This morning, a delegation from the Giro d’Italia visited Rigopiano, in the municipality of Farindola, where on 18 January 2017 an avalanche engulfed a luxury hotel, killing 29 people. Stage 10 of the Corsa Rosa, the Penne-Gualdo Tadino, scheduled for tomorrow, will pass right next to where the tragedy occured.
Bouquets of flowers were placed at the foot of the stele that commemorates the victims, in the presence of representatives of the “Comitato vittime di Rigopiano” (Committee victims of Rigopiano), the Giro d’Italia Race Director Stefano Allocchio and the Abruzzese rider Giulio Ciccone.
Giulio Ciccone, Bardiani-CSF rider from Abruzzo who’s participating in the Giro 2018, said: “For me, riding tomorrow on this climb will be even more important than the arrival at Gran Sasso yesterday. I know this route well having ridden it many times in training, but I haven’t been back since the tragedy. I remembered a fountain nearby where I often stopped to refresh myself. Today I saw that it had gone. I remember well that evening. I was at home with my parents. When I heard the news, it seemed impossible that such a thing could happen just a few steps from home. Tomorrow I will work hard on this climb to honor the victims.”
Stefano Allocchio, Giro d’Italia Race Director, said: “In these moments our event, so under the media spotlight, calls on everyone to hold a moment of reflection for this tragic episode. It might have happened outside the sports sphere but it touches everyone’s conscience and pain. Here I am interpreting the feelings and emotions of the whole Giro d’Italia to honor the memory of the victims and the mourning of their families in this sad event.”
The spokesman for the “Comitato vittime di Rigopiano” added: “We thank the Giro d’Italia for this moment that gives new breath to our voice. We know that the prosecutors are doing a good job and hopefully we will soon clarify the responsibilities of what happened. We ask for only two things – truth and justice – but, of course, they cannot give us back our loved ones”.
Maurizio Formichetti, promoter of the Giro stages in Abruzzo, added: “It was the right thing for the Giro, and sport in general, to pay tribute to the victims and their families. The race this year passes in Abruzzo especially for this reason and to stay close to the families, showing once again its spirit of unity.”