Barely had the riders finished stage seven of the Giro d’Italia today, before Lance Armstrong launched a stinging attack on the stage route via his Twitter site.

The Texan was dismayed at the inclusion of the long descent into the finish town of Chiavenna, a winding road made even more dangerous thanks to the pouring rain and bad visibility.

“Done with st 7,” Armstrong posted. “I’ve seen it all now. 25 mile fast decent to the finish. In the pissing rain. Makes no sense. The boys in the bunch are livid.”

The race organisers effectively neutralised the stage finish due to the weather, giving riders their times at the 3km-to-go mark to avoid any unnecessary pile-ups in the finishing straight.

The stage was won – safely – by Edvald Boasson Hagen (Columbia-Highroad). Although treacherous, remarkably no one crashed or suffered injury as a result of the weather.

This is Armstrong’s first taste of riding the Giro d’Italia, and the seven-times Tour de France winner seems to be experiencing a roller-coaster ride. He was ‘blown away’ by the reception in Venice, but has since suffered in the mountains, losing time to his rivals.

To add to his woes, his Astana team are also suffering from non-payment of rider wages from key sponsors. The entire team started the stage wearing jerseys with sponsors names faded into obscurity.

On Thursday, Italian paper Tuttosport reported that Armstrong would not complete the race, instead returning home to be with his heavily pregnant girlfriend.


Giro d’Italia 2009 links

Stage reports

Stage six: Scarponi wins longest stage with big break

Stage five: Menchov wins mountain battle as Di Luca grabs the pink jersey

Stage four: Di Luca denies Soler on the line; Lovkvist takes pink jersey

Stage three: Cavendish loses pink jersey after being caught behind late crash

Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win

Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Desktop wallpaper photos

News

Astana riders wear faded kit in protest over unpaid wages

Armstrong sees Leipheimer in pink

Giro news round-up: 14 May

Wiggins: ‘I can’t keep smashing away on the climbs’

Wiggins eyes top 20 finish overall

Armstrong after Giro stage 5: ‘That was hard’

Cavendish looking for Giro revenge

Armstrong happy with stage four performance

Lovkvist will fight to keep Giro lead

Giro could be last race for Armstrong’s team

Vande Velde crashes out of Giro

Petacchi claims he didn’t know of Cavendish crash

Cavendish struggles to find consolation in pink jersey

Petacchi: I’ve been working out how to beat Cav

I’m wearing pink on behalf of the team, says Cavendish

Wiggins ready to win Giro team time trial

Friday, May 8: Giro news round-up

Cavendish out to topple Garmin in Giro team time trial

Team time trial start times

Cycling Weekly’s Giro d’Italia top ten prediction

Brits in Venice for Giro presentation

Armstrong overshadows overall favourites at Giro presentation

Armstrong confident of finding new sponsor for Astana

Armstrong working to save Astana team

Wiggins in top form for Giro

Garmin Slipstream kitted out for Giro opener

Dan Lloyd gets late Giro call-up

Armstrong’s special Giro bikes unveiled

Daniel Lloyd overlooked for Giro ride

Cummings and Thomas not selected for Giro d’Italia

Cavendish tests Giro form at Tour of Romandie

David Millar confirms he’s riding in 2009 Giro

Bennati to take on Cavendish in Giro 2009 sprints

2009 Giro d’Italia to start in Venice

Evans and Silence-Lotto disagree on Giro 2009 ride

Armstrong to ride 2009 Giro

Tuttosport reveals 2009 Giro d’Italia route

Dolce & Gabbana design new Giro jersey

2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features

Find the pink jersey competition

Giro d’Italia 2009: The Big Preview

British riders to have led the grand tours

CW’s Giro top ten prediction

Brits in the Giro 2009

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

CW Classic: the 1987 Giro d’Italia


2008 Giro d’Italia archive

Giro d’Italia 2008 coverage index – race reports, photos, results

From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia

Giro 2008: The final word on this year’s race

Brits at the 2008 Giro: photo special

Five days to go, what’s in store?

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)

Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

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