The Gavia Pass has been removed from stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia, which will now feature an adjusted route as the possibility of avalanches and ice-covered roads have made it too risky to include a dangerous mountain pass, the organisers announced last night.
The original 226km route of the queen stage, which riders will tackle on Tuesday, will now have a total length of 194km.
The start will remain in Lovere and riders will still finish in Ponte di Legno.
The 2 618m-high Passo Gavia was to have yielded the Cima Coppi prize as the highest climb of this year’s Giro d’Italia.
The Cima Coppi will now be awarded to the first rider to the summit of the 2 047m Passo Manghen in stage 20.
The change was made due to persistent bad weather conditions, including heavy snow.
“As the weather forecast for the coming days predicts further deterioration and the risk of avalanche, we will unfortunately not be able to [go via] the Gavia,” said tour director Mauro Vegni.
He added that the new route would include the ascent of Cevo, a new climb for the race. The course then heads up the most difficult side of the Aprica before the descent to Mazzo.
“Riders will then tackle the Mortirolo pass and thereafter arrive at Ponte di Legno.”