This lad was best described as a “Dandy” – one of his many nicknames was The Lion King, which helped paint the picture of this very self confident athlete with his mane of curly hair and wrap around shades. He oozed sauve style, posessed a real sense of arrogance and was a natural team leader.
Cipollini was a sprinter, a man who loved to be greeted by his adoring fans on the winner’s podium at the end of the race whilst looking like he had not even been down the paper shop and back on his bike. He was that good that he would turn up at the Tour de France win a few flat stages in the first week or so, and then give up and abandon the race when things got serious in the mountain stages. He would jump off his bike at the first sight of the Pyrenees or Alps and be down on the beach in Rimini quicker than you could say “lazy, arrogant, spineless superstar”
All in all he was a great athlete and a bit of a bully if truth be told. Still he made the Italian cycling fans proud in 2002 in a brutal finish to the World Championships…….