Coronavirus: Giro d'Italia postponed after Hungary rules out hosting first three stages

By Sports Desk March 13, 2020

The Giro d'Italia has been postponed after Hungary said it was no longer prepared to host the first three stages.

Organisers RSC Sport confirmed the race would not begin as scheduled on May 9.

Friday's announcement has long seemed inevitable, with Italy having been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis. As of Friday, the country has seen 15,113 confirmed cases and 1,016 deaths.

A statement from RSC Sport said: "Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Hungarian government has declared a state of emergency which prohibits the organisation of mass events and makes it impossible to organise international events.

"Consequently, the organising committee of the Hungarian stages of the Giro d'Italia declared the impossibility of hosting the start of the 'race for pink' in Hungary on the dates initially scheduled.

"The two sides reiterated their determination to work together to allow the Giro d'Italia to depart from Hungary at a later date.

"Given the national and international situation, RCS Sport announces that the start of the 2020 Giro d'Italia is postponed.

"The new date will be announced no earlier than April 3 when the provisions of the prime ministerial decree of March 4 2020 end, and after the organisation has dealt with the government, local and territorial authorities and Italian and international sport institutions."

The race had been due to begin in Budapest and end on May 31 in Milan.

Hungarian politician Mariusz Revesz, a government commissioner, revealed earlier on Facebook the news that the country would not be taking up its chance to host the early stages of the prestigious race.

He wrote: "Due to the serious epidemic situation in Europe, it will not be possible to organise the first three phases of the Giro d'Italia in Hungary in May 2020, the Grande Partenza.

"Over the past three weeks, there have been several meetings between Hungarian and Italian organizers, and the Hungarian organising committee has repeatedly stated that competition should not endanger the safety and health of Hungarian people.

"Unfortunately, in Italy, the epidemic has become more severe day by day, and the number of illnesses and casualties has continued to rise, with the result that the Italian government has announced a nationwide quarantine.

"Meanwhile, the virus has reached Hungary, and in order to curb the epidemic, the Hungarian government has declared a state of emergency, which prohibits the organisation of more popular sports events and makes it impossible to organise international events."

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    Sagan's Bora-Hansgrohe team worked superbly throughout a predominantly flat stage 10 from L'Aquila to Foligno to set Sagan up to triumph.

    A seven-time winner of the points classification on the Tour de France, Sagan made sure their efforts did not go to waste.

    He got the better of Fernando Gaviria in a bunch sprint, having won his first Giro stage in an individual effort last year.

    Sagan now has 18 Grand Tour stage wins to his name, putting him in a three-way tie with Rudi Altig and Nino Defilippis for 21st on the all-time list among those with at least one triumph at each event.

    It looked as if Gaviria may be in prime position to claim the stage as UAE Team Emirates led out the sprint with 500 metres to go.

    But it was Sagan who had more left in his legs at the finish and said afterwards: "I have to say thanks to all my team-mates, they did an impressive job. I'm very happy to win a stage like this, it was a great job from all the team."

    Egan Bernal stays in the maglia rosa going into the first rest day of this year's Giro, which will resume on Wednesday with a 162km ride from Perugia to Montalcino back on gravel roads.
     

    STAGE RESULT  

    1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:10:56
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) same time
    3. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) "
    4. Stefano Oldani (Lotto Soudal) "
    5. Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Fenix) "

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    General Classification

    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 38:30:17
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.14
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0.22

    Points Classification

    1. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) 108
    2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) 91
    3. Davide Cimolai (Israel Start-Up Nation) 91

    King of the Mountains
     
    1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 51
    2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 48
    3. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 44

  • Bernal climbs into Giro lead after long-awaited stage win Bernal climbs into Giro lead after long-awaited stage win

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    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 4:08:23
    2. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +07secs
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) "
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    5. Daniel Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) "

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    1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 35:19:22
    2. Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0.15
    3. Alexandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0.21

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    2. Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos) 76
    3. Elia Viviani (Cofidis) 69

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    1. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroen Team) 51
    2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 48
    3. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) 44

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    The 25-year-old French rider made a solo dart to the finish line with just under three kilometres remaining, crossing 36 seconds ahead of Francesco Gavazzi (Eolo-Kometa), who edged out Nikias Arndt (Team DSM).

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    1. Victor Lafay (Cofidis) 4:06:47
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    3. Nikias Arndt (Team DSM) +37s
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