Both the spring’s biggest stage races have fallen victim to adverse weather conditions today.
Paris-Nice organiser ASO originally shortened today's race due to severe wind in the region only to then have to cancel it. Meanwhile, bad weather at the top of today's finishing climb in Tirreno-Adriatico has seen that stage shortened.
In a statement ASO said: "After reviewing several options for modifying the route and waiting for an improvement in weather conditions in the afternoon, the organisers of Paris-Nice have decided to cancel the 6th stage to preserve the safety of the riders of the 81st edition, in agreement with local authorities.
"The exceptionally violent winds, which notably caused several tree falls in the region, make the cancellation of the stage inevitable."
The plan had been to neutralise the first 117km. Riders were set to take their team buses to a point with around 80km to go and start racing from there.
The wind on the Côte d'Azur is so bad that the Musée Matisse in Nice is closed. @adambecket is on the ground for the non existent stage six of Paris-Nice pic.twitter.com/k9ZQe3OeIqMarch 10, 2023
But it was clear not everyone was fully on board with going racing today. Speaking at the original start, Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) said: “I found out just 20 minutes ago. I have mixed feelings because I was in the starting blocks so to speak. On the one hand I feel we should do the whole stage or nothing but apparently there is a section that is really dangerous. Apparently in the hills there’s a bit more shelter and it’s bit more safe.
“But according to one of my wind apps even there it’s predicting gusts of up to 120kph!
“I understand the organisation’s point they want to keep going, but from a rider’s perspective I’m not so sure.”
He added: “”The restart will be really nervous, it’s probably going to be even more dangerous on the twisty roads, it’ll be a hectic stage. Maybe it’ll be cancelled entirely.”
Meanwhile, Tirreno-Adriatico was due to finish atop the hors category Sassotetto climb but has been moved to an altitude 200m lower due to adverse weather conditions higher up.
That makes the climb just over 12km in length as opposed to nearly 15km. The stage is now 165.6km, down from 168km before.
Race organiser RCS said it had taken the decision to shorten the stage to “ ensure the greatest safety of the race and of all its actors”.
Eddie Soens cancelled
In addition, word has reached Cycling Weekly that Eddie Soens race at Aintree in the UK has been cancelled due to snow and ice. The weather at the race circuit, which hosts one of the marquee spring races of the British domestic calendar, means it’ll be unsafe to race.
Aintree is a motor racing circuit and so the owner does not grit the tarmac for concern that it will damage the surface.
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