The UCI will test a new extreme weather protocol at the 2015 Giro d’Italia.
The protocol, announced on the eve of the race’s first stage, calls for compulsory meeting between stakeholders when extreme weather conditions are anticipated prior to a stage. Stakeholders include the race organizer, race doctor, chief of security, riders, teams, and president of the commissaires panel. Any stakeholder can request that the meeting be convened.
Extreme weather that could lead to a meeting includes: freezing rain, snow accumulation on roads, strong winds, extreme temperatures, poor visibility, or air pollution.
The UCI did not set specific limits on temperature or wind speed.
Once convened, the meeting of stakeholders will decide on the proper course of action. The group has the power to alter the start location, start time, finish venue, or overall course. The group can also neutralize a section of the stage or race, or cancel the stage or race entirely.
The announcement comes just under a year after winter weather on the Stelvio led to confusion and controversy. The event sparked outrage among riders, and a series of similarly controversial incidents, including neutralization at the USA Pro Challenge, a protest over dangerous heat and wind at the Tour of Oman, and clashes over high winds and dangerous conditions at multiple early-season European races this year, had riders demanding a clear protocol for racing in bad weather.
The rider’s union, CPA, and team organization, AIGCP, will name their respective representatives before the start on Saturday.