Giro d’Italia: Snow causes more alterations to route as stage 20 loses mountain passes
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Friday, May 24, 2013

Giro d’Italia: Snow causes more alterations to route as stage 20 loses mountain passes

by Ben Atkins at 6:48 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Costalunga, San Pellegrino and Giau all removed but Tre Cime finish remains

giro dThe snow in the mountains of northern Italy continues to wreak havoc on the Giro d’Italia route as, following the cancellation of today’s 19th stage, organiser RCS Sport has announced some drastic changes to stage 20. The proposed 203km route across the Dolomites, between Silandro and the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, has lost all but its final climb, with the Passo Costalunga, Passo San Pellegrino and Passo Giau all deemed impassable.

Currently the stage finish, which will be atop the 2304 metre Tre Cime di Lavaredo - via the 1805 metre Passo Tre Croci - is to stand, but this will now be the only major obstacle on the route.

Whether all three of the removed mountain passes are dangerously impassable has not been announced, but the removal of one would likely force the removal of all if the course is to make its way to Cortina d’Ampezzo and the start of the final climb.

The first 56km of tomorrow’s route remain unchanged, as it makes its way from Silandro to the city of Bolzano. Once there, however, the course will turn north, instead of continuing east towards the Costalunga, and make its way to Cortina via Bressanone and Brunico via the Isarco and Rienza valleys. The peloton will then arrive in Cortina from the north, rather than descending from the Passo Giau, before taking on the final climb to the finish.

While the removal of the three mountain passes will make the stage considerably less difficult, the climb to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is difficult enough to see gaps appear.

Stage 20 will be the one remaining chance for riders to try to attack Maglia Rosa Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) before the final, flat stage into Brescia on Sunday. Given the Sicilian’s strength so far in the race, however, it will more likely see a fight between his rivals for the second and third steps of the podium.


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