Friday’s team time trial stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain will be neutralised after heavy rain and high winds rendered the course ‘dangerous’.
BMC Racing said via Twitter that race commissaires made the decision in conjunction with the organiser to continue with the stage shortly before the start, but said that the general classification will remain unchanged.
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Michal Kiwatkowski and Sep Vanmarcke were among the riders calling for the stage to be cancelled or neutralised due to poor weather conditions.
Team Sky’s Kwiatkowski posted a series of tweets on the issue, saying that the TTT would be ‘about surviving not winning’ in the high winds and flooded roads and that he thought no general classification time should be counted.
Ultimately, Kwiatkowski got his wish, with teams still able to go for the stage win but no danger posed for riders or teams looking for a high overall general classification placing.
Vanmarcke of the EF Education First-Drapac team said he thought that the TTT course was ‘dangerous’, and said: “It’s the start of the season, not needed to take risks”.
LottoNL-Jumbo rider Koen Bouwman posted a video of the weather conditions on Twitter, clearly showing high winds and heavy rain.
The stage three team time trial starts in Benitatxell and finishes in Calpe, and comprises 23.2 kilometres.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is the leader of the race going into the TTT after winning the previous day’s stage from a three-rider escape group – and his continued position at the top of the leaderboard after Friday’s stage is now secure.
Valverde’s Movistar team are scheduled to be the last team off at 15:44 local time. The Inteja Dominican Cycling Team are the first squad off at 14:32 local time.
The 2018 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana concludes on Sunday, February 4.