Extreme weather shortens stage and leaves viewers blind

It was like watching a pre-television Grand Tour, as the extreme weather which lopped 60km and two huge climbs off stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia and also meant neither the TV helicopters nor the high-altitude plane that beams the pictures around the world could take flight.

At the beginning of the race, moto images flicked up with the camera lens blighted by heavy rain before coverage was reduced to either blinking dots on a moving stage profile graphic or footage of cheery Italians waiting at the finish line.