RCS Sport will replace Giro d’Italia race director, Angelo Zomegnan, according to a report in today’s Tutto Sport newspaper.
“We cannot comment on it now,” RCS Sport’s public relations manager, Matteo Pastore told Cycling Weekly. “When we know something official, we will announce it.”
Zomegnan was unavailable when Cycling Weekly called for this article. Cycling Weekly learnt he’s currently on vacation and is due to meet about the reported change in position when he returns.
“There are many things to change,” Zomegnan said when the Giro finished in Milan on May 29.
This year’s race was believed by many to have been too demanding: the Crostis climb and descent, multiple transfers – one up to 10 hours – and consecutive high-mountain stages.
“We had many obligations. It was the 150th Italian celebration, we had to go to many regions – 17 – too much. We put the riders, the caravan, etc. under extra stress [with the transfers – ed.]. On the sporting side, I have nothing to regret.”
Race organiser RCS Sport reportedly has its regrets and has called for a change. Auro Bulbarelli, former RAI television commentator and now vice director at RCS Sport, is pushing for Silvio Martinello to take control of the second biggest stage race behind the Tour de France.
Martinello raced on the road for many years, wore the race leader’s pink jersey for four days in 1996 and, on the track, won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics. Martinello would have to leave his post as a commentator for RAI.
Other possibilities include: Gazzetta’s head editor, Pier Bergonzi, former race director, Carmine Castellano, and Bulbarelli.
Zomegnan would take responsibility for organising the 2013 World Championships in Florence.
If the reports are confirmed, it’s a big change for the Giro d’Italia, which has only had four race directors since it started in 1909.
Zomegnan started as journalist for RCS Sport’s La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper and took over as race director in 2004. He was responsible for introducing the gravel Finestre climb in 2005 and bringing Lance Armstrong to race in 2009, but also courted controversy.
The Giro’s directors
1909 – 1948: Armando Cougnet
1949 – 1992: Vincenzo Torriani
1993 – 2003: Carmine Castellano
2004 – ?: Angelo Zomegnan