Giro d'Italia Giro d'Italia 2021 stage 16: Sacile - Cortina d'Ampezzo 212km

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That's a lot of points, as the stage is over it's probably ok to continue here, but I can split it out to a different thread if anyone would prefer? (I'm guessing it won't have the legs for a thread of it's own).

I might be missing something, but it'd seem the main difference is that the panel wouldn't be comprised of road cycling stakeholders delegates, right?
Essentially yes. Of course if you decided to convene a safety panel for the EWP it would be sensible to allow them to take on other areas of safety within the race as well, such as assessment of fences, general security and so on. There's obviously a limit as to how much you'd outsource based on the expertise within the group, but there may be enough cross-over of skills in certain areas (or there may not be).

Who would those people be then? Someone would still need to pick them - would they just be a bunch of UCI sycophants? Perhaps a few weather experts assessing the situation remotely? I should think it'd be necessary for the panel members to be familiar with actual roads and road cycling, so that would somewhat reduce the pool; it'd also require daily meetings. It'd also make sense they'd be the ones deciding neutralizations/modifications during the race, so they'd need to be in situ.
Clearly it's going to be people with experience, the point is to remove people with a vested interest. I'll ignore the disparaging comment and assume it's not meant that way, there is a large number of ex-pros, team members, experts from other road racing based sports and so on out there, it shouldn't be hard to find a group of people who can legitimately assess if the conditions are likely safe.

As to daily meetings, I don't think that's the case. The EWP already dictates when I meeting should happen, they don't meet every day just to decide the EWP doesn't need to be applied and as to neutralisations and modifications these can be decided remotely for the large part. It may require some members of the panel to be local, but if the pandemic has taught a lot of us anything it's that meetings that would usually always be in person can take place very easily with everyone remote. If the panel were to assess the route before the race then they could even request that alternate routes be submitted for stages they think may require modification if something happens. Taking yesterday's stage as an example, using the Falzarego with it's less steep descent into Cortina could have been an option (I have no idea what the road was like, just an example) or even a complete re-route via Cibiana or elsewhere. The benefit of this is teams could have some future knowledge of what the changes might be and plan accordingly throughout the race.

At that point, aren't those people basically weather-only commissaires?
No, not really. Commissaires have a vested interest in event's taking place.

More importantly, while I understand the theoretical benefits of trying to move from a representation system where representatives are liable to defend the private and selfish interests of their group to independent trustees with full autonomy to deliberate in the "common interest", I'm not sure how in practice that mechanism would sort out the problematic scenarios like today: riders put pressure on the race director and he gives in. Because that's where the problem is, not in the other 99.9% of the stages.

Would the decision of the panel be definitive and incommutable? Could that be enforceable if you had riders and race direction both saying they won't ride?
As with all panels, allowing those affect a right of reply seems obvious, and teams and riders should always have the choice of not riding. This seems stretching though and I think it's unlikely that a group of experts who have no vested interest in the race or stage happening are likely to come to such a drastically different conclusion that such a significant number of stakeholders disagree for it to be a problem.

I believe the trouble here is that whatever formal mechanism is in place, the riders + race direction will always have de facto veto power.

Imagine a scenario where the organizer and riders support cancelling part of the stage, the independent panel orders the race to go on as planned, and then a serious accident happens. There's no way those independent people on the panel will accept that sort of risk, even if it's just reputational. And I mean, the first time that happens, the system is abolished even if going forward with the race was the right decision.
There are, unfortunately, serious accidents in races already and I can't remember the last time a race organiser was sued (Jakobsen might be suing the TdP? I can only remember that there was talk about suing DG of the top of my head). Road racing is inherently dangerous so you'd likely have to prove the panel knew it was too dangerous and said it should go ahead anyway. Again, if the panel is independent I don't see why they would come to such a conclusion. I'd guess it's more likely they would lean towards the side of caution.

So the problem will remain exactly the same. Lazy riders and a weak race direction will overrule that weather panel, just like they do with the current EWP panel.
This doesn't make sense. Riders (through their representative) and race direction ARE the current panel. The rules even stipulate that if the panel cannot come to an agreement then it is the race directors decision in agreement with the president of the commissaires panel. With regard to the suggested panel, only the riders can really overrule any decision by refusing to race. I don't believe that right should be taken away from them, but I also don't think it's very likely to happen.

Because this is all getting fractured it's probably worthwhile bringing it back to the initial point (or at least mine). I don't have a problem with stages/races being changed. The problem is when they are changed for what seem to be illegitimate reasons and there is constant, conflicting views as to why it happened. It's clear yesterday that there wasn't a single view from the peloton and the organisers. An independent panel may very well have come to the same conclusions and enacted the same modifications, but it removes the influence of those who stand to gain either by modifying the race or keeping it the same and who might disregard the real issue, rider safety, because of this. We'll still see modifications and we'll still either agree or disagree with them, but at least it'll remove the complaints that it's been done as a form of gamesmanship or because of failed logistics.
A question particularly for those with great knowledge of the region I have is what is/was the weather forecast like for tomorrow at advance notice this morning.

My idea is that they could have designated today as the rest day at short notice and shift the entire stage as planned to Tuesday if conditions were likely to be significantly better 24 hours later.

I get that TV schedules would be an issue but the integrity of the race route is more important than the viewers seeing it and after all we saw only half the stage and virtually none of the key moves as it was.
That is brilliant thinking—I serious wish they would have thought of that!