Tony Gallopin has described the finish of stage eight of the Giro d’Italia 2019 “dangerous”, and publicly called for race organisers and the UCI to explain why it has been allowed to feature in the Grand Tour.
Riders have also apparently called for the race jury to neutralise the final 6km of stage eight, a technical descent, with the jury saying that the 3km rule will be in place today, whereby if any rider crashes inside that marker they will receive the same finish time as the peloton.
Taking to Twitter before the start of the longest day of the three-week stage race, Gallopin posted screenshots of the route map that depicts the finish, along with the caption: “We are circus animals…Why so dangerous???”
As well as a technical finish, inclement weather is expected at the finish town of Pesaro on Italy’s Adriatic coast.
Ten hairpins feature in the final three kilometres of the 239km route, with one corner that almost doubles back on itself with 2km remaining. Then into the finish there are two more tight corners in the final kilometre.
Before the finish, race organisers have described the final 7km as a “technical descent”, with Vincenzo Nibali, who apparently started the race a minute late today, expected to push the pace and challenge his GC rivals.
Speaking on Eurosport, Bradley Wiggins spoke out against rumoured calls from the peloton to get the final of the race neutralised, saying these stages are “part and parcel of the Giro, it seems strange to take out one of the most exciting parts of the race”.
Images from the finish town show the sharp corners that the peloton will face, with the race likely to come down to a bunch sprint. Riders can expect a fast and more stressful than usual finish as a number of sprinters, including Elia Viviani (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) still looking for their first victory in the race this year.
Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) currently leads the race, 1-32 ahead of José Rojas (Movistar) in second.