Rider safety centre stage as UCI’s Extreme Weather Conditions protocol in place for Giro

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One year on from the controversy of the Giro d’Italia’s frozen Stelvio stage, a leg which brought intense debate to the race when riders such as eventual winner Nairo Quintana attacked while others believed a neutralisation had been called, the UCI have announced that their new Extreme Weather Conditions protocol will be in place for the event.

An agreement on what to do in the event of dangerous conditions has long been on the agenda for the sport and, since last year’s Giro, pressure has been building for something concrete to be in place.

The UCI has now announced that it, the riders’ association CPA, the teams’ body AIGCP and a group representing the race organisers, AIOCC, have all agreed on the principles of plan to follow in the event of extreme weather conditions during the Giro d’Italia.

“The group considers the safety and the health of riders as an absolute priority,” said the UCI.

Under the agreed terms, if extreme weather conditions are anticipated, a meeting must be held between each of these stakeholders, including the race organisation, its doctor and its chief of security plus the president of the commissaires’ panel.

Any of those concerned have the power to call the meeting.

Under the agreed terms, freezing rain, snow accumulation on the road, strong winds, extreme temperatures, poor visibility and air pollution are all qualifying factors for such a meeting.

According to the UCI, a choice of actions can then be taken, namely no action, modification of the start venue, modification of the start time, modification of the finish venue, use of an alternative course, neutralization of a section of the stage/race and cancellation of the stage/race.

It added that rider and team representatives would be named by the CPA and AIGCP respectively prior to Saturday’s race start.