The Giro d'Italia's new descending competition has been met with resistance from the professional peloton. The idea has been called 'stupid' and 'life-threatening' by some who took to social media yesterday to vent their annoyance.
According to the Giro d'Italia's road book, a total of 10 segments, including the descent of the Stelvio, have been plotted and the fastest rider in each of the segments will be awarded 500 euros. Points will also be awarded and the rider with the most at the end of the race will be awarded 5,000 euros for first place, with 3,000 and 2,000 up for grabs for second and third respectively.
Belgian Federation president Tom Van Damme called the idea 'unacceptable' and said that he had asked for it to be banned.
Trek-Segafredo's Jasper Stuyven, who will ride the Giro d'Italia this month, was particularly vocal about it. He wrote on Twitter, "Seriously?! If this true you should be ashamed.. aren't there already enough crashes? Clearly you only care about sensation."
Some questioned the wisdom of such a competition in a race that saw the death of a rider on a descent. Wouter Weylandt passed away after crashing heavily on the descent of the Passo del Bocco on stage 3 of the 2011 race. It also comes just days after the death of Chad Young, who died following a crash on a descent during the Tour of the Gila.
"@giroditalia Its not that long ago that we lost our friend and college Wouter Weylandt in a descent crash.Should this happen again?! NO!!!," wrote Bora-Hansgrohe's Marcus Burghardt.
Thus far, none of the riders set to start the Giro d'Italia have come out in favour of the idea. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Surely a joke even though I might actually be able to win something if I did Giro. Problem is you'll have to overtake on descents.Ridiculous https://t.co/r9cqCcstpN— Koen de Kort (@koendekort) May 1, 2017
Giro has some of the worst descents in cycling. With the serious injurys and worse in some cases recently how can they even consider this! https://t.co/pHfvYVM9yv— Matt Goss (@mattgoss1986) May 2, 2017
Sometimes it's best to ignore when someone else comes up with a truely stupid idea and let it fade out in silence.— Stef (@Stefclement) May 2, 2017
In related news, Band-Aid brand will be sponsoring the new "most spectacular crash" classification. Seriously, who came up with this shit? https://t.co/WaUHTACF33— Joe Dombrowski (@JoeDombro) May 1, 2017
@giroditalia Its not that long ago that we lost our friend and college Wouter Weylandt in a descent crash.Should this happen again?! NO!!!— Marcus Burghardt (@MBurghardt83) May 1, 2017
How incredibly stupid. We've already lost riders to high speed crashes on descents (Chad Young, Wouter Weylandt). Why reward risk taking? https://t.co/NWCrxxfLZG— Lindsay Bayer (@thedirtfield) May 1, 2017
What do you think about the Giro d'Italia's descending competition?— Cyclingnews.com (@Cyclingnewsfeed) May 2, 2017
@nealrogers I'd say 80% bad idea. I doubt it would change much. "We" already take massive risks when trying to catch back on or go for the win.— Robin Carpenter (@RobinmCarpenter) May 1, 2017
@Cyclingnewsfeed I think is a really bad idea,to push the riders to the limit&take risk of bad #— Giorgia Bronzini (@GiorgiaBronzini) May 1, 2017
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