Stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia was an innocuous flat stage, which should have been 258km long but a rider protest shortened the ride by 100km.
A rider protest of the stage being too long after a tough day climbing the Stelvio the day before, while also being on of the biggest weeks, in terms of climbing and effort, in recent memory at the Giro d’Italia. Add to that the adverse weather this morning, instead of climbing on their bikes, riders got back on the team buss which drove them 100km up the road before the stage started in earnest.
Czech rider Josef Cerny of Team CCC won stage 19 and Britains Tao Geoghegan Hart remains third on the General Classification as the race has two more stages left to play out, the top three are separated by no more than 15 seconds.
Stage 20, with three climbs of Sestriere, is set to be a thrilling finale before an Individual Time Trial on Sunday 25th of October in Milan.
Former Tour de France winner and Hour record holder, Sir Bradley Wiggings has blasted the peloton for how Stage 19 started. Not least due to the fact that the riders managed to quickly organise a stage protest and yet they can’t seem to organise a meaningful message on the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“They’ve (referring to the rider of the Giro d’Italia) made more of a stand today than they did for Kevin Reza and the stand against racism at the Tour de France.” Wiggins said on The Breakaway.
“I tell you now, and it’s not even raining anymore, many people would love to be out there doing 250km all day on their bike, rather than sat behind a desk or, in some cases, not even working because of the current climate.” Wiggins continued, before setting back in to the riders and their complete lack of support to address the problem with diversity in cycling
“You compare that to the stand they made for Reza at the Tour, they’re chalk and cheese. They made more of a demonstration today than they did for that. If you’re going to fight for something in this sport, at least fight for something that’s meaningful and going to impact change for the better.”
This seems the first time in which a presenter has finally challenged the riders to stand up for the Black Lives Matter movement, making people realise that actually, there’s more important things to fight for in life than not riding the bike in the rain.
Wiggins cooled his outburst by saying: “I can see everyone’s point, the riders don’t want to ride in the rain. Do we need 250km stages the day after a Stelvio stage? [But] it just shows the lack of unity, the lack of organisation, the lack of power and speech the riders have as a group. They talk about unions, but they don’t operate as a union. It’s just a willy-waving contest.”