Gran Fondo Riders Conquer Stelvio after Giro d'Italia Stage Postponed!
On May 24th, Stage Nineteen of the professional race of the Giro D'Italia was cancelled due to heavy snowfall. A modified route to avoid some of the worst snow and ice was released by professional race organisers RCS Sport. However, with no improvement in the weather, organisers were forced to postpone the stage and said in a press statement; "Due to adverse weather conditions and, in particular, snow on the stage route in its entirety, stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia, from Ponte di Legno to Val Martello/Martelltal, has been cancelled".
This quickly became international news and the conditions didn't just affect the professional riders.
On Sunday 2nd June, the Gran Fondo Stelvio took place. However due to the above - lots of International riders cancelled their plans to travel to the event including some top ex-Professionals including Dave Lloyd from the UK, who rode a local event in the Welsh hills instead.
However, news is the event took place!??!!
Scenic snow at the top of the GF Stelvio from Bormio (masking the terrible truth that awaits)
The road had mainly cleared but it started to snow again at the top.
Those taking part battled wind chill factors of -20C and gusts of up to 30 miles an hour .... Incredible.
In true Italiano Gran Fondo Ciclismo style - most riders still seemed to be shorts!
Gran Fondo Riders just about made it through before conditons worsened
Thanks to Ian Cleverly who reported "Stelvioed. Man, that was hard. Still decent skiing to be had up there. My backside is wrecked. It's all gone a bit Johnny Cash (cockney rhyme for Rash - Ed.)".
Credits to Ian Cleverly, Easton Cycling and Velo Veneto for all their efforts. In fact one of their guests Daniel Byrne came 3rd in his age group and got a Podium photo with the Santini family ...
Ironically, the tag line for this event is "Are You Tough Enough" - I guess so! LOL!
Click here for the official Gran Fondo Stelvio results.
Daniel Byrne, 3rd in age group with the Santini Family.