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.
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