Giro shorts: Lopez, Fassa, Marco

No surgery for Lopez de Munain, weather could affect Stelvio stage, Fassa decision by May 31, riders

No surgery for Lopez de Munain, weather could affect Stelvio stage, Fassa decision by May 31, riders


Alberto Lopez de Munain has been told by doctors in Spain that he won't have to undergo surgery on the injuries he picked up during his second stage crash at the Giro. The Euskaltel rider was told that in normal circumstances his broken shoulder would have been operated on, but in his case the surgeon did not want to take the risk because of his broken ribs and lung damage. The fact that he will not be able to undergo surgery does, however, mean that the Lopez de Munain's recovery will be more protracted.

- Bad weather has been forecast for northern Italy over the next few days, and that could mean problems for some of the mountain stages. The main concern is over the 2758-metre summit of the Stelvio, which is due to feature on Sunday. The Stelvio has often been missed in previous editions because of bad weather, and fearing similar difficulties the Giro's organisers have already planned out an alternative route for that stage.

- After a meeting between team and sponsor on the rest day in Ravenna, the Fassa Bortolo company has announced that it will make a statement about its future with the team on May 31. Team manager Giancarlo Ferretti has been trying to find a new main sponsor to replace Fassa at the end of this year and to persuade Fassa to stay on as a secondary backer.

- The Giro organisers have confirmed details of next year's start in Belgium. The prologue will take place in Seraing on May 6, the following day's stage will link Mons and Charleroi, on May 8 the route will run from Perwez to Namur, and the final Belgian stage will start in Wanze and run to the German city of Leverkusen.

- Today's 10th stage of the Giro has started with a rider go-slow in protest at what the riders say is a dangerous finishing circuit this afternoon in Rossano Veneto. The protest has been led by Gilberto Simoni, Marco Pinotti and Guido Trentin, who have asked race director Mauro Vegni to neutralise the stage from the moment it enters the circuit. Riders have already expressed concern about previous finishes on this year's race.

- With the race in and around Marco Pantani's home-town of Cesenatico on the rest day, a number of riders took the opportunity to visit the 1998 Giro winner's grave. Among them were Lampre-Caffita team leaders Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego. Their Spanish team-mate Patxi Vila wrote in Pantani's book of condolences: "Many thanks for all of the great memories you left us with. With affection for you, Marco."

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