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Giro set to climb the Gavia on Saturday

Passo di Gavia is an important part of the Giro d'Italia's history.

Passo di Gavia is an important part of the Giro d'Italia's history. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The director of the Giro d'Italia, Angelo Zomegnan, has announced that Saturday's final mountain stage is set to include the Passo di Gavia, but revealed that contingency plans for alternative routes have been prepared.

A final decision will be taken on Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m., two hours before the start of the stage.

The weather is forecast to get worse in the mountains around Bormio and Aprica in the next 24 hours but the Gavia has been opened thanks to snow ploughs cutting a path through huge banks of snow.

The climb that decided the 1988 Giro d'Italia is set to remain the highest mountain in this year's race at 2618 metres.

"There has been a lot of rumours about the Gavia and what we're going to do and if it's Gavia yes, Gavia no. It's time to put an end to all the talk," Zomegnan said.

"The biggest problem is actually the Forcola di Livigno climb and not the Gavia because there has been two landslides on the Forcola in the last few days. However, at 2 p.m. today, the local authorities gave us permission to cover all the planned route for tomorrow.

"But in case the weather gets worse and for the safety of the race caravan, we've got a plan b that includes a plan b1, b2, b3: We could have a stage without the Forcola and with the Gavia, with the Forcola and without the Gavia or without both of them. The plan b also includes the Mortirolo from the other side used today plus the climb of Trivigno and Santa Cristina, so that the stage still includes 4200 metres of climbing.

"The alternative maps will be ready very soon of all three alternatives and the same maps will be sent to the team with the results, so that they can arrange the feed zones, etc. for the riders. The final decision on which route we will use will be taken together with the local police by race director Mauro Vegni tomorrow morning at about 10:30 before the stage starts."

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