The Giro d’Italia peloton will donate the prize money from stage 19 to the victims of the Mottarone cable car tragedy.
Last week 14 people were killed when a cable car fell to the ground due to a snapped cable on the way to the summit of the Mottarone mountain in the Western Alpes of Northern Italy - the only survivor was a five-year-old boy, named Eitan.
The Giro d’Italia 2021 route had initially been scheduled to take the peloton over the Mottarone mid-way through stage 19, the penultimate mountain stage of the race, but the organisers opted to redraw the route to keep spectators away from the scene of the tragedy.
On the morning of stage 19, which will be raced from Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera, the pro riders’ union the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) announced that all prize money would be donated in memory of the victims.
The CPA said: “Although the Giro will not climb the Mottarone, the riders will pay tribute to the 14 victims of the Stresa cable car crash. They have unanimously decided to donate all prize money from today’s stage to little Eitan and to the families affected by this terrible tragedy.”
Stage 19 now bypasses the Mottarone and instead takes on the slightly smaller Alpe Agogna, 70km into the 166km stage.
Speaking after the finish of the previous day’s stage, Italian rider Alberto Bettiol (EF Education-Nippo) paid tribute to the victims of the incident, as he celebrated his first pro win on home soil.
Bettiol said: “It really means a lot for me, for my team and for the people that always believe in me. It’s a gift that I want to give to my former agent Mauro Battaglini who passed away last year, he was like a second father to me so this victory is for him. For sure, he looks at me from the sky. I also want to give a thought to all the victims in the Mottarone cable car and all the families."
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