The route of one of the key stages of the 2023 Giro d’Italia is in doubt over concerns over rider support vehicles. Organisers planned to finish the stage 20 mountain time trial at Monte Lussari on a narrow path that would preclude cars from following riders.
Cyclingnews has seen a letter sent by the AIGCP teams association stating that the concerns were raised with the UCI in March after learning that the Giro organisers RCS Sport were expecting to provide mechanical assistance by motorbike.
The letter suggests that the UCI has asked RCS Sport to provide modifications and warned of the possibility the stage could be cancelled altogether.
Organisers are providing an area for bike changes between the flat first 11 kilometres and the imposing final 7.5km but the debate over how teams can protect their GC riders from having a puncture or mechanical ruin their chances has heated up in the days leading up to the Grande Partenza on Saturday.
World champion Remco Evenepoel told Sporza (opens in new tab) that he hopes the race can find a solution.
“It is a bit of a shame that they are only now realizing that there are problems,” Evenepoel said. “We can still ride to the foot of the final climb and finish there – then it’s an 11-kilometer time trial.
“I find it difficult to completely cancel that ride. But they can still make something else out of it.”
There have been some suggestions that the finish could be moved to another summit. The Monte Zoncolan – often used in the Giro d’Italia – is within 100km of Monte Lussari.
“There are plenty of climbs nearby that we can get to the top of. They’ll find something, I don’t expect there won’t be stage 20 in this Giro,” Evenepoel said, adding that if a mountain time trial was planned, then any alternate route should be a mountain time trial.
“And preferably a similar time trial on a course that can be ridden by all types of vehicles. It is a pity that they would only come up with that decision now. Because they could have known this longer.”
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