Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso have both issued public apologies for their part in Sunday's rider protest during the ninth stage of the 2009 Giro d'Italia in Milan.
Armstrong published a video at the end of Monday's rest day explaining his part in the peloton's decision to make a go-slow protest on Sunday's stage, and not to race each other.
"The riders are sorry about that [the protest], it wasn't an ideal outcome," a fatigued looking Armstrong said in the video. "Nobody was happy with that. The fans weren't happy, the organisers weren't happy, we certainly weren't happy."
Armstrong confirmed that the riders were collectively still shocked at Pedro Horrillo's horrific crash during Saturday's stage, when he hit a barrier and fell 60 metres into a ravine sustaining serious injuries. He was airlifted to hospital.
"This was an accumulation of dangerous finishes, not only an accumulation of the downhill finish down the Maloja pass, the finish in Austria, but also Pedro Horrillo's crash was fresh in everyone's mind. We nearly lost him that day.
"It took them 20 minutes to find him when he fell off that cliff. Thank God he's now fine and will live to ride another day.
"It?s an unfortunate situation, an accumulation of days and days of frustration and I think fear on a lot of people?s parts and then this war of words and this war of power afterwards that we have to avoid."
Armstrong concluded that there is a need for a fully independent rider's organisation to effectively represent riders' concerns to race organisers and other parties.
Basso apologises and says 'that's that'
Overall contender Ivan Basso also issued an apology during a press conference on Monday.
"No one is especially guilty for what happened," Basso told the media.
"we need to say sorry and that's that. However, we need to remember that when we said it was dangerous, the organisers agreed."
Click on the play button below to watch Lance Armstrong's video message.
|Giro d'Italia 2009 links|
Giro rest day review (May 18)
Stage nine: Cavendish blitzes rivals to win in Milan
Stage eight: Siutsou makes it two in a row for Columbia-Highroad
Stage seven: Boasson Hagen takes treacherous stage
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
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2008 Giro d'Italia archive
Giro d'Italia 2008 coverage index - race reports, photos, results
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