Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) is hoping that the good weather holds for this weekend’s mountain romp in the Giro d’Italia. The Corsa Rosa is due to climb the Jafferau in north-west Italy and France’s famous Galibier pass – both at risk due to snow.
“The Galibier pass is at 2650 metres and anything can happen,” the Australian told the Sydney Morning Herald via telephone after Friday’s stage to Cherasco.
Following a rain-soaked day to Treviso, where Bradley Wiggins (Sky) abandoned the Giro d’Italia, the sun came out for Friday. No one knows if the good weather will stick.
“We will just have to wait and see what happens and be prepared … The Galibier is at 2650 meters, that’s 500 metres higher than [Australia's highest peak] Mount Kosciuszko! But as a rider, you prepare for all the options and then do it.”
Organiser RCS Sport is preparing possible re-routes for the 14th and 15th legs this weekend. Saturday’s stage may simply finish in Bardonecchia, at the foot of the Jafferau and Sunday’s stage could undergo a complete make over.
Instead of climbing to 2642 metres, where the 2011 Tour de France visited, the race may finish 18.1 kilometres below in Valloire. That’s not all. The RCS Sport may have to nix the Col du Mont Cenis.
Evans trails in the overall by only 41 seconds to Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). The rest of Nibali’s major rivals stand around two minutes behind. Any route modification will make a difference.
“I don’t know if Nibali is climbing better than me because we have only had the one uphill finish, and he finished just ahead of me,” Evans continued. “If that means he is climbing better than me then that would mean less climbs is better for me, but at the same time I think I am coming a bit better in the mountains and I am still improving.”
Vincenzo Nibali wants to see the race stay as it is.
“First of all, I hope it’s not too cold, that’s very important for me and all the peloton. It’s not nice riding in the snow,” he said in a press conference. “In the GC, Evans is close and so I have to do something. I’m feeling good, and I’ve got to try in the next few mountains.”
Only Mother Nature knows. Race technical director, Mauro Vegni will wait until the morning to see what she delivers before making the final call.