Friday, January 18, 2008

Mario are you back?

Retired cycling star, Mario Cipollini "maybe" returning to the sport  for the American Rock Racing Team. Rumour has been flying since the reports of Super Mario and Rock Racing owner Michael Ball's meeting in Malibu.
Super Mario had quite a racing career racking up 42 Giro d'italia stage wins(a record), 12 Tour de France stage wins, victories in Milan-San Remo and Ghent-Wevelgem. To cap all his victories was the huge win in the 2002 Zolder World Road Championships. He never won the Tour's green jersey, just because he couldn't stomach the mountains. He angered Tour organisers, what became an annual joke, by slipping quietly away after the first week of sprints, then off to the Italian beaches to perfect his tan. He rode six Tours, never finishing any of them. But, for all his palmares, the ability as the talented showman craving the limelight  and gaining publicity shone through. Ball, the founder of Rock and Republic Jeans signed estranged riders, Tyler Hamilton, Oscar Sevilla and  Santiago Botero, all linked to the Operación Puerto doping scandal. Just where would the 40 year old lion king fit in? Manager and rider was bandied about.  Interestingly, Cipollini was reported to owe Italian authorities back taxes of over $1 million euro. Authorities claim that during a two year period, he was based in Lucca, Italy. Cipollini claims he was in Monaco. 

And, with all the attention garnered ...  super Mario still has to be signed. 

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