Giro d’Italia gets green light with crowds allowed at Sicilian start

Social distancing measures will be implemented for spectators

The 2020 Giro d’Italia has been given the green light to take place this October after Italian government officials approved plans to make the race safe amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Race organisers RCS Sport presented measures to the sports ministry showing how the Italian Grand Tour will incorporate social distancing for the public in order to mitigate the risk of further coronavirus outbreaks.

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“The proposal takes into account the presence of public but, according to the rules of the decree of the prime minister on June 11, with social distancing rules,” CEO of RCS, Paolo Bellino, told Rai Sport. “It is a return to normal, although it will not be as we are used to. In any case, it is a step forward compared to a few months ago.”

Scheduled for October 3-25 in the revised WorldTour calendar, the Hungarian Grande Partenza of this year’s Giro had already been postponed until 2021, with next year’s Sicilian start moved forward instead.

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An individual time trial will still open the 2020 race, but around the Sicilian capital of Palermo instead of Budapest, with the original routes for stages four and five moved forward to stages two and three, including the summit finish on the Mount Etna volcano.

Race director Mauro Vegni says he is currently working on making up the two missing stages, with an extra stage in the city of Matera located in the southern region of Basilicata being lined up, as well as an additional mountain stage in the second week with a race through the Abruzzo region, maybe the mountain village and popular ski resort of Roccaraso, being considered.

In a boost to French racing ahead of August’s Tour de France, the French Cycling Federation has also given the go-ahead for the resumption of their amateur calendar.

The WorldTour is set to resume on August 1 with Strade Bianche, with Milan-San Remo, Il Lombardia and the Critérium du Dauphiné all featuring in the opening weeks.