After Pedro Horrillo suffered near fatal injuries from crashing into a ravine during stage 8 in the Giro d’Italia, the cyclists still competing were understandably on edge. When the cyclists saw the conditions for the 9th stage, they decided to not race at full speed and then most quit entirely when race leader, Danilo Di Luca, with Lance Amstrong by his side, addressed the crowd as to why they were not racing that stage due to safety concerns. All riders were given the same time for the stage per an agreement reached between race officials even though some riders went on to finish the 9th stage in a move that angered some of the protesting cyclists.
Di Luca said, "We’re sorry, but the course is too dangerous. We don’t want to risk our health. The circuit is not safe enough. We hope the fans understand.”
Apparently some of the fans didn't understand, prompting racer Michael Rogers to respond to the criticism on his Twitter page with the following post:
"Maybe on TV it didn’t look dangerous but believe me, IT WAS! No one wants to see a repeat of yesterday’s disaster with Horrillo. Funny that everyone is blaming the riders for our protest today. No one mentions the parked cars on the circuit, the oncoming traffic.”
I can't believe the gall of these cyclists. They have a conscience...now? They now "don't want to risk their health?" This is one big failed marketing stunt because after all the blood doping and testosterone injecting cyclists out there, are now concerned about their own health and safety is laughable. These guys are willing to take the spike to get on Tour and in the most elite races, but then are going to invoke moral standards on what is considered safe? Every year, there is some doping scandal that rocks the sport, so where is the unity in concern over risking their health then?