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Giro d’Italia 2024, Stage 16: Livigno – Santa Cristina Valgardena/Sankt Christina in Gröden (Monte Pana), 202.0k 206.0k

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In conclusione,
Plus CPA cares not for RCA's dilemma to maintain its side of the deal; namely Livigno paid to have the Giro start there. So it's incumbant upon them to respect the deal and not something the Giro can just rescind on after the fee has already exhanged hands. The riders, taking recourse to a vague extreme weather protocal and, let's face it, having forgotten too much that this sport is for the hard men, have sabotagged the race. The Giro doesn't deserve this.

Now I'm not saying Vegni and RCS are entirely without flaws, far from it, but these riders in my opinion should show a bit more respect for an event and its history that has made a significant contribution, obviously with the other great races of the calendar, to why they get paid the big salaries pro teams offer today. The riders agreed to start the race in Livigno, were told they weren't going up the pass, and yet they still didn't show up. It made RCA look like fools incapable of establishing a modicum of authority over the peloton, so as to at least respect a previous deal with a paying municipality to hold the start. Sure, it wasn't ideal to have to get wet, stop, restart, but, come on boys, you signed on to be pro cyclists and this is what it entails sometimes. You don't like it? There are any number of less arduous and remunerative professions from which to choose. Doubtless there are lads just chomping at the bit to fill your spots. Oh, but they're not good enough? I'm sure the tifosi would rather watch guys who are a bit slower, but who honor the sport that was built upon legandary feats of resistance, physical and mental; than this crop of spoiled, narcisisistic, primadonnas.

Long gone are the days of a Torrigiani who insisted that less paid and looked after riders climb the Gavia in the snow. It was sheer folly that showed no regard for the lives of the cyclists, who were sent off to seriously risk freezing to death. It's thus good and right that today's riders aren't bullied into submission like that, but at the same time it produced one of the most epic racing moments in the history of the sport. Such accumulated moments, moreover, have been the catalysts for increasing the fanbase to a global reach, which, in turn, generates sponsorship revenues that both put on the great events and pay today's riders' much higher salaries (even though rightfully they are no longer made to risk their skins in such horrible weather conditions). So a bit more respect for the sport's history and, yes, willingness to make compromises with the organizations, is I think called for on their part.

Now the tables have been completely overturned, with the riders potentially holding the race organizations hostage to their every whim, each time they don't want to get wet and cold (a by now frequent occurance at the Giro, which has been further penalized by the UCI requiring it be started too early in May). It's a disgrace. The UCI needs to set clear guidelines regarding extreme weather protocals, which guarantees rider safety (as much as this is possible in an inherently dangerous sport) and enforce them; while respecting the responsibilities of the race organizations before their constituancies. And heavily fine teams whose riders agreed upon the arranged terms under union representation, but who then refuse to comply with the UCI verdicts or go on strike. This seems fair to me, because it tries to ensure safe racing conditions, while holding riders accountable, under monetary team penalty, to their job responsibilities.
There is actually an epilogue to this. On Eurosport live today the Italian commentators brought up the situation. Without giving names, the gist of their response to above all O'Connor, but also Plapp, was that the way they voiced their critisisms was offensive. Measured words and riguardo (some regard) for the Giro, which is over 100 years old and a pillar of cycling, at which a stage win is a big result, is called for. One commentator even said, as far as he is concerned, the Australians can stay out of Italy if they don't like the way things or done or riding in adverse climactic conditions.

Evidently there is a gap between the Anglo-Saxon world and Latinity that causes fiction. Unfortunately, there is no Stelvio in Australia.

PS: I just like the quid pro quo.
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