Will the Tour of Italy reach Milan on October 25 or not? That question is currently being discussed in the cycling peloton. After a few infections have been detected among riders in the Giro and the framework, more and more people involved are asking to stop the race early. However, race director Mauro Vegni does not want to hear about it.
When the Tour de France started at the end of August, hardly anyone believed that the cycling peloton would actually reach Paris three weeks later. Miraculously, they succeeded, with no contamination at all for the riders.
Infections on a rest day
There was more hope for the Tour of Italy – due to the good example of the Tour. But right now things threaten to go wrong. On October 10 – for the eighth stage – Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), one of the favorites, was infected with the corona virus. After an extra check with the rest of his team, the race continued as usual. On the first rest day, a few more infections were added and Mitchelton-Scott and Jumbo-Visma left the Giro after all.
Ask to stop
Shortly afterwards, it became known that no police officers working in the Tour of Italy have been infected. And so the question arises more and more to stop the Giro. Yesterday it was announced that the Education First team had asked the Giro organization, the UCI and other stakeholders to stop the race next Sunday.
“More corona cases will emerge as a result of this week’s positive tests. It would be better if the Giro was stopped than if one team after another would withdraw due to positive cases, ”they wrote in that letter. The International Cycling Organization UCI has rejected that request.
Belgian rider Thomas De Gendt also criticized yesterday. According to him, part of the Giro peloton is afraid and many riders would rather not ride anymore. He even suspects the Giro of having falsified results of the corona tests.
“I thought it was much safer in the Tour. At no time did I feel unsafe there. But I have the feeling that the organization is hiding things and giving it a twist, ”De Gendt tells Sporza.
Giro boss defends himself
Giro boss Mauro Vegni has defended his intention to complete the Tour of Italy in an interview with Cyclingnews.be. “On the first day of rest, we had eight positive cases. How many were there in other places? We are in October, the trend is going up. Today there were almost 9,000 cases in Italy, so clearly there is a bit more stress than in August, ”he said, referring to the Tour.
Vegni also responded to Thomas De Gendt’s allegations. “I called his team manager during the race. I told him to be careful what he says. To say that we may have falsified the results is very serious ”, he says.
Tocht, the Giro organization is taking extra measures. Normally, a next test round was planned for next Monday on the second rest day, but now there has been another test yesterday with part of the peloton. All of these tests appear to be negative for now.
If positive cases were nevertheless to emerge, the question is what the consequences will be. For example, it is not clear whether the leader will also be the overall winner at that moment. The Giro course has been designed in such a way that the devil is in the final week with some very tough mountain stages. In addition, an early stop of the Giro can also have consequences for the Tour of Spain. It will start next Tuesday and of course hopes to reach the end, but due to the many infections in Spain, there are also doubts there.