By Andrew Hood
The Giro d’Italia is losing one of its marquee stages across the Alps for its centennial celebration due to access problems on the French side of the border.
Race officials announced Wednesday that the blockbuster, five-climb 250km stage over the Col d’Izoard and other emblematic climbs in the French Alps scheduled for stage 10 on May 19 between Cuneo and Pinerolo will be altered and stay entirely inside Italy.
Officials cited problems with a radio frequency in France and complications with traffic circulation coming off the Colle della Maddalena.
The stage was expected to be one of the highlights of the 100th anniversary of the Giro.
The 250km route included five climbs, with Maddalena (63.5km), Col de Vars (93.5), Col d’Izoard (143.4), Col de Montgenèvre (174.7) and Sestrière (195.4) before a long downhill run to the finish in Pinerolo.
The modified route will still start in Cuneo and finish in Pinerolo, but remain within Italian borders.
Instead of sweeping across the French Alps, the route will circle toward Mont Cenis and Sestrière en route to the finish line in Pinerolo.
A public ride called the Tappa dells Leggenda has also been canceled.
In other news, Barloworld earned a wild-card bid to start the Giro on May 9 in Venice.
A total of 21 teams are expected to participate in this year’s corsa rosa.