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Pogacar wins chaotic stage as organisers are called ‘dinosaurs’

Australia’s Ben O’Connor called the race organisers “dinosaurs” after a delayed and chaotic start to a shortened stage 16 at the Giro d’Italia, which was eventually won by race leader Tadej Pogacar.

Slovenia’s Pogacar extended his huge lead at the top of the general classification with his fifth stage victory.

However, it came after a three-hour delay to the start as riders and teams collectively refused to take the scheduled 202km route from Livigno to Santa Cristina Valgardena.

That was because of safety concerns over the planned ascent and descent of the Umbrail Pass – itself a diversion from the Stelvio because of the risk of avalanches.

“It’s probably one of the worst organised races I think and I’m just being honest. This would never happen in 99% of other situations,” O’Connor, who is fourth overall, told Eurosport.

Ineos Grenadiers’ sporting director Zak Dempster added: “It’s a bit of a farce to be honest. Safety is one of the most important things for us.

“I didn’t want to put the guys through what the RCS were proposing. How we got to the right decision was an absolute total mess.”

RCS Sport, which organises the Giro d’Italia, had expected the peloton to roll out of the ski resort start and ride neutralised through the Munt la Schera tunnel – but instead the race eventually began in Lasa/Laas with the stage reduced to 118.7km.

O’Connor criticised Giro race director Mauro Vegni, adding: “I’d like to see him in our position, go outside on the bike and do the start of the stage and see what his answer is after those couple of hours.

“I wish he could experience it because then he would have a bit of a sense of what it’s actually really like rather than turning on the climate in his car and saying this is great for people to watch.”

SOURCE: BBC Sport RSS   (go to source)
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