independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Historic cycling race in Italy is halted by snow for the first time in 24 years

Snow falls at the Tonale pass, northern Italy

HEAVY snow forced organisers of the Giro d'Italia cycling race to call off yesterday's mountain stage – the first time in 24 years that a stage of the famous bike race was cancelled due to the weather.

"It's a strange and almost unique day in the history of the race," said race director Michele Acquarone. "We had to cancel today's stage, there was no way that we could have a race."

As well as cancelling yesterday's stage from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello, organisers have altered today's route so that it includes far fewer descents.

"Descents on mountains that are covered in snow are the worst thing for the riders," the race's technical manager Mauro Vegni said. "If it's snowing, we'll clear the roads, but it's the descents that really matter."

As the snow fell increasingly heavily on to the ground – which was already covered with a layer several centimetres thick – Mr Vegni was asked what the weather forecast was for Saturday.

"Look out of the window," he answered abruptly. "We've got people at key points to warn us if it all becomes impassable. But in nearly 25 years of working on the Giro, I've never known a day like this one."

Overall leader Vicenzo Nibali applauded the organisers' decision, saying: "The conditions are really extreme and so I think they've made the right decision."

see sport

Irish Independent

Also in this Section

Classifieds

CarsIreland

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet, chat and connect with
singles in your area

Independent Shopping.ie

Meet Singles Now

Findajob

Apps

Now available on

Independent.ie on Twitter

More

Most Read

Independent Gallery

Your photos

Send us your weather photos promo

Celebrity News