.
The arrest of Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams last week threw the spotlight on the country's violent history, however Evans said: "We understand all countries have had their troubles over the past.
"I hope by the number of police we see around we are going to be safe, aren't we? I can't imagine the Giro organisers would think to have the race if it was going to be unsafe. I feel safe and not every country we race in the world is that safe.
"That is part of the job, we have to race here, we don't have much choice on that anyway."
Evans became the first Australian and, at 34, the oldest man in 88 years to win the Tour de France in 2011.