Stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia 2021 has been changed due to a cable car crash on Sunday (May 25), to keep fans away from the accident site and to keep potential Covid-19 cases away.
The stage was due to go over the Mattarone climb in the middle of the stage, where the tragic incident happened. 14 people lost their lives, one child survived with serious injuries. Therefore the race organisers and other groups involved in the region have agreed upon a new route for the stage, removing the mountain.
In a press release the race organisers said: "The Giro d'Italia Race Direction - following the tragic events of last Sunday that involved the Mottarone Cableway - and in agreement with the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, the Piedmont Region and all the other institutions concerned, have decided to modify the route of Stage 19 of the Corsa Rosa."
This comes after pressure from the Turin regional council, reported in Varese Noi: "It is advisable to avoid the passage of the Giro d'Italia, in order to keep curious and possibly infected people with the coronavirus at a distance.
"In any case, at this moment of mourning."
New stage 19 of the Giro d'Italia 2021 profile
The stage was originally designed to celebrate the world time trial champion, Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), in his home region and will still take place in the same region, just over slightly different roads.
The original stage from Abbiategrasso to Alpe di Mera was 176km long, taking in three difficult climbs, including the Mattarone. But not the route, which starts and finishes in the same place is 166km long with the smaller Alpe Agogna being added.
This comes after stage 16 was altered due to extreme weather conditions, taking out two mountain passes of the Passo Fedaia and Passo Pordoi, which both hit over 2000 metres in altitude with temperatures around freezing.
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