Zomegnan implies Armstrong caused protest
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Monday, May 18, 2009

Zomegnan implies Armstrong caused protest

by VeloNation Press at 4:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia

Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan is upset with Lance Armstrong for the protest that neutralized what was to be the 100th anniversary celebration of the race. Several riders have acknowledged that Lance Armstrong was behind the protest during yesterday's "Milan Show" stage, where the majority of the peloton coasted to the finish because it didn't impact the race's over time. That left only the sprinter's teams to fight for a stage win in front of the crowds.

Today the Italian has blamed an "older rider" for starting the demonstration, and maintained that the course was safe for the cyclists.

"The course requires explosive power and riders to get their butts out of the saddle. Apparently, some older riders have no desire to do so. Instead, it seems as their legs are shorter while their tongues have become longer," said an angry Zomegnan.

It's now safe to say the honeymoon between RCS Sport, who paid Armstrong a significant appearance fee for the race, and the seven-time Tour de France winner is officially over. While being at odds with two of the Grand Tour organizers might not be a big deal for the Texan, it could one day come back to haunt his long-time director Johan Bruyneel.

When asked if his comments were leveled at the American Zomegnan said, "I never call people who have disappointed me by name, just as I never mention names of girlfriends who have snubbed me."

Former Giro winner Ivan Basso defended Armstrong saying that you can't point the finger at any individual for the decision to protest. Three riders hit the pavement during the first lap, and that is what began the rumblings of danger within the peloton. A few laps later the race came to a stop and current leader Danilo Di Luca addressed the crowd and apologized.


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