The Stelvio.

The Stelvio is out, Umbrailpass is in

Giro d'Italia organizers have officially tweaked the route of stage 16.

The Giro peloton won’t get a chance to enjoy this view, but the Umbrailpass will still take the riders high into the mountains.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 14.05.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Due to the risk of avalanches on the Stelvio, Giro organizers have officially made the call to tweak the route of stage 16.

The Stelvio is out. The Umbrailpass is in.

The abundance of snow on the Alpine pass at the border of Italy and Switzerland had generated reports of potential course changes over the past few weeks. Organizers waited to make any final decisions, but one week before the stage in question is set to take place, the RCS has altered the route.

“The recent snowfalls on the Stelvio Pass, followed by the rise of the temperatures, are increasing the risk of avalanches,” organizers said Tuesday. “The Giro d’Italia organization, in order to safeguard the safety of the Carovana Rosa, has therefore decided to change the route of the 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia.”

The new route of stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia.
This is the new route of stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia.

Instead of ascending to 2,758 meters, stage 16 will now climb to 2,489. The Stelvio would have been the Cima Coppi, the highest summit in the race, and that title will now be held by its replacement, the Umbrailpass. At 16.7 km with a 7.1 percent average gradient, it will still be a formidable challenge, if not quite the brutal Stelvio, and it makes for a stage profile that looks relatively similar to what had been expected.

Following the Umbrailpass, riders will drop into Switzerland for a short period of time before linking back up with the route as previously drawn up, finishing with a double dose of categorized climbs on the Passo Pinei and the ascent to the finish at Santa Cristina Val Gardena.

This is not the first – or even the second or third – time that the RCS has had to rethink a planned visit to the Stelvio due to snow. It happened most recently back in 2013, when organizers cancelled stage 19 altogether due to the weather.

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