Video: Aqua Blue Sport shows why Brenner Pass just cut from Tour of Alps
A big climb has just been cut, along with the opening 40km, of the Tour of the Alps second stage.
Having endured a testing day on the opening stage of the Tour of the Alps, very few riders in the Aqua Blue Sport team will have shed a tear over developments this morning.
And about two thirds of the field undoubtedly feel the same.
Snowy conditions have forced the organisers into a route change.
A clip recorded by Aqua Blue Sport shows just how snowy conditions are in the region for the race.
— Aqua Blue Sport (@AquaBlueSport) April 18, 2017
The start has been moved down the course about 40km from the intended starting point in Innsbruck.
And that means the 1,385 metre Brenner Pass has been axed from the stage.
Also gone is the Europe Bridge – one of the highest bridges in Europe and which was to take the riders from Austria into Italy.
With the Brenner Pass gone there remains just one cat 2 ascent today, as well as an uphill finish.
And the stage, which still finishes in Innervillgraten, is cut from 181km to about 140km.
On yesterday’s opener Italian veteran Michele Scarponi (Astana) took an unexpected win from Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).
Best of the Aqua Blue Sport men was Stefan Denifl in 41st at 1:50.
Martyn Irvine, who is just returning to racing, was 124th in a big group 21:06 down. Matt Brammeier has been ill and did not finish.
The only other Irishman in the race, Philip Deignan (Team Sky) was 63rd at 5:44.
— Equipe FDJ (@EquipeFDJ) April 18, 2017