Giro d’Italia: Riders take bus after stage 19 protest

Cycling
Quick Step team at the Giro

Riders will take team buses part way through stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia after a protest over safety.

Concerns were raised over the huge 258km stage from Morbegno taking part in heavy rain, risking riders’ health.

Organisers are in discussion with the Professional Cyclists’ Association (CPA) over exactly where to start the stage to Asti.

The CPA said: “The riders’ health is the priority, especially in this Covid period.”

They added: “Reducing today’s stage will not diminish the show, but will allow the immune defences of the riders not to be put at greater risk.”

Competing in heavy rain can cause riders, whose immune systems may already be compromised by excessive exertion, to become unwell as dirt and bacteria from the road is sprayed through the peloton.

Many riders are concerned it will increase the risk of contracting coronavirus.

Ineos Grenadiers tweeted: “The start of stage 19 has been delayed and will be shortened following discussions with the race organisers.

“Our riders [are] currently covering the first part of the stage on the team bus.”

Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman leads the race by 12 seconds from team-mate Jai Hindley and Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart of Ineos.

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