Giro d’Italia: Snow forces removal of Stelvio and Gavia from stage 19 route
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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Giro d’Italia: Snow forces removal of Stelvio and Gavia from stage 19 route

by Ben Atkins at 2:53 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Passo del Tonale and Passo Castrin brought in as weather continues to disrupt race

Giro dThe unseasonal European weather continues to disrupt the 2013 Giro d’Italia as race organiser RCS Sport has been forced to remove the Passo dello Stelvio and Passo Gavia from the route of tomorrow’s 19th stage. Snow in the mountains has already caused the 15th stage to the Col du Galibier to be shortened by four kilometres, but metres of snow in the mountains of northern Italy has rendered both passes unusable.

The new course will be a total of 160km; longer than the scheduled 139km, but will likely be far less challenging.

“The Giro Direction informs you that, due to the worsening weather conditions, tomorrow’s stage from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello will have a different course and a total length of 160km,” reads a statement from RCS Sport.

At 2758 and 2618 metres respectively the Stelvio and Gavia were due to be the highest and third highest passes of the race [although with the shortening of the Galibier stage it made the Gavia second highest - ed], and the stage was set to be one of the toughest in a mountainous final week.

The two climbs have provided the race with some of its most iconic imagery, with several of the biggest names in Italian cycling having been photographed riding between walls of snow, while the picture of Andy Hampsten riding over the Gavia in a blizzard on his way to overall victory is one of the most viewed in the Giro’s recent history.

Instead of heading north from Ponte di Legno the new course will head east over the 1883 metre Passo del Tonale, which it will scale almost immediately with the top coming after just 15.7km. This will be followed by the little known 1706 metre Passo Castrin (AKA the Hofmandjoch) as it heads north, before turning west and south to the planned finish at the 2050 metre high Val Martello (Martelltal).

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