Heavy snow forces shortening of stage two of Tour of the Alps

Opening 40km cut from second stage

The second stage of the Tour of the Alps has been shortened due to snow in southern Austria.

The race had been due to leave Innsbruck this morning and cross the Brenner Pass into Italy, but snowfall overnight has forced the organisers to shorten the stage by more than 40km, starting in the Italian town of Vipiteno.

That will mean that the race will be 140.4km in length rather than the planned 181.3km, with the finish still scheduled for 15:30 local time (14:30 BST).

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After Michele Scarponi took victory on the opening day of the race, the finale of the second stage of the Tour of the Alps will remain the same, with a climb with just over 20km remaining, and a steady uphill rise towards the finish in Innervillgraten.

A number of teams and riders tweeted pictures of snow falling at hotels in Innsbruck and lying at the side of the road as they made their way to the revised start.

However the race is now underway in what looks like perfect conditions in northern Italy.