The participants of the Giro d’Italia cycling race supported the Gazprom-Rusvelo team, which was represented by nine cyclists from Russia. The team was suspended from the competition and most of its members lost their salaries.
Photo: Sirotti Stefa/Imago Images/Global Look Press
The cyclists who participated in the Giro d’Italia stage race supported the Gazprom-Rusvelo team, which was suspended from the competition and deprived of its license to race. It is reported by Cycling News.
On Tuesday, May 24, at the start of the 16th stage of the cycling race, cyclists, including their leader Richard Carapaz of the Ineos Grenadiers team from Ecuador, as well as the winner of all the grand tours (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España”), the Italian Vincenzo Nibali of the Astana Qazaqstan team, wore blue armbands with the inscription “Why?” This action was launched by the cyclists as a show of support for Gazprom-Rusvelo.
“This bracelet will not solve the problem, but it can help people understand what we are going through,” said Marco Canola, winner of the 2014 Giro d’Italia, of the Nippo Vini Fantini Faizane team.
Gazprom-Rusvelo, with a main sponsor from Russia, is registered in Switzerland. The team’s main base is in Italy, and consisted of nine riders from Russia and seven from Italy. On March 1, Gazprom-Rusvelo was suspended from the competition after Russian and Belarusian athletes were suspended from participating in the national teams by decision of the International Cycling Union (UCI) due to the situation in Ukraine. The Gazprom-Rusvelo team filed a lawsuit with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but lost the case. Now that the team is disbanded, the employees have lost their salaries. Most of the team’s riders were unable to find a new one due to the UCI’s limitation related to the size of the teams.
The stage champion abandoned the Giro due to a champagne cork in the eye
A few days ago, the International Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) came out in support of the Gazprom-Rusvelo cyclists. “In this case 53 families are involved: a total of 164 people, mostly Europeans, who suddenly found themselves without a job, without salary, without a present and without a future in cycling for no logical reason,” the CPA said in a statement. release. statement.
The president of the association, Gianni Bugno, said that since the emergence of this situation, the CPA has tried by all means to facilitate dialogue between the UCI and the team to find a solution. “But, unfortunately, without success. It was not possible to allow these athletes to continue competing in a neutral jersey or give them the opportunity to join other teams, as we requested,” he said.
Russian and Belarusian cyclists can only start under the auspices of the UCI in a neutral state if they represent a professional team that is not registered under the Russian or Belarusian flag. Teams from these countries were deprived of licenses and the opportunity to compete in races. At the same time, foreign athletes participating in these projects were also subject to sanctions.
The Giro d’Italia is being held for the 105th time and will end on May 29. In total, 21 stages will be contested as part of the multi-day race. The current winner is Colombian Egan Bernal. The Russians won the race three times. In 1994 Evgeny Berzin won, in 1996 Pavel Tonkov won, Denis Menshov was the best in 2009.
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