Thursday, June 20, 2024

A new weather nightmare could hit the Giro d’Italia – floods threaten an important stage


More bad weather can await the Giro. Photo: Fabio Ferrari/LaPresse via AP / NTB

Of NTB | 22.05.2024 11:40:41

Sport: Heavy rainfall has hit the Veneto region of Italy hard recently. The cities of Padova and Vicenza have been particularly hard hit.

The seasoned organizers of the Giro d’Italia may have to deal with that in the coming days. Saturday’s penultimate stage is scheduled to go from Alpago to Bassano del Grappa – precisely in the area affected by flooding.

The cycling media Wheeler flash writes that rivers around Vicenza, Padova and Bassano del Grappa are completely flooded. Padova is also the target city for the 18th Giro stage as early as Thursday.

Images circulating on social media show flooded streets in several villages in the area in question.

On Tuesday, race director Mauro Vegni and his staff received a lot of criticism for the handling of the 16th stage. Chaotic conditions arose after the athletes jointly demanded that the route had to be changed as a result of extreme weather.

The snow had already melted in the starting area in Livigno, and in addition there were reports of precipitation and temperatures down to freezing point in the Umbrail pass the riders were expected to cross.

– This would never have happened in 99 percent of similar situations. It’s a shame that this is happening in 2024 and we still have dinosaurs who really don’t see the human side of things, Australian cycling star Ben O’Connor told Eurosport as the chaos reigned.

After negotiations between the actors involved, the clarification everyone was waiting for finally arrived. The start of the stage was moved to after the Umbrail pass.

The weather gods have not been kind to the cycling stars earlier this season either. During the classic Fleche Wallonne, several of the field’s large profiles were chilled and had to break as a result of snowy weather and cold.

Tobias Foss (Ineos) and Vegard Stake Laengen (UAE) are the two remaining Norwegians in the Giro d’Italia. Torstein Træen broke the race with an injury.

Slovenian Tadej Pogacar leads the race superbly.

The Giro organizer has so far not commented on the flood situation.

according to Adam Hansen, head of the riders’ interest association, the Umbrail pass was closed by local authorities during the day. Thus, the Giro could not have used the stretch anyway.

(© NTB)


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