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Cycling News and Opinions
Unfair and Unbalanced
May, 2013

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories

May 24: Double Poo! The Giro's 19 stage is cancelled. Even after being modified yesterday to avoid the super-high Gavia and Stelvio passes, there was snow along the whole planned race route. Tomorrow's day in the high mountains remains under review.

Danilo Di Luca, who was positive for EPO-CERA in 2009, has again been found positive for EPO. This time in a surprise test on April 29, just before the Giro's start. He was immediately sacked by his team, Vini Fantini. His furious director Luca Scinto called him an idiot, a cretin and a madman who needs help. The 2007 Giro winner had no team as the 2013 season began. But because of his friendship with Valetino Sciotti, the owner of team sponsor Vini Fantini, a reluctant Scinto was forced to sign Di Luca. Di Luca, who was sitting 26th in the GC, down 33min 33sec, so far, has not issued a statement.

May 23: Poo! With the weather in the Dolomites worsening, the Giro organization decided to eliminate the monster Stelvio (2,758m) and Gavia (2,618m) passes from stage 19 on Friday. The new plan avoids passes over 2,000 meters but the new route will will not be a passeggiata (walk). It still starts at Ponte di Legno, goes over the Passo Tonale (1,883m), the Castrin (1,781m and called the Hofmahdjoch by German speakers) before finishing at Val Martello (2,059m). It will be a 160 km stage. Saturday's awesome leg with several big passes before a finish at Tre Cime di Lavarado is still being pondered.

Below is the revised stage 19 route and profile.

Stage 19 map

Stage 19 revised map

Stage 19 profile

Stage 19 revised profile

May 18, Giro d'Italia update 2: As of this evening, the original route for stage 15 with Mt. Cenis and the Galibier will be ridden except for the last 4.25 km to the summit. For now, the plan is for the 145 km stage to end in Les Granges du Galibier, the site of the Pantani memorial.

May 18, Giro d'Italia update: The Galibier and Mt. Cenis have been removed from the Stage 15 route. A new parcours will be announced later.

May 18, Giro d'Italia: Stage 14's much anticipated climb to Sestriere has been cancelled because of snow. Race director Mauro Vegna announced that the day's grand finale, the climb to Bardonecchia will remain. The new route takes a different road from Pinerolo to Oulx, going along the Val di Sus and bypassing Sestriere. It rejoins the planned route at Oulx. This lengthens the stage by 13km, making it 181km.

On the Bardonecchia this morning it is cold (7-12C) and sleeting.

Bad weather has plagued this year's Giro and tomorrow's Stage 15 climbs of Mt. Cenis and the Galibier remain in doubt. Snow is forecast for tonight. A decision regarding Stage 15 will be made today.