Giro d’Italia Stage 13 Preview

Bonjour, the race starts in Piemonte but heads to Italy’s Aosta valley where French is a second language and then crosses into francophone Switzerland for two more climbs.

The First Denz: a maxi-breakaway of 30 riders went clear in among the dolcetto and nebbiolo vineyards of Barolo and Alba. At first sight these big groups appear menacing, ready to turn the race upside down with so many attackers trying to defy the peloton. Only it usually turns out that many riders miss turns or soft-pedal, each wants to win the stage let the others do the hard work and as soon as one rider eases, nobody else wants to work. This time the group split thanks to the weather, a downpour prompted some to go back to the cars for rain jackets and five riders pressed on in Samuele Battistella, Toms Skujiņš, Nico Denz, Sebastian Berwick and Alessandro Tonelli and soon the rest of the group was stuck, a stand off in the chase. The quintet became quartet when Battistella fell ill, then became a trio on the climb of the day, the Colle Braida but as much as Skujiņš drove the pace, he dropped Tonelli but the bulky Denz couldn’t be dropped. Into Rivoli and Skujiņš launched the sprint and Denz came past for his biggest win.

The Route: 199km and 5,000m of vertical gain. A start at the mouth of the Aosta valley and then up the valley on a road regularly used by the Giro to Aosta, an uphill slog which barely registers on the profile but harder than it seems.

Then comes the Gran San Bernando pass, not quite easier than it seems but a long climb rather than a steep one, this is climb to soften up the legs for later and also a big points bonanza for the mountains competition and it’s rarely steep but it’s sustained as it climbs past the early south-facing vineyards. This time it’s up to the tunnel and not to the pass, not for the first time as the Giro went through in 2006.. It robs the stage of 500m of vertical gain but probably won’t change the result. The tunnel offers some shelter but an odd moment, it warms up inside meaning a lull in the racing and presumably little TV as the race rides inside the mountain. Then comes a long descent, the kind trucks can negotiate but enough to get cold on.

The Croix de Coeur is a climb of two parts, first the hairpin ski station road to Verbier which is a hard climb and used in 2009 when Alberto Contador sped away for the win and Bradley Wiggins made a name for his climbing performances. But today the race goes beyond this and via a small backroad above the resort, a service road for ski lifts that’s also a “new” climb for cyclists and with 10% slopes, this is hard. When the cleared the snow off the top of the Croix de Coeur earlier this week they discovered the tarmac underneath had some winter damage but it seems they’ve made temporary repairs in time for the race. Too early to attack? The ensuing descent does reward the bold but anyone who takes time has over 20km along the Rhone valley to deal with before tackling the final climb.

The Finish: a ski station summit finish, however it’s not the main road up used by coachloads of tourists but the side road via Lens although it’s still a regular climb, a chalet access road if you like. At 13km it’s a long climb and selective as it rises quickly above the Rhone valley.

Once in Crans things level out for a run across turn before a left turn and a final drag up to the line of 7%.

The Contenders: breakaway or GC contenders? Let’s think of the GC riders where Ineos wants to defend even if Geraint Thomas has a two second lead overall, at least in the hope others fall away. Similarly Jumbo-Visma want Primož Roglič to win but they probably won’t work all day and boss the race for it. So the breakaway has a great chance. Jay Vine (UAE) seems good but could be on team duty, likewise Brandon McNulty. Lorenzo Fortunato (Eolo-Kometa), Ben Healy (EF Education-Easypost) and Einer Rubio (Movistar) can ride for themselves.

Among the GC contenders, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is the obvious pick but before backing him this is just a fitness test, can he handle the stage after crashes and questions over his form. Geraint Thomas (Ineos) too gets a test.

Healy, Buitrago, Fortunato
Roglič, Thomas, Almeida, Rubio, McNulty, Vine, Mollema

Weather: more tough conditions, no more than 12°C in the Aosta valley and the warmest part of the stage will be the tunnel thanks to geothermic heat. It could rain on the Croix de Coeur but this threat is receding.

TV: KM0 is at 11.05 and the start of the Croix de Coeur is 2.20pm and the final climb begins around 4.20pm with the finish is forecast for 5.00pm CEST.

105 thoughts on “Giro d’Italia Stage 13 Preview”

  1. So, no Cima Coppi today but Schrödinger’s Cat & Mouse in the tunnel? (Then again, I’ve noticed that transmission continues in tunnels during the Tour de Suisse. How come?)
    I’d like to see Healy get a brace but he complained before yesterday’s stage of feeling ‘chesty’. Here’s hoping his soigneur knows about Vics vapour rub.

  2. It is not obvious that Roglic would want to win today. I imagine that Jumbo would want Ineos to do as much work as possible before the final week.

  3. Hugh Carthy has been keeping his powder dry since the Grande Partenza for days like this, let’s see if he finally sparkles on some proper mountain slopes.

  4. Thanks for the preview!
    Jay Vine should well be in for the day but I guess wearing the colors of one of the other teams from the golf, right? @inrng

  5. For all the troubles of the race many Italians are facing big flood issues . Cesena where the TT took place a few days ago seems badly hit. Gives some perspective.

    I cant see Ineos wanting to chase today even if only not to help Primoz Roglic snipe for bonus seconds, cant see JV are strong enough to chase down the break either, so think a break will win. which rider is a complete lottery though Hugh Carthy for one of the mountain stages seems likely. I suspect the GC group will ride up together, all a bit of a damp squib!

    Its currently snowing on the road up to the Grand St Bernard, Verbier is forecast to be somewhat drier though still cold, the rain/snow seems due late afternoon hopefully the race is through by then. Doeant look good tomorrow would not be a surprise if the crossing of the Simplon is abandoned.

    • The floods are devastating and while the Giro can take place in a bubble, the weather is the big story in Italy and even the Giro’s TV coverage has interludes where there’s an appeal for donations to an aid/recovery fund. There’s also an upcoming weather alert for Piemonte (today’s start) and Lombardia (tomorrow’s finish).

  6. Thanks for the description of Croix de Coeur, I was wondering where in Switzerland (where they either tunnel through or cantilever around to keep grades reasonable) they found a road with double-digit grades? I’ll argue going over the GS Bernardo wouldn’t have made a difference vs the tunnel as I’ve been up it many times (much later in the year) it’s a tough climb vs droning along a constant grade in the tunnel. I’m hoping someone will at least try to put the hurt on Mr. G and Co as a sort of opening salvo today. W Il Giro!

    • They’ve got a lot of double-digit climbs, actually… only, not all of them are mountain passes, which I myself find more rewarding for a personal route, not to speak of thinking about drawing a cycling tour. Yet, Grosse Scheidegg, for example, ticks all the boxes, including famous race days (Cunego vs. Sagan). As a dead end beast, I wouldn’t miss Naret.

      • Yes, Switzerland has plenty of very steep climbs with 10-12-14% sections for long periods but they are particular roads rather than highways/ski stations and major passes, that’s where you get the very level, engineered gradients.

        • Energy companies should start paying for dam arrivals, too, in order to show how clean they are… better or worse than ski stations from an environmental POV? A close call, but I’d go with the dams, some of them at least (others are terrible, especially in Spain). Anyway, we’d probably get better cycling with the dams! And they should still be working someway in the next decades, unlike so many ski stations…

          We had Emosson Dam, of course, and Vajont in Italy, even if that wasn’t precisely great marketing for hydroelectrics. But it’s also important to keep bad memories alive, too, even if they are true nightmares, or even more so (may I suggest the Paolini show). The Bergamo province could organise a Giro stage for the less known Diga del Gleno…

          Tesero and Ovada are known to cycling fans because of Passo Pampeago and Turchino, but they have a history of dam tragedies, too, not quite enough talked about, I feel.

          • Very off topic, but…
            Dams in North America have a bit more complicated impact, perhaps many are not up to modern European standards. I live in the Pacific NW where there is a pretty active trend towards decommissioning old dams and replacing them (when appropriate) with modern infrastructure.
            There’s an excellent documentary (funded by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia/Black Diamond fame) called DamNation that’s worth watching. It details how many dams have a detrimental impact on fisheries (especially salmon, though I have no idea if there are similarly spawning fish in Europe) and displacing Native tribes.

          • South America nowadays still has newly built or projected dams as a conflictive subject, and very rightly so. As I hinted at above, Italy had similar woes especially in the first part of 20th century, and Spain, too, suffered, for different reasons, from a speculative rather than scientific dam policy. Reality is complex, for a change, and vested predatory capitalism (or mere greed) in the guise of progress, “sustainable growth” or whatever is often to blame.

  7. Mollema’s let me down. So Pinot for the win today. Suspect JV will let Ineos do the work (by default or design?) and keep the powder dry until next week.

  8. The story of the race so far, for me, has been Jonathan Milan. Will be interesting to see how he negotiates the lumps.

    • A big rider now facing the Alps. The Italian media are calling for him to have a leadout specialist so this way he can be in a better position and then start collecting wins – he’s moving teams, said to be going to Trek – which you can see the point. But his build, the ability to sprint while seated, he could also be the world’s best leadout guy himself although that’s a skill for the brain as much as down to brawn.

    • The Swiss can’t de-ice the road? Geez. Think about this next time you consider crossing the border RCS…no GS Bernardo and now no Croix de Coeur? Is whatever Crans Montana coughed up worth it?

      • The top part of the Croix de Coeur descent towards La Tzoumaz is a gravel road – or at least it was last year when I rode it. Not sure if it has been upgraded as part of the ‘new’ climb. It was Swiss gravel last year, so relatively tame, but not something I’d want to race down, as the route is quite narrow at the top, with little margin for error.

        • Reportedly, it got asphalted back then. By the way, the menace of cutting out the CdC climb apparently depends on a “campaign” with a “shocking video” (already “debunked” by some experts) due to a local mayor who would have expected more asphalting input for the Giro from other authorities or organisers (otherwise, the maintenance is wholly up to the local municipality).

    • Apparently the talk is of racing from Sembrancher (in the valley below Verbier) to Crans Montana via Martiginy. The weather is just awful, might be better to stay in bed until Sunday!

      • This has just been posted on Cycling News
        “What I just outlined has been confirmed by race director Mauro Vegni. Stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia will start in Sembrancher in Switzerland at 14:24 local time, effectively cutting the first 119km from today’s route. The stage will be 80km long, tackling the Croix de Coeur and its descent as normal before heading up the Crans Montana summit finish.”

        Surprised they are still doing the Croix de Coeur but dont see it makes sense to ride the Grand St Bernard in snow even if using the tunnel. This might help primoz Roglic as he seems to like short & steep though perhaps the steep descent might not suit so much.

        • Doing just the last 80 kms as mapped would be better than what I feared – a 1996 TdF Stage 9 type farce where they hauled Riis and Co. to the final climb.
          Since the GS Bernardo got neutered with the tunnel detour it probably didn’t matter much, especially compared to the ascent/descent of the Croix de Coeur. Perhaps a bold attack on what is now the first climb could pay off even more? Fingers crossed!

    • It’s not like anything really prevented the race from tackling the original route from a safety POV. It’s just the Giro now losing each and every time it faces *any* political arm wrestling (not in the sense of parties, elections and so on).

      Changes had no technical meaning, so I think we didn’t discuss them here, but the Piemonte stage route was changed because a municipality denied permission to pass on its territory at the very last minute explaining that “you can’t paralyse all [“motorised traffic in”, NdR] Vinovo for a bicycle race”. The village has some 10-15 thousands inhabitants and I only knew it because the press reported back then that the Court investigating Juventus FC doping had found in their Vinovo training centre “more pharmaceutical products than a province hospital would need”.
      You really can’t paralyse Vinovo, sigh.
      Part of the decline of cycling as a sport in Italy depends on a shared social attitude about mobility which is being made every passing day more adverse to cycling in general.

  9. This is the stage where an old 30min film of the Giro would have the voiceover; ‘Into the high mountains after an uneventful two weeks, and the race is just beginning.’
    This could be the Giro with the fewest finishers and sadly it’s not even close to making headlines because of the flooding.
    – But the racing has been brilliant despite the awful conditions and some riders who thrive in the mountains have hardly been seen yet. The big worry aside from flooding is the spread of viruses and infections in the cold, wet weather and now the real jeopardy of mountain descents. Expect some massive time gaps and the cut-offs being disregarded for fear of having even fewer partants.
    Hoping the riders stay safe. This is epic and there are more great rides to come.

  10. I was going to go for pinot mopping up the KOM points and then the stage assuming he is fit.
    But with the race shortened i will go for Roglic.
    I didn’t think a GC team would chase for 200km but for 75 km i think they will. Assuming jumbo is fit.

  11. Was the stage shortened due to unsafe road conditions, or because the riders don’t want to ride in bad weather?
    I’ve no idea, but this sort of issue is always going to come up if the riders get to decide what they’re doing.
    Clearly, the commissaires – or a similar independent body – need to be making this decision: not the riders and not the race organisers.

      • It’s not cold, the line of zero degrees sat around 2.500 m. *this morning*, so no “icy descents” either, it’s not raining heavily, better said, it’s barely raining on the Northern range of the Vallée, the Swiss TV news said that the Croix de Coeur descent is now ok (they’ll do it, in fact – or let’s hope that, who knows, actually…).
        What the heck?
        I’d say that disclosing the minutes of the decision process would be an exercise of transparence and respect towards all stakeholders, including public entities which although not directly paying money to RCS (besides those institutions which indeed paid, I mean) always make any sort of effort for months in order to better receive the race and making of it a really popular event.
        At least we’d know exactly who’s asking what and on what supposed basis.

      • As many of us said back then, the EWP was always going to lead to this.
        How many times now have we seen races shortened/cancelled when the weather has been perfectly reasonable?
        If, as Gabriele says, the public got to know who made what decisions and why, the riders concerned might not be so keen to stop the racing.
        The riders who don’t like tough conditions, long days, bad weather, etc. are always going to try to get rid of stages like this because they’re disadvantageous to them.
        The riders and teams are inherently biased, and so are the last people who should be deciding.

        • Thanks inrng for the above link.

          March 10, 2016

          The most important aspect is that this *protocol* shouldn’t become the formalisation of an old strategy by the strongest teams which tend to prefer not to race when the conditions would raise the level of unpredictability of the competition: they create pressure on the organisers, often mixing up the idea of danger with stages which are just a bit harder to control… this way, in case something bad ended up happening, even for reasons unrelated to the supposed danger, the predicament for the organisers would be huge – so they tend to “obey” or to be complicit

          Also interesting what others objected:
          “This is not leading the sport down a dangerous path where the riders gang up on the race organisers and refuse to ride. Pros are pretty binary and if they sniff the chance of a win they’ll give their lives for it.”
          …to whom another commenters answered:
          “One thing is to demand more safety and another, completely different, to demand less physically demanding conditions. Any time these two ideas are amalgamated, I am very suspicious”.

          Well well.

      • Garzelli now saying that it made no sense to even start speaking of EWP as the lowest temperature on the course was 5°C. Moscon quite angry saying that maybe some riders, as he himself, do actually prefer hard conditions: once granted that it’s well possible to race safely, whomever doesn’t feel so can still retire and go home.
        Weather data here:

    • Commissaires deciding sounds great, until you start going back over some of what they’ve decided in the past, like Sagan being kicked out of a race because the Manx Missile crashed? I think the organizer needs to confer with the experts who determine whether the roads are safe or not and leave the whiners…er… riders (but not all of them, one made a comment about those not wanting to race in anything other than perfect conditions might oughta find other employment) out of it – too many opinions based on personal gain/loss rather than sporting values when DS’ and riders start to weigh-in.

      • CN reporting Moscon was ready to ride, but I wonder how long it will take for someone to complain about losing a lot of time due to the chaos at the start. Oh well, it is the Giro!

  12. According to Adam Hansen (who has some sort of union type role) on Twitter the riders took an anonymous vote and ‘over 90%’ were in favour of invoking the extreme weather protocol.. apparently the reasons were freezing rain (highly unlikely) and extreme temperatures. Freezing rain only occurs when warm air rides over freezing air, so that seems unlikely. Extreme temperatures… I’m pretty sure 2/3/4 celcius is unlikely to upset your average Canadian or Russian… maybe Australians though..! I suppose if you’re soaked in both sweat and rain and the air temperature is in low single digits and you’re descending at 40-50 mph then the wind chill you’d be generating would be extremely unpleasant.

    • Of course, the riders mostly voted to sit on a bus. Who wouldn’t?
      They can’t be the ones to decide.
      People on Hansen’s twitter saying ‘safety first’.

      There is no safety issue.

      • That’s it. SOMEONE (please) needs to separate DANGER vs UNPLEASANTNESS. I didn’t note the name of the guy who said they should ride, figuring the Anglo haters club who flames Tiberi and this fellow will chime in soon enough anyway.
        Even Garzelli (who’s not exactly a boomer) and employed by RAI says it’s not a safety issue. Meanwhile Matt White reports the descent of the GS Bernardo (one assumes the reason for cutting the stage down) was perfectly dry when they drove it.
        Now they all need to STFU and race whether it’s unpleasant or not. And FU to Ineos for leading the charge on shortening the stage…but being in the jersey and owned by the “Just Win Baby” folks, is anyone surprised?
        I’ll be clapping when/if Mr. G falls off and goes outta the race. W Il Giro!

        • I thought your native tongue was English! Where did you here that Ineos were “leading the charge” given the other day they were happy to comply with whatever was decided?

        • Larry, I’m not sure where you got the bit about Ineos “leading the charge”, but even if it were true, which I doubt, it does not excuse wishing a crash on anyone. WTAF have we come to if your visceral hatred of Sky?Ineos leads you to say something like that?

        • Wow Larry, clapping for a rider crashing out the race (which means a serious crash) is a bit over the edge, even if I share the shock and frustration for what happened to the sport today. I guess or hope you actually wouldn’t.
          That said, Thomas’ interview gave me the impression that you were right, maybe INEOS were really factoring in havily enough when the course of events was determined. And, quite more significant than my “impressions”, some journalist of Radio RAI also confirmed that, later in the afternoon, quoting an anonymous source which apparently took part in the conversations.
          Personally, I’m still a bit skeptical as I don’t feel that INEOS is still as a powerful player in cycling as it was some seasons ago. FWIW, apparently Bahrain and Astana were the teams less favourable to cutting down the stage.
          As an organiser, you really need just a couple of teams to have the race running, not that they’re enough, but most of the rest would jump on board seeing that there are occasions to be grabbed, which is why I don’t think at all this was really or simply a “riders’ strike” thing.

        • “I’ll be clapping when/if Mr. G falls off and goes outta the race.”
          For shame, Larry. I’ve always respected your views and opinions, whether I agree or not, but this is too much.

    • Everybody can vote to invoke whatever, but if there’s a protocol is precisely to define conditions for even starting to talk about changing the route. No freezing rain, no extreme temperatures. It’s not something you vote or not!
      Low single digits? It’s 14ºC in La Tzoumaz (Croix de Coeur descent); 8-9ºC before and after the tunnel on GSB.

      • One thing Hansen said seemed odd – apparently RCS objected to them calling for the EWP on the morning of a stage, so they did so based on yesterday’s weather not today’s. I can’t see how that helps if it results in a decision being made on the morning of the stage anyway.

    • I don’t think they meant freezing rain as a specific phenomenon, just shorthand for being very cold and wet.

      Today’s conditions seem better than the stage to Viareggio the other day but seems some riders are tired and fed-up because of the accumulation of these cold, wet days going by Adam Hansen’s statement. Plus as a new CPA president he’s obviously keen to make a mark, rally support from the riders and be taken seriously by teams, races, the UCI etc, it’s what he was elected to do. He lead the riders in Morbegno during the 2020 Giro when they got the stage shortened then after also being fed up because of the bad weather, then again it was as much fatigue from past stages, transfers, bad hotels etc than the prospect of the wet day ahead.

      • Yeah, ok, but that doesn’t make sense all the same.
        Being fed up because it rained often so now we don’t like any further rain with some 8 to 15 C degress is not in any protocol, it’s a strike. It’s not about safety, either.
        I’ll even support an open strike, if it’s fair, but not this sort of manipulation.
        Just have a look *right now* at how the performance on this key climb, and as a consequence the competition itself as a whole, has been changed.
        A course isn’t a jigsaw of separate pieces. The descent itself would have been even safer with a group broken down into even smaller pieces, which isn’t going to happen once the climb is made less selective by the lack of previous accumulated efforts.

        Morbegno 2020 was a real shame, in fact. As many suspected back then, giving room to that sort of monoeuvres would grant we’d be going down a more slippery slope than any Giro descent.

        • Exactly. If the riders were honest about their complaints then I might not agree with them but that would be a different issue.
          But they invoked the Extreme Weather Protocol, and the weather wasn’t unsafe.
          And it’s not the first time.

          This is all about teams not wanting stages in bad weather, and not wanting long stages.
          Because they want control.

          And, as we’re always told, short stages make a much more exciting GC race, as we saw today.

      • Maybe the riders need a geography lesson. If its really wet on the italian side of the alps theres likely to be a fohn wind on the other side and anybody who got damp and cold in italy would quickly dry out!

  13. The UCI and riders should realise that the traditions and mystique of pro cycling and GTs require an element of ordeal and suffering. Without that it’s just another sport. If there’s a real and substantial risk to rider’s health, then OK, but if it’s just a question of fatigue and discomfort, no.

    • I really think the recent stage to Viareggio is motivating this. Many riders were so cold that they had trouble using arms and hands to brake and steer on the descents, which led to several crashes. If you were faced with that again today (or even the small possibility), then you too might argue for the stage to be shortened. Plus comments above about how many riders have already left the race with illness, which the cold wet conditions can’t have helped.

      Perhaps the peloton needs to come to some agreement about when it’s ok to stop/slow down mid-race to dress properly, rather than panicking about splits and consequently ending up under-dressed? They’ll often agree to slow down for nature breaks, or if (e.g.) the GC leader has had a crash or mechanical, so why not do the same when the weather worsens and warmer clothing and gloves are needed?

      • But… of course they already do!
        That’s why I believe you’re probably missing the point here.

        The weather was a mere excuse, as the sketchy descent or whatever they could come up with.
        It’s just that some parties in cycling have achieved to have a say about how a race must be shaped, and that’s probably quite unfair besides having more of a significant impact on the competition than a decent number of low level doping practices.
        I’m not saying that 80% or 90% or any figure à la Zhivkov you might prefer didn’t really vote for a bus ride, who knows, it’s even a possibility, as J Evan pointed out above; it’s just that it’s something rather easy to achieve under the right conditions. And who’ll ever check the polls, by the way.
        To start with, the EWP was invoked without any forecast or actual weather situation even close to what the same EWP defines. And it’s not the first time, either.

        Anyway, the reasons which motivated the power struggle are surely *not* health or safety, given that as we could see live they were never at risk.

  14. Another lame page.

    I’d really need to post that “Shame! Shame! Shame!” gif from Game of Thrones.

    Well, now let’s just write it down for the next time when some brilliant expert raises a hand to point out how good short stages are for TV and cycling in general.

    • Nothing will stop the constant dogma of ‘Short stages are more exciting’.
      Apparently some are more interested in the total lack of tactical nuance that a stage of today’s length provides.
      And, of course, ‘When stages are ‘too long’, the GC riders are all too scared to attack’. Can’t wait for that one to be trotted out again.

  15. Too many of you guys’ posts are starting to be about heroes and suffering like mine?!?!? WTF?
    Adam Hansen and Co. seem to want the UCI Weather Protocol to be changed to: “When the riders are tired, cold, etc. they can vote to shorten or cancel any stage they like. Nobody can argue with them.”
    Merckx’ quote about this was pretty good…has it popped up online translated into English yet?
    W Il Giro!

  16. RCS is a joke. They are pushed around. They will end up selling out to ASO after devaluing their product to point of non-viability. The race announcement in October or whenever is a joke. Why bother. They are just going to cancel it. They do this all the time. And pay people to ride their race. Business model will never last. People won’t look back and say how great it was when they cancelled that stage. Can’t wait to watch next years cancelled stage. EPIC. Really pointless with people’s time. They already don’t watch, I’m sure people we try to sell the ‘safety’. When far more riders are killed training at home. Probably training with EarPods doesn’t help. People on phones in car. But let’s pretend it is CRAZY race organisers.

    • Well, ASO already provide junior-length stages in their grand tours – that’s why the riders consistently try to get RCS to ‘get more up to date’.

    • 1996 TdF. Stage 9. I believe ASO, not RCS was running that s–t-show?
      Obviously Il Giro’s not for you so as they say in Italy – va’ fa’…er….you’ll figure out the rest.

  17. As many posters have already commented, today was yet another example of why the ‘protocol’ in its present form is simply not fit for purpose.
    A day of shame for a great sport.

  18. Woof! Enough hating on the riders already. As someone who has raced, and at a high level, even for the most hardened rider the thought of descending in adverse conditions is daunting. Add to that the fatigue of being deep into the race coupled with the extra fatigue the weather has brought and I completely understand their position. Was I disappointed the whole stage didn’t happen? Of course! Do I remember fondly the salad days of riders in epic conditions? Yes! Just remember that this is a bike race with people like you and me and that tomorrow is another day.

    • It’s not ‘hating’; it’s justified criticism.
      They invoked the Extreme Weather Protocol (not fit for purpose, as BC says). There was no extreme weather.
      This is not about safety, it’s about teams and riders wanting to change a race to suit themselves more.
      And they don’t try it with ASO because they haven’t the balls to take them on. (And because ASO’s grand tour stages are already pitifully short.)

          • Oh, sorry. The meteo apps weren’t Salvato’s. He only told on TV that “some teams” were protesting yesterday because they had this super-special very advanced apps whose forecasts menaced with a different and worse weather compared to, well, all the rest (the public ones everybody could check, you see); and so different from what actually happened, too. Sounded so similar to that old Tirreno. But I found interesting that this narrative makes clear enough that some *teams* prompted the whole story. Teams, not riders. Then again they apparently voted by teams.

    • And maybe how NOBODY died in any of those great scenes? They just got cold and wet…while riding in old-time clothing nowhere near as good (if you believe the marketing) as what they have now, on bikes with antique braking systems that (horrors!) used cables to squeeze rubber blocks onto the sides of polished aluminum rims. They descended in “adverse conditions” (not that there were any on this stage) and lived to tell the tale and create the myths and legends modern cycling is so keen to use for marketing but these days so reluctant to repeat. Unpleasantness does not equal danger!

  19. Surely the most Pinot-esque of Pinot defeats.

    I guess we should be glad that presumably he doesn’t have anyone in his radio-piece shouting, ‘What are you doing? Stop pointlessly attacking him!’

    That and Valentin Paret-Peintre’s descent (equally pointless) were the only entertainment provided. (And yet the commentators were telling us how exciting it was.)

    • I was amazed Pinot continued attacking even after it was clear he wouldn’t drop them. He’s got a good sprint; why not change tack and keep some powder dry for a 3-up finish?

  20. Lots of blowhard couch stage racers on here. Like suffering is some appendage measuring contest for men. Must be all the testosterone prescriptions on here.

    • “Coach stage racers with testosterone prescriptions”? You’re hitting a bit hard on the athletes, aren’t you?
      Though indeed they rode a good part of last stage on coaches, admittedly. But let’s leave the testosterone patches in Manchester, for once.

      That said, could you please expand on the suffering implied by descending (or climbing, FWIW) mainly dry roads with 10 to 15 C degrees?

      • Speak for yourself. I’d guess many commenters who feel robbed by whiners about weather conditions that turned out not to exist have themselves ridden (or maybe even raced) bicycles in some bad weather conditions, so they sort of know what it’s like. But none of them were likely getting paid to do it, nor had anyone with a warm car with a roof covered with spare bikes and dry clothes following them.
        I’m with the roadside fans who gave these whiny brats (and their DS’) middle-finger salutes on their way out of Italy in their comfy bus! It was the 1996 TdF farce all over again…or the Morbegno Giro fiasco from a few years ago. Showing heroic images from the past of racing under challenging conditions to promote modern racing is becoming a bad joke!

  21. I read that a rider I relatively admire went beyond what Larry made above speaking of G. Thomas. On the opposite direction, but, ouch, well beyond. Posting some less than sensitive footage. Still hoping that’s not true.

    Then I had to read a piece on CN which came quite close to sheer propaganda since the very title. Like: “this avoided CHAOS”.

    Yet, thanks to this article I could more or less confirm what I had already suspected: teams voted, not riders. That is, apparently the vote worked “by teams”, dunno, like presidential election in the USA, I guess. Ouch again.
    *If* it was so, frankly Adam, you really can’t write “90% of the riders”. Even if the voting within each team was a clean & consistent affair (ahem), speaking of percentages of “the riders” makes little sense, since *that* figure could well be as low as some 60%. Think USA election again, if it helps.
    Actually, it could even be lower than 50% “of the riders”, albeit it’s 86% “of teams”. The percentage *of riders* could sit anywhere between 47% and 92%, both extreme range of values being *extremely* not-plausible.
    That’s a small example of what I consider a serious lack of transparency.

    Luckily, I was brought back some welcome humour by the social media images of weekend cyclotourists *riding* under those *extreme conditions* while the pros on their team bus passed them…

    • Geraint’s quotes in inverted commas are pure gold – I’m just copy-pasting:

      “That might sound harsh, but we’ve got to do what’s best (for us)”. ^___^

      “At the end of the day, I think it was still a good race. It probably made it more intense, and we went quicker. The future has shorter stages anyway, and so the whole debate is six and two threes.”

      The lad is just too earnest (but I still struggle to imagine a worse and less intense race. Not that they climbed too fast, either).

          • That poor guy already did crash out with broken bones, I’m just wrote it was the wrong one..based on G’s tendency to hit-the-deck without any help.
   “Thomas abandoned the Tour de Suisse following a crash” “Thomas crashed during the opening prologue” “Thomas crashed out of the race on a descent on Stage 9” “Thomas reported his shoulder “popped out” during the crash,” “.. he crashed out of contention in Milan–San Remo” “..having been highly placed in the overall standings before a crash.” “..broke his pelvis and fractured his nose in a fall; he crashed into a safety barrier having misjudged a turn”

    • Gabriele, do you have a link for this? Or can you say what was said?

      ‘I read that a rider I relatively admire went beyond what Larry made above speaking of G. Thomas. On the opposite direction, but, ouch, well beyond. Posting some less than sensitive footage. Still hoping that’s not true.’

      • I’ve read (not seen) about Rohan Dennis posting images of tragic landslides in Romagna to justify their decision not to race yesterday’s stage in full. Please Rohan leave out people with serious issue due to serious adverse conditions – hundreds of kms away. Several died, many lost their homes, you were refusing to race on a fresh to mild Spring day.

        • He’s not the only one: Eurosport’s English-speaking presenter on Twitter yesterday:
          Orla Chennaoui
          I get that people want to see exciting racing, but Italy is enduring its worst flooding in 100 years. This is not the kind of event that could have been planned for and it’s only takes a smidgen of intelligence to have some compassion for the context.

          Utterly irrelevant to this situation.

          • Using a tragedy to cover up a political brawl within a sport, and to try and shut up critical voices while pretending to sit on higher moral grounds… is among the most base attitudes I could think about. I’m even a bit shocked, probably as a person who’s long lived in the affected areas and having many friends there.

          • It is appalling and yet typical behaviour of those who consider themselves ‘liberal’. They get to make themselves feel better by criticising others, which is the whole point of being a liberal, and are happy to use tragic events to do so.

          • Apart from myselfs, I don´t know any “liberals”, but I do like to criticize others 🙂 Therefore I’ve gone around telling everyone that the Giro should have been cancelled or at least postponed to show some compassion.
            Anyway, I recognize the argument from my childhood when I was told to eat my spinach soup because there are children in Africa who would be happy to have something to eat. No doubt the schoolmarm was one of those liberals…

          • Utterly irrelevant to this situation is what some armchairs in their living room have to say. We all are not out there in cold an rain EVERY day. So why know better than the people in itß how many 3 week races have you or Larry or Gabriele done? I assume as much as me. Dunning-Kruger Gang galore

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