Italian Federation dismisses case against striking Giro della Toscana riders
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Friday, December 13, 2013

Italian Federation dismisses case against striking Giro della Toscana riders

by Ben Atkins at 4:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Bronzini, Longo Borghini and Cantele face no action over final stage protest

giorgia bronziniThe federal proseutor of the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) has dismissed the case brought by Giro della Toscana organiser Brunello Fanini, against the riders that refused to ride the final stage of the race on September 15th. Despite more than 60 riders opting not to ride the 99km course, between Lucca and Florence, due to concerns over traffic safety, Fanini had singled out three Italians in his complaint. Former two-time World champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda), former Italian champion Noemi Cantele (Be Pink) and riders’ union (ACCPI) representative Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products), were the targets of Fanini’s case, as he accused them of sabotaging his event.

The FCI decision means that none of the riders will face any disciplinary action over their protest.

The race - which Fanini has organised since 1995 in memory of his daughter Michela, who was killed in a car accident in 1994 - has been beset with traffic safety issues for several years. Last year’s final stage was neutralised for much of its final phase, as it crossed the city of Florence, before being restarted again for the sprint.

This year’s event was the only event on the 2013 women’s calendar with the new 2.HC status, but saw traffic enter the course on several occasions, getting between the breakaway and the peloton. The second stage even saw a crash at the finish, as Australian Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products) collided with the race’s own video camera operator, who was standing in the middle of the road just after the line.

The riders were unhappy with the assurances they received over the safety of this year’s Florence stage, and so more than half the peloton refused to start. The remains of the peloton rode the stage at a neutralised pace, with the Michela Fanini-Rox team - also run by Brunello Fanini in memory of his daughter - crossing the line at its head.

With race leader Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) among those to pull out - along with second place Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), third place Anna van der Breggen (Sengers Ladies) and Rossella Ratto (Hitec Products) [although Ratto took the start, only to pull out with five kilometres to go - ed] the eventual race victory went to overnight fifth place Claudia Häusler (Tibco-To The Top), whose team was one of the few major outfits to complete the stage.

Fanini threatened that, if the riders should strike, he may not organise it again in future. It is not listed as part of the 2014 UCI calendar.


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