ProTour Council rejects Giro half-stages

The UCI's ProTour Council has formally rejected a request from the organisers of the Giro d'Italia to run two half-stages on the final day of the 2006 Giro.

Giro organiser RCS had planned a split final day, with an 11km mountain time trial on the Ghisallo, to celebrate the inauguration of the Ghisallo museum on the same day. The time trial was to be followed by a 116km road stage into Milan.

Split stages in grand tours are not allowed under UCI rules but RCS director Angelo Zomegnan has been taking a conciliatory tone on the issue of the split stage. "This is a suggestion not a provocation," said Zomegnan.

When it became clear that the idea of a split final day was unlikely to be received well by the riders and the ProTour, Zomegnan told Italian media, "If the UCI doesn't give us the permission to carry on with it, we will find another way to honour the mountain and its museum."

If the ProTour council's ruling extends to other ProTour stage races, then the Tour of the Basque Country, which has traditionally finished with a split stage, will also have to change its schedule.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

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Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the ProTour-Grand Tours split

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