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Memorial Marco Pantani called off due to extreme weather

Memorial Marco Pantani 2022 - 19th Edition - Forli’ - Cesenatico 188,6 km - 17/09/2022 - Start - photo Massimo Fulgenzi/SprintCyclingAgency©2022
The 2022 Memorial Marco Pantani never got going (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

The 2022 Memorial Marco Pantani has been cancelled due to extreme weather. 

The Italian one-day race was set to take place on Saturday with the likes of Egan Bernal and Vincenzo Nibali on the start list, but heavy winds and rains forced the organisers to call off the event. 

Initially, the route was shortened by 52km due to the conditions, but it was later decided that the race could not go ahead at all. 

Italy has been buffeted by storms in recent days, with numerous deaths reported in the Marche region in the middle of the country on its eastern flank. 

Cesenatico, hometown, of Marco Pantani sits just north of the Marche on the Adriatic coast, where the adverse weather continued into the weekend. 

According to the organisers, the UCI's Extreme Weather Protocol, which triggers discussions between rider representatives, race organisers, and UCI officials, was brought into force. 

Nibali and fellow Italian Domenico Pozzovivo were seen in talks with the organisers. 

It was initially decided that the 1.1-classified race, which was due to begin at 11:15 local time, would be pushed back to 12:30, with the opening 52km cut from the route and teams driving to the new start location in Borello. 

However, the decision soon came to scrap the event entirely. 

The Memorial Marco Pantani, won recently by Sonny Colbrelli and Alexey Lutsenko, is part of a string of late-season Italian Classics. The start list included Daniel Martinez (Ineos Grenadiers), who won the Coppa Sabatini on Thursday, and Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates), who won the Giro della Toscana on Wednesday. 

"I always want to race but if you see the weather, it's the good decision, to keep the safety for the riders," said Israel-Premier Tech rider Jenthe Biermans. 

"It's really crazy the weather. If you see the last 200m, on the finish line it's just water on the road. It's the best decision and I'm really happy they made it."

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