Organisers of the Giro d’Italia have announced that tomorrow’s Stage 14 from Linz to Monte Zoncolan will not now feature the climb and descent of Monte Crostis, which had been due to make its debut in the race. The decision was made by Thierry Diederen, chairman of the UCI race jury, but is against the wishes of the organisers themselves, who had added safety features including plastic netting and crash mattresses. The revised stage profile is shown in the picture above, and the revised timetable can be found here.
Rider safety in this year’s Giro is under greater scrutiny than ever before as a result of Wouter Weylandt’s death on Stage 3, and the main reasons given for the jury’s decision were the difficulty of access for ambulances as well as the poor road surface.
Another issue was the fact that team cars would have been unable to follow the race while the riders were on the Crostis, which the race jury felt detracted from the sporting element of the stage. The cars will now be able to follow the riders to the foot of the Zoncolan.
Giro race director Angelo Zomegnan, quoted in the Gazzetta dello Sport, insisted this evening that the perceived hazards of the stage had already been addressed: “For us, security and compliance with sporting regulations had been assured before this decision and still are now.”
He added: “We invite all the fans who would have waited for the riders passing on the Crostis to move onto the Zoncolan for a great day of cycling.”
The alternative route to the Zoncolan avoiding Monte Crostis has been revealed this evening and as a consequence of the route changes, the distance of the stage from Linz to Zoncolan has been cut by 20km to 190km.
While the Zoncolan was always going to be decisive tomorrow, it will probably to play more of a key role than it would have done had the Crostis still been included, with the GC group now likely arriving at the foot of the climb together – something that would have been unlikely had they ridden over the Crostis first.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.