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Local authorities refuse permission for the climb due to safety concerns
Recent bad weather and doubts about safety mean that the new Pompeiana climb is unlikely to be part of the route of this year's Milan-San Remo.
Race organiser RCS Sport added the five-kilometre climb to the finale of the traditional race route in an attempt to shake-up the outcome of the race and avoid the traditional sprint finish. Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and other sprinters have announced they will not target Milan-San Remo but could now have a chance of victory in the first monumental Classic of the season.
A report in the La Stampa newspaper suggests that recent land slides and safety concerns have caused the local authorities to refuse to issue a permit for the race to climb the Pompeiana. The local authorities appear unwilling to find the finances to make the Pompeiana safe for the race and the thousands of spectators expected on the roadside on Sunday March 23.
"We took a decision before the bad weather of the last few days. We'd pointed out a series of problems linked to safety. Our negative decision was decided with a official act," Michele Russo –the Provincial engineer for transport and road infrastructure told La Stampa.
It seems the authorities are concerned about road safety on the narrow, twisting roads, that includes long sections without guard rails and a critical section near Castellaro on the difficult descent back to the main coastal road.
RCS Sport has yet to make an official statement regarding the Pompeiana. However with the race just over a month away, it seems a return to the traditional race route is likely, giving the sprinters a shot at victory.