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Giro d’Italia ‘shambles’ as riders boycott new route after extreme snowfall

More heavy snow is forecast for this week – AFP Riders and teams hit out at a “shambles” of a day at the Giro d’Italia, with Australia’s Ben O’Connor labelling the race organisers “dinosaurs” after the planned start to stage 16 in Livigno was boycotted by riders amid heavy snow, leading to chaos and confusion.

Giro d’Italia ‘shambles’ as riders boycott new route after extreme snowfall

Team DSM's French rider Romain Bardet climbs the last kilometre of the 15th stage of the 107th Giro d'Italia cycling race on May 19

Extra heavy snow is forecast for this week – AFP

Riders and groups hit out at a “shambles” of a day on the Giro d’Italia, with Australia’s Ben O’Connor labelling the race organisers “dinosaurs” after the deliberate begin to stage 16 in Livigno was boycotted by riders amid heavy snow, resulting in chaos and confusion.

The stage did ultimately get below method after a three-hour delay, albeit the route was shortened to 120km and the Umbrail Move taken out.

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Crew Emirates) ultimately took his fifth stage win of the race to increase his lead within the common classification to 7min 18sec.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) “grovelled up” up the ultimate climb to the ski resort of Val Gardena, falling from second to 3rd general, 22 seconds behind Dani Martinez (Bora-Hansgrohe).

The massive story of the day, although, was the chaotic begin in Livigno, a ski resort at over 1,800m altitude.

Organisers RCS had anticipated the peloton to roll out of Livigno and experience neutralised via the Munt la Schera tunnel. Certainly they mentioned in a press release that that had been agreed by all events with a “handshake”.

However the CPA, the riders’ union, claimed they’d have gotten chilly and moist earlier than the switch to the brand new begin level, saying it could have been “a s— present”.

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‘Vital well being dangers’

“Riders purpose to compete and entertain, to not face a state of affairs the place they need to cease at an altitude of two,498 meters in a carpark, change garments in two-degree climate with a excessive chance of snow, after which proceed racing,” it mentioned in a letter which was shared on social media.

“Such circumstances pose important well being dangers, significantly throughout the descent of the Umbrail Move. It’s 2024; stopping and restarting races in such circumstances is unacceptable. As one DS (sporting director) put it, ‘this shall be a s— present.’”

O’Connor (Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale) later criticised Giro race director Mauro Vegni, telling Eurosport Discovery: “It’s in all probability one of many worst organised races I feel and I’m simply being sincere. This might by no means occur in 99 per cent of different conditions.

“I’d wish to see [Vegni] in our place, go exterior on the bike and do the beginning of the stage and see what his reply is after these couple of hours.

“I want he might expertise it as a result of then he would have a little bit of a way of what it’s truly actually like relatively than turning on the local weather in his automotive and saying that is nice for folks to observe.”

Crew Ineos sporting director Zak Dempster advised Eurosport Discovery that the riders had by no means “shaken arms” on the beginning in Livigno, describing the day as “a little bit of a shambles”.

Pogacar ended a day of havoc in acquainted style as he powered to victory, making mild of torrential rain to experience away from his rivals on the summit end on the ski resort of Val Gardena. Barring damage or misfortune within the subsequent few days, the Slovenian appears assured of reaching Rome with the maglia rosa on his again.

As he crossed the road he held up his hand to depend off his stage wins. Giulio Pellizzari, the final of a breakaway group to maintain Pogacar at bay.

Thomas, 37, admitted he had suffered. “I simply didn’t really feel like I had something right now and that final climb was only a large grovel to the highest principally,” mirrored Thomas in his rapid post-stage interview with Biking Professional Internet. “I’m nonetheless in there I suppose. So tomorrow is one other day.”

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