Mario Cipollini Ends Career
A Roadcycling.com first...
Mario ?Lion King? Cipollini abandons cycle racing.
The 38 year-old Italian gets off the bike after 17 seasons as a professional cyclist and 189 victories.
?Announcing my withdrawal one week before the Giro d?Italia is a painful but honest decision. The public will understand. I would have liked to be at the start of the Giro d?Italia in Reggio Calabria looking for the victory again, fighting for the pink jersey? Maybe, an ?old man? like me, who has given a lot to cycling and [received a lot], now has to recognise the right moment to stop. I thank the Liquigas-Bianchi team who has trusted me and deserves all my gratitude. I am honoured to have ended my career as a rider wearing the jersey of such a great team.?
Commenting on Cipollini?s decision, president of Liquigas Sport S.p.A. Paolo Dal Lago told Roadcycling.com that ?Mario has always been loyal and responsible with us both when he started his last agonistic season well-trained and also today in such a difficult moment. Cipollini has given his last victories to our team as a present [a stage in the Tour du Qatar and the Giro della Provincia di Lucca]. He has been a great athlete and I am sure he will still be able to give much to cycling.?