A Giro going downhill fast

Cars parked on the course, not enough barriers, disgruntled riders, angry organisers, it all sounds like the aftermath of a Premier Calendar race.

But the good news is that it didn’t happen in Britain – this was the latest instalment from this year’s Giro d’Italia which has become increasingly bad tempered by the day.

After a succession of over-long stages, bad weather and then a near-fatal crash, Sunday’s criterium in Milan proved to be the breaking point when riders went on a go-slow in protest. The Italian media criticised the riders, but why should the stars or our sport risk their lives because of sloppy organisation?

With cobbled corners and tram lines running parallel to the road, this twisting circuit was going to be difficult enough without parked cars and the spectators who had been able to wander onto the circuit unhindered by barriers.

It’s not good to dwell on other people’s misery but it’s important to remember that organising a bike race is a tricky business. It can go wrong for anyone, even those in charge of the world’s second biggest bike race, an event that is meant to be celebrating its centenary.