Giro d'Italia: Ash cloud threatens travel back to Italy
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Sunday, May 09, 2010

Giro d'Italia: Ash cloud threatens travel back to Italy

by Steve Jones at 10:10 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 

Giro dThe travel issues during the spring Classics from the eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajökull are now in danger of rearing their ugly head again for the Giro d'Italia.  The ash cloud caused by the event shut down airports in April causing many riders to miss the first of the Ardennes Classics.  Now the cloud is further south and has forced the closure of airports in the northern part of Italy.

Currently the riders are scheduled to travel back to Italy via two chartered flights.  Following tomorrow's stage they are intending to take a bus to Ostend, Belgium and fly to Cuneo, which is in northern Italy where air travel has been suspended.  If the situation doesn't improve by tomorrow evening the race organizers will have to improvise to move the massive event back home.

The 22 teams and Giro d'Italia supporting staff could be forced to travel to Italy via bus, which would interrupt the rest day planned for Tuesday.  Another option for organizers may be to change the chartered flights to land at an operational airport closer to the stage start which would shorten the bus ride.  The worst case scenario would be to cancel the 32.5 kilometer team time trial scheduled on Wednesday, but there has been no talk of that by race organizers.

If the race does travel by bus, organizers have said they will try to make all of the teams travel in the same vehicles out of fairness.  Many of the larger teams have expensive, posh team buses that would afford them better recovery than the smaller teams on the ride to Italy.

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