INEOS Grenadiers is disappointed that the long nineteenth stage in the Giro d’Italia was shortened at the last minute on Friday. After protests from a majority of the teams, the race distance was reduced from 258 to 124 kilometers.
“Our boys were ready for the start. I understand that the stage was long, but my riders just wanted to race,” INEOS sports director Matteo Tosatto said. Cyclingnews. “We are on the side of our riders.”
The peloton had already left in Morbegno for the ride to Asti, but in the pouring rain it was quickly decided to get off again and cover the first 134 kilometers by team bus. A large part of the riders did not feel like a long stage in the cold and rain. There was a tough mountain stage on Thursday and that will be the case again on Saturday.
INEOS was one of two teams that wanted to cover the original distance. In the British formation, Tao Geoghegan Hart, the biggest competitor of rosette sweater carrier Wilco Kelderman, is riding for the overall victory. The Briton is behind Kelderman and his teammate Jai Hindley third at just fifteen seconds.
It is unknown which other team, like INEOS, wanted to start, but it is said to be a small Italian formation. Twelve teams voted to shorten the stage and four teams joined the majority. Trek-Segafredo and Bardiani-CSF did not vote.
Riders union representative puts on sackcloth
The shortening of the stage led to anger at Giro boss Mauro Vegni earlier in the day. “As an organization we are the victim. This is what happens when a number of riders do not show up for the start. Someone will pay for this”, he grumbled just before the delayed start of the stage.
Cristian Salvato, representative for the RCS cyclists’ union in the Giro, puts on the fine after all the chaos. “I am sorry that the boys have been put in a difficult position, because I have asked to shorten the stage,” the Italian said. Rai Sport.
“I take full responsibility for this situation,” Salvato continues. “Although I don’t think it’s neat that certain riders are silent, while they are also responsible for what happened. I was there to mediate with Vegni and I understand his frustration. I’m sorry if the communication between the different parties didn’t work well. . “
The last mountain stage of this Giro is scheduled for Saturday. The riders have to climb three times to Sestriere in the last 80 kilometers. The Tour of Italy will be decided on Sunday in a flat time trial of 15.7 kilometers.