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Giro ‘Queen stage’ halted by freezing weather

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Monday’s 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia to the ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites was shortened due to rain and freezing weather, organisers said.

Snow is seen at Mount Giau
Snow is seen at Mount Giau. Picture: Jennifer Lorenzini, Reuters

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO – Rain and freezing weather has forced the shortening of Monday’s 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia to the ski resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Dolomites, organisers announced.

Two of the days’ climbs have been scrapped with the stage cut back to 153km from the original 212km.

The final climb of the day, the Giau Pass, which is the highest point in this year’s race at 2,233 metres altitude, has been maintained, along with the opening one at La Crosetta.

The main risk to riders would have been on the slippery descents, on the ‘Queen stage’, considered the hardest of the race, heading towards Cortina d’Ampezzo, which will host the 2026 Winter Olympics.

Colombia’s Egan Bernal was wearing a rain jacket over the leader’s pink jersey as riders headed out for the day 40 minutes late, because of the conditions.

The pack of riders ahead of the departure of the 16th stage of the 2021 Giro d’Italia cycling race, over 153km from Salice to Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, 24 May 2021. The stage distance has been reduced due to bad weather conditions. Picture: EPA, Luca Zennaro

Before the stage Lotto Soudal’s Belgian Thomas De Gendt pulled out with a knee problem.

De Gendt finished third in the 2012 edition and has won stages on all three Grand Tours, the Giro, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana.

AFP