Stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia from Sarnonico to Vittorio Veneto started under a cloud on Wednesday after race organisers and team managers met to discuss the controversial actions which played out on the descent of the Stelvio twenty-four hours earlier.
The stage saw Nairo Quintana move into the race lead after he and five other riders moved clear of the peloton on the descent of the second climb on stage 16. Quintana went onto win the stage with Rigoberto Uran falling to second on GC. Controversy and chaos reigned though with miscommunication and confusion surrounding whether or not the organisers had neutralized the descent of the Stelvio or not.
Several teams, including Uran’s Omega Pharma QuickStep believed that the organisers had neutralized the descent and promptly sat up at the summit. Quintana and his breakaway companions saw otherwise.
At the start in Sarnonico rumours of a possible protest rumbled on with talk of a possible deduction in Quintana’s race lead voiced. The UCI officials at the race met with team managers and RCS Sport director Mauro Vegni on the Tinkoff Saxo team bus. Vegni refused to comment when Cyclingnews approached him after the meeting.
A full statement from the race organisers and the AIGCP will be issued later today, possibly after the stage finish. in Vittorio Veneto.