Protesters slapped and insulted Giro d'Italia-winning cyclist Ivan Basso and stole road signs during the first stage of the controversial Giro di Padania in Paesana, Italy on Tuesday. The race has drawn controversy because of its association with the right-wing Lega Nord party, which supports the creation of an independent state in northern Italy. Tuesday's first stage got off to a rocky start as organizers changed the route to avoid a demonstration by anti-separatist protesters. The event's name, "Padania," has drawn attention because it uses Lega Nord's term for the region, which is better known as the Po Valley. Members of the Italian General Confederation of Labor and the Rifondazione Comunista party sat in the road in an attempt to block the peloton's passage. "We're cyclists and we've come here to this race to ride and we ask the public to allow us to do so," Basso and fellow cyclist Sacha Modolo said in a statement. "We find this behavior unacceptable." Italian cyclist Elia Viviani won the race's second stage on Wednesday.
Read more at Cyclingnews.com
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.