By Shane Stokes in Salerno
AIGCP chairman Patrick Lefevere has protested about the logistical arrangements on this year's Giro d'Italia, with a complicated pre-race launch, the transfers between the first three stages on Sardinia plus the long journey to the Italian mainland making life difficult for the riders.
He issued a communiqué on Tuesday highlighting these problems, asking organisers RCS to consider the riders when planning the race.
The team buses, cars and many of those working on the race boarded ferries on Monday, with the first of these departing Cagliari port around 11.30 pm and travelling through the night to get to Naples. The riders flew on Tuesday morning but for some, plans of a rest-day training ride went out the window due to their equipment being on the delayed second boat.
"In light of the numerous transfers that have characterised the first three stages of the 90th edition of the Giro D'Italia, the 'AIGCP'(Association Internationnale des Groupes Cyclistes Professionnels) would like to highlight the logistical difficulties their teams had upon leaving Sardinia," wrote Lefevere in the release. "Some teams only arrived at their hotels at 3pm. Further difficulties were caused due to the fact that the ferry transporting the team vehicles and team equipment was heavily delayed, arriving at the port of Naples at 5.30pm, meaning that the athletes couldn't take part in their normal afternoon training session."
"The 'AIGCP' would like to reiterate that their teams collaborated fully with RCS, something that lead to a wonderful event fully respecting the members of the public, even though they had to organise very complicated transfers for their athletes and staff in occasion of the presentation of the Giro D'Italia on Friday, 11th May and for the timed team trial that took place on the Island of Maddalena the day after."
He said that the AIGCP was calling on RCS Sport to, "pay more attention to detail when planning future transfers and that they consider not only the organisers' interests but also the necessities of the teams taking part."