The pack rides up a wet road to a snowy summit in the 2023 Giro d'Italia.

No Stelvio? Snow may force Giro to re-route stage 16

Officials in the Bolzano province say the risk of avalanches prevents crews from plowing the road.

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 10.05.2024 Photography by
Kristof Ramon
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According to reports from Italian media, plans for the Giro d’Italia’s 16th stage to cross the fabled Stelvio pass are in jeopardy due to an uncleared road and high avalanche risk.

In a brief report, Italian press agency quoted Bolzano provincial councilor Daniel Alfreider as saying that plowing crews have been unable to access the pass to clear it. “After the snow has been cleared, the road must still be made safe against falling rocks and avalanches before being reopened,” Alfreider told the outlet, and there’s not time to do that before the May 21 stage takes place.

Current conditions (May 10 screenshot) of the summit of the Stelvio pass. You can find live images here.

Stage 16 of the Giro is set to start in Livigno before crossing the Stelvio’s 2,760-meter summit and then dropping into a long, flat valley section before two final climbs, the Cat 1 Passo Pinei and the finishing climb to St. Christina in Gröden (Monte Pana). A re-route without the Stelvio wouldn’t change the stage final, but would remove one of the significant climbs of the stage, not to mention an iconic pass in Giro lore and the 2024 route’s Cima Coppi, or highest point.

RCS Sport, the organizers, have not publicly announced any plans yet for a re-route of Stage 16 or any other stages with high mountain passes that may be currently blocked by snow. But re-routes are a common occurrence at the first Grand Tour of the year, as ambitious high-mountain routes collide with the reality of late-season weather.

Last year, the organizers had to re-route the 13th stage due to snow blocking the 2,469-meter Grand Saint-Bernard summit early in the race. A second re-route happened the morning of the stage due to foul weather, with the route shortened to just 74.6 km and two climbs including the Crans-Montana finish.

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