Ponte di Legno - Heavy snow at altitude has forced the cancellation of the Giro d'Italia's 19th stage, organisers said Friday.
the first of two consecutive stages in the Dolomites, the peloton was
due to tackle two major mountain passes - the Gavia and the Stelvio, the
latter, at 2 758 metres, being the highest point of the race's 96th
That plan was virtually abandoned late on Thursday when
organisers, fearing for the safety of the peloton, announced a 'Plan B'
with the Gavia and Stelvio replaced by the Tonale and Castrin mountain
However it was discovered early on Friday that the Tonale pass was also snowbound.
short statement posted by organisers on their Twitter feed said: "Due
to adverse weather conditions and, in particular, snow on the stage
route in its entirety, stage 19 has been cancelled."
was welcomed by riders in the peloton, who this year have raced in
atrocious weather conditions in what has been an unseasonably wet and
Julian Dean, an assistant sports director with the
Orica-GreenEdge team, said: "I'd say the boys are relieved + content w/
the decision that was made. No one wants to deal with conditions like
On Thursday, race leader Vincenzo Nibali of Italy extended
his advantage over his closest rival, Australian Cadel Evans, to 4min
02sec after winning a 20.6 km uphill time trial.
cancellation of the stage essentially robbed Evans of a chance to try to
close the gap on Nibali, the Australian did not seem vexed with the
He gave an indication of the conditions to be expected
near 2 000 metres when he posted a message on his Twitter feed, which
said: "Snow still falling here at our Giro Hotel...and we are at 1 000m
lower altitude than the proposed climbs."
The race finishes in Brescia on Sunday.