The Astana team has said that Vincenzo Nibali could opt to skip the Giro d'Italia and ride the Tour de France to avoid the risk of key mountain stages being cancelled due to bad weather, and the impact of the new UCI Extreme Weather Protocol.
Nibali and Astana were hugely disappointed that stage 5 of Tirreno-Adriatico was cancelled 24 hours before the stage was due to be raced.
Team coach Paolo Slongo drove to the 1200m-high Monte San Vicino stage finish and made a short video that showed the snow at the finish area had melted. He was convinced the stage could have been contested, giving Nibali a chance of victory. Nibali tweeted two videos made by Slongo, adding: "Today's finish!! Good sense should always prevail, I'm sorry for the people who love this sport!!"
"There's no snow and we're disappointed because the race has been falsified and BMC will win the final classification and take home the WorldTour points," Slongo told Tuttobiciweb, confirming his comments when contacted by Cyclingnews.
"If every time there's a risk of bad weather people behave like this, we'll look at our plans for the season. There are three altitude finishes scheduled and we can't allow that Nibali puts everything on the Corsa Rosa (the Giro d'Italia) and then not have his say. With (Astana team manager) Vinokourov and Vincenzo we'll decide what to do but we could decide to change our plans."
Slongo confirmed to media at Tirreno-Adriatico that Nibali could target the Tour de France instead of the Giro d'Italia.
"We'll evaluate the idea of Vincenzo riding the Tour instead of the Giro," he said. "We planned that Aru would target the Tour this year but it wouldn't be a problem having Vincenzo at the Tour too. It's something we'll look at.
"Vincenzo is great climber and it's not fair that he targets the Giro, and then the mountain stages are possibly taken out of the race. What has happened at Tirreno-Adriatico could happen in the Giro, and that would compromise all our work and our goals for the season. It would also compromise the Giro. That could be a reason to study and so eventually our plans for the season."
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