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Vegni hits back at criticism from Nibali after Tirreno-Adriatico stage cancellation

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 Mauro Vegni at the Dubai Tour

Mauro Vegni at the Dubai Tour
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
(Image credit: Courtesy of Polartec-Kometa)
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Vincenzo Nibali and Alexander Vinokourov at the Astana team presentation

Vincenzo Nibali and Alexander Vinokourov at the Astana team presentation
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The snow atop Monte San Salvino

The snow atop Monte San Salvino
(Image credit: RCS Media Group )
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The conditions on Monte San Salvino 24 hours before the stage was scheduled

The conditions on Monte San Salvino 24 hours before the stage was scheduled
(Image credit: RCS Sport)

Mauro Vegni, the head of cycling at RCS Sport and the organiser of Tirreno-Adriatico, has hit back criticism at the decision to cancel Sunday’s queen stage to Monte San Vicino.

Forecasts of snow and low temperatures on the climbs and especially at the finish failed to materialise on Sunday afternoon, leading to riders and spectators questioning the decision to cancel the stage.

Vincenzo Nibali openly questioned the decision on Italian television and his coach, Paolo Slongo, went as far as suggesting the Astana team could consider changing Nibali’s race programme if there was a risk that the key mountain stages of the Giro d’Italia could be cancelled because of the application of the UCI Extreme Weather Protocol. Former professional rider Max Lelli, who now works as a television commentator for Italian television, was also critical of the decision, suggesting RCS Sport should have organised a mountain time trial to replace the cancelled stage.

Vegni seemed genuinely saddened and disappointed by the criticism, pointing out that the decision – taken by the race organisers but also the UCI and representatives for the riders and teams, was made to safeguarded the health and safety of all the riders, plus the people who organise the race and the public who may have been out along the route.