Some riders of the 2019 Giro d’Italia have said they ‘poured hot tea’ over themselves to counteract the freezing cold conditions they suffered on stage 16 of the race.
Rain battered the riders over the top and on the descent of the brutal Passo del Mortirolo during the stage, with many in the heat of racing unable to put enough clothing on heading down to the bottom of the climb.
From there, the weather hardly improved through the valley road and up the hill towards the finish in Ponte di Legno, where Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) took the stage victory in the blue mountains jersey after suffering in the day’s breakaway.
Richard Carapaz (Movistar) continues to lead the race with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) now in second, after the pair finished in the same group having dropped Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) on the steep slopes of the Mortirolo.
While those riders were no doubt suffering in the cold as well – Ciccone showing visible shivering as he rode with Jan Hirt (Astana) to the finish – the riders behind just looking to survive the stage were looking to some alternative methods to keep themselves warm, including pouring tea on themselves.
While Jacopo Guarnieri and Conor Dunner looked to the thermos for some emergency warmth, Arnaud Démare, riding in the ciclamino points jersey, was able to stop and add a few layers at the top, eventually finishing alongside FDJ team-mate Guarnieri and Dunne in the grupetto at 43-41 down to the winner.
Alternatively, riders could have tried Joe Dombrowski’s (EF Education First) tried and tested (and unpleasant) method…
Meanwhile, Miguel Ángel López (Astana) recorded the fastest time up the Mortirolo on stage 16 in 44-38 (15.73kmh), despite getting dropped early on the climb. The Colombian however attacked shortly before the summit before heading down the treacherous descent ahead of the group containing Nibali and pink jersey Carapaz.
The Giro d’Italia continues with stage 17 on Wednesday, a 181km route that featured a category three summit finish to Anterselva.