The decision of the organizers to shorten the 13th stage, disputed this Friday, was not understood by everyone.
Definitely, this Tour of Italy is turning into a nightmare for the organizers. With the bad weather that has been raging across the country for almost two weeks, if the situation is not as dramatic in comparison to the deadly floods in Emile-Romagna, the race is affected, with this incessant rain which is causing many abandonment due to fall or illness.
This Friday, it is the first big mountain stage of this Giro which had to be planed. The route has been reduced to 75 kilometers, with the removal of the first ascent of the day. It is the protocol linked to extreme weather conditions that has been applied.
Given the adverse weather conditions, especially on the Italian side, the Commission decided to meet the athletes’ requests by applying the Extreme Weather Protocol.
Stage 13 will be shortened with the new km 0 being set at Le Chable, at the bottom of the Croix de Couer. The… pic.twitter.com/6VwMOw8enS
— Giro d’Italia (@giroditalia) May 19, 2023
Some runners like Thibaut Pinot have welcomed this decision, because it eliminates a descent below zero degrees celsius for runners. But not everyone is of this opinion, like the Italian Gianni Moscon. “We must thank the organizers who thought of us runners, first entrusted the runner from Astana to Rai.It’s true that the weather is bad, it’s true that we’re tired but I don’t think there were the conditions to shorten the stage. For me, you could run, so if anyone wanted to stop, they could. We are professional cyclists. If we don’t like it, we can change jobs. »
Former rider Stefano Garzelli is of much the same opinion. “In my opinion, there are no conditions for applying the protocol for extreme conditions, believes the winner of the Giro 2000, now a consultant for Rai. Among other things, this morning there was talk of the cancellation of the Crox de Coeur, whose descent is much more demanding and risky than that of the Gran San Bernardo, instead the first ascent has been canceled. Obviously this was an agreement, with the organization partly accepting the demands of the riders but demanding that there be a real race in the final part of the stage. »
The most dangerous descent has been maintained
Garzelli raises an important point, which was also brought up by Jack Haig. It is the second descent of the day, that of the Croix de Coeur, which is considered the most dangerous. It is however this one which has been maintained, probably because it was much more difficult to trace a route towards Crans-Montana by removing this pass.
“I saw we were going to do the last two climbs but to be honest I don’t quite agree because one of the main reasons we didn’t want to do the middle climb was that the the road surface on the descent was potentially dangerous and we wouldn’t have time to get dressed, explique Jack Haig at Cyclingnews. And now we’re going to start at the bottom of the climb where we’re going to run flat out and get really hot so no need for a lot of clothes. Then doing the descent with potentially guys who are going to give everything to get back on the groups they were dropped from, in a descent that we said was dangerous, so I don’t really understand the trade-off. »