Sunday's Trofeo Alfredo Binda was neutralised mid-race after a two-car crash outside the race caravan blocked the road ahead after 52 kilometres of racing at the third Women's WorldTour race of 2022.
On the race's Twitter account, organisers called the incident "serious" and said, "there is no way to pass through at the moment."
The peloton set out on schedule from Cocquio Trevisago to complete one large loop of 71 kilometres before hitting the 17km-finishing circuit, to be raced four times for a total of 141.8km.
It was on the climb past Brinzio on the large loop that the race was neutralised, with a three-rider breakaway – Michaela Drummond (Bepink), Giorgia Vettorello (top Girls Fassa Bortolo), and Gulnaz Khatuntseva (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad) – having already gained a 35-second advantage over the peloton.
Race organisers worked for approximately 45 minutes on an alternative route for the riders, which involved backtracking through Brinzio to reconnect with the planned route, adding about eight kilometres to the total distance.
This would eliminate the climb to Orino on the large loop, but not change the finishing 17-kilometre circuit of four laps to Cittiglio, which was unaffected by the detour.
The race hits the finishing laps by crossing the finish line in Cittiglio with 70 kilometres to go, with a final climb to Orino on the final circuit at just under eight kilometres left. Most of the run-in is then either descending or flat – barring a gentle rise to the line – so it's likely that whichever rider or group crests the Orino first will be who contests the finish.
"We're back racing! The peloton was led back down into the valley to Cantevria – all neutralized," announced the UCI's Women's WorldTour Twitter account.
"There the race re-started against the original route down the valley. They will resume the race course in Cuveglio and will finish with the planned 4 laps."
The trio of breakaway riders were sent ahead of the peloton in the restart to preserve their 35-second advantage.
Trofeo Binda is the third stop of the season for the Women's WorldTour.
We're back racing! The peloton was led back down into the valley to Cantevria - all neutralized. There the race re-started against the original route down the valley. They will resume the race course in Cuveglio and will finish with the planned 4 laps. #TrBinda #TrofeoBindaMarch 20, 2022
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Jackie has been involved in professional sports for more than 30 years in news reporting, sports marketing and public relations. She founded Peloton Sports in 1998, a sports marketing and public relations agency, which managed projects for Tour de Georgia, Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and USA Cycling. She also founded Bike Alpharetta Inc, a Georgia non-profit to promote safe cycling. She is proud to have worked in professional baseball for six years - from selling advertising to pulling the tarp for several minor league teams. She has climbed l'Alpe d'Huez three times (not fast). Her favorite road and gravel rides are around horse farms in north Georgia (USA) and around lavender fields in Provence (France), and some mtb rides in Park City, Utah (USA).