“He’s a F---ing Clown”: The Twitter Spat Between Lance Armstrong, Jonathan Vaughters, and Thibaut Pinot

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Lance, Vaughter, Pinot Spar on TwitterPASCAL PAVANI - Getty Images

Giro d’Italia has been full of fireworks since the start.

A late Stage 3-wreck caused one rider’s bike to completely break in half then COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the peloton in Stage 10 causing several riders including Remco Evenepoel to bid the Tour farewell.

Sparks started to fly on Stage 13 when Groupama FDJ rider Thibaut Pinot had some choice words for EF Education–EasyPost Ecuadorian rider Jefferson Alexander Cepeda after Pinot finished second.

“Cepeda was a big thorn in my side. Whatever happened, I didn’t want him to win, I would have put my heart and soul into it,” said Pinot according to Cycling Up To Date.

On Stage 15, American cyclist Brandon McNulty of team UAE Team Emirates outsprinted EF Education-EasyPost rider Ben Healy. An American winning his first Grand Tour stage race might be considered the highlight. To the contrary, McNulty’s win sparked a spirited exchange between Lance Armstrong, Pinot, and Jonathan Vaughters.

After the race, Vaughters, boss of EF Education-EasyPost, praised Healy for the way he handled the loss. “Proud to see that Ben Healy congratulated the winner, and didn’t go cry to the media about how life is sometimes unfair,” tweeted Vaughters. “Great attitude. Great person. Great rider.”

The tweet took off as Twitter users recognized Vaughters’ thinly veiled swipe at Pinot.

“Just @ him you coward” tweeted one person.

“[Not] sure he [Pinot] could read it through all of his tears,” Vaughters replied, referencing to Pinot’s emotional response after losing to Movistar Team rider Einer Rubio on Stage 13.

“Who are you?” Pinot tweeted in response to Vaughters.

The exchange seemed to be fizzling out when Armstrong jumped into the fray.

“Who is he? He’s a f---ing 🤡. At least based on the 30+ years I’ve known him,” tweeted Armstrong in response to Vaughters.

Many speculate that Armstrong escalated the spat because of this disdain for Vaughters.

“Is this the same @vaughters that did the exact same thing as his entire generation did, threw his own riders under the bus, and got off Scot free??" stated Armstrong, quote-retweeting a Cycling News post.

According to Sticky Bottle, Armstrong’s dislike for Vaughters goes back decades. Vaughters “was one of many people to give evidence to USADA when it was investigating Armstrong for doping. That inquiry ultimately brought down Armstrong, resulting in a lifetime ban from pro cycling and losing his seven Tour de France wins.”

Will Giro produce any other side shows? With four stages to go, there’s plenty of time for Tour controversies.

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