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If Cipo wanted in the TdF so bad...(39 posts)

If Cipo wanted in the TdF so bad...ClydeTri
May 21, 2003 11:32 AM
Why didnt he try to hook up with a team that would be a lock to get in the tour? Has to be one of the better teams that would have hired him as a sprinter..just thinking out loud...
re: and who's gonna lead him out? nmcyclopathic
May 21, 2003 11:42 AM
If I remember...I might be wrong though...Just thinking out loudSwat Dawg
May 21, 2003 11:50 AM
I think earlier in the year when Cipo left Acqua and was deciding which team to join he wanted to join a team that would be constructed around providing the perfect leadout. I think that he got that in Domina, including that he brought Lombardi with him from Acqua. I also think that Cipo wouldn't work as well on other teams. He is a very big character and could overshadow a lot of other teams good riders. I think would be hard for lots of teams, and I think Cipo wouldn't like not being the center of the team either. I mine Cipo is a big personality, a big figure in cycling, and has a big ego to fit it. I don't think his ego is necessarily egotistical, like I feel about McEwan, but Cipo is a champion that has proven himself over a lot of years. He has been an animator as far back as I can tell, and deserves his credit and has justified his ego, unlikely little McEwan. Just thinking out loud though, so people shoot it down if you have better knowledge.
If I remember..I might be wrong though (possible spoiler inside)purplepaul
May 21, 2003 11:59 AM
Last year, I hated him. But he was winning every sprint (I guess I can understand all the hostility towards LA now). This year, I'm rooting for him. What changed? Not sure. But what I do know is that he makes the Giro a much more exciting race. Like Jalabert retiring, it's going to really suck when Cipo does.

BTW, and not to start a flame war, I couldn't help thinking that maybe, perhaps, and not entirely intentionally, some guys didn't try so hard to beat Cipo the last couple of sprints. Like when a baseball player is getting close to a record, the pitchers seem to ease up on them. Just a thought.
If you have been watching the Giro ...Live Steam
May 21, 2003 12:15 PM
you wouldn't make that statement. They have been making him work hard every day to the point where he was getting burned out like on the stage where he just stopped pedaling. He said he thought he overtrained and didn't feel 100%.
If you have been watching the Giro ...purplepaul
May 21, 2003 12:27 PM
I'm not saying there's anything perceptible going on. Just wondering out loud if, in the final moments of the sprint, they might not be laying off a tiny, tiny bit so that he gets the record.

I'm not even sure why I'm having this thought since he has worked so hard. But it popped into my head and I thought I'd see if others sensed anything.
Your used to posting on the non-cycling forum and ....Live Steam
May 21, 2003 12:51 PM
looking for right wing conspiracies :O)
That must be it. nmpurplepaul
May 21, 2003 12:54 PM
Hey I love a good conspiracy too! Just ask Old Ed :O)Live Steam
May 21, 2003 12:58 PM
Hey I love a good conspiracy too! Just ask Old Ed :O)purplepaul
May 21, 2003 1:05 PM
But I'm not suggesting that it's collusion. Just that, perhaps, the other riders want him to win the title, too. Of course, I tell myself that no rider would sacrifice winning a stage just so Cipo could own a title. I guess it just struck me as a little odd that he was being beaten and then wasn't. I know about his explanation. It makes perfect sense. Again, not sure what's got my dander up here.

Perhaps I have been spending too much time on these here boards.
to follow the team...ClydeTri
May 21, 2003 12:02 PM
To follow the team Cipo on Domina a new team? If so, how often do brand new teams get picked to ride in the TdF? If they are not new..have they had lots of sucess in the recent past? I would think that getting on a new team with no track record, or a team that has not been over succesful and gotten TdF invites in recent past would be an indicator that your team might not get picked?
I think the new...Dwayne Barry
May 21, 2003 1:35 PM
team Domina-Vacanza is just the same old Aqua-Sapone team (i.e. same management structure and most of the same riders) but with new sponsers.
Even the same ugly Zebra kit!!!elviento
May 21, 2003 3:23 PM
Fortunately Cipo was able to get world championship and get the rainbow outfit for a change.
re: If Cipo wanted in the TdF so bad...russw19
May 21, 2003 12:12 PM
He is on a team that should be a lock to get in the Tour. The controversy is that J.M. LeBlanc would rather take lower level French teams than take Domina Vacanze. LeBlanc seems to think that it is better for French Cycling, and ultimately better for the Tour itself, if unknown French teams compete at the expense of riders like Cippo and his team, or even more disturbing to me was the ommission of Phonak, a major cycling sponsor (they give more per year to cycling than almost any other company in the world) who's riders include Alex Zulle and Juan Carlos Dominguez, wildly popular french ex-mtb star Miguel Martinez, former world champ Oscar Camenzind, current swiss champ Alexandre Moos, and former intergiro winner and top 10 sprinter Massimo Strazzer.

Think about that team, or even Cippo's team... surely either one is more qualified to get in than Brioches La Boulangère. Can you tell me one guy who is on that team? I can name one.... Jaan Kirsipuu a good sprinter, but really, Kirsipuu, a good sprinter on a poor French team, or Cippo, the greatest sprinter in the history of the sport on a strong Italian team? Is there really a debate about that one? The debate would be between who should have gotten B la B's spot.. Cippo's team, or Phonak. That would be a much tougher one to argue than Cippo vs. Kirsipuu.

Here's a really fun stat that I copied off of It shows that top all time 10 winningest riders in Giro history... look at Cippo compared to other big name guys... he crushes them!

Top stage winners in the Giro
1 Mario Cipollini (Ita) 42 stages (1989-2003)
2 Alfredo Binda (Ita) 41 stages (1925-1933)
3 Learco Guerra (Ita) 31 stages (1930-1937)
4 Constante Girardengo (Ita) 30 stages (1913-1926)
5 Eddy Merckx (Bel) 25 stages (1967-1974)
6 Giuseppe Saronni (Ita) 24 stages (1978-1985)
7 Francesco Moser (Ita) 23 stages (1973-1986)
8 Fausto Coppi (Ita) 22 stages (1940-1955)
9 Roger de Vlaeminck (Bel) 22 stages (1972-1979)
10 Franco Bitossi (Ita) 21 stages (1964-1975)

The interesting part of this article was that Marco Pantani is the next highest on the list of active riders...he has 8 stages to his name. Simoni,Garzelli, and Julio Perez all have 3, as does Robbie McEwen and Petacchi. Cippolini has 42! How can you not say he should be in the Tour? He's the current World Champion for christ's sake! What does Jaan Kirsipuu have that Cippolini doesn't? Or better still, what does any rider on AG2R have that Cippolini doesn't?

It's an absolute crime that Cippolini is not in the Tour... it's a crime that Phonak is not in. Cippolini has more wins than the entire Coast team combined, but yet they are holding a place for a team that could develop out of the ashes of Coast so that Jan Ullrich can get in, and yet Cippo can't play too? WTF? It's wrong, and LeBlanc knows it!

Just my opinions! Nothing more (well, a few well placed facts to back my opinion too... ) but that's all

To play devils advocate...ClydeTri
May 21, 2003 12:26 PM
To many teams winning a stage in a tour is not the primary goal, it is to win the tour. Just for example, USPS, their goal is to win the TdF. To win a stage is to win a battle, they want to win the war. Which is more impressive, CIpo with 42 stage wins or Merckx with 25 but with overall victories in the GC?
To play devils advocate...russw19
May 21, 2003 12:53 PM
How about this... without even getting into that arguement...

Cippolini is hands down the GREATEST sprinter in the history of the sport. To really play Devil's advocate, how in the heck is it that Lance or Jan or Tyler gets in before a living legend? OK, I can conceed that history will be very kind to Lance, but how can you even attempt to argue at keeping the greatest ever in his field out of the Tour?

And to argue your point... can you honestly tell me that AG2R, B la B, Lotto-Domo, Cofidis, Credit Agricole, FD Juex, Gerolsteiner, Quickstep-Davitamon, or Telekom really have a rider who can be considered a GC contender? Your comment, while good in theory is flawed by the simple nature that most teams do not enter the Tour with the hopes of winning overall. Most teams enter with the hopes of getting a few stage wins. It is a very small percentage every year that has a shot at the overall. For the most part you have three to five legitimate riders who can hope to come out of that race with the Yellow Jersey. Sometimes there are surprises, like Armstrong in 99, but for the most part, most teams hope for stages than the overall. So yes, I can still argue that Cippo should be in. Hell, even Armstrong himself thinks Cippo should be in.

But your first statement, in order to really be accurate, should read the opposite.. For many teams entering, the primary goal is stages, the overall is the goal of the minority. Do you really think that last year's Telekom team thought about the overall? They went into the race with the goal of taking the Green Jersey for Zabel. It didn't happen. Euskaltel-Euskadi last year went in with a prime objective of getting a mountain stage win. And just to let you know, there are less mountain finishes per year than flat sprinter-type stages.

To play devils advocate...ClydeTri
May 21, 2003 12:58 PM
I get and understand your little pointed head though just sees a tour as one big race with little races making it pointed head just thinks that winning overall is so much more important than winning a stage..the south won quite a few battles in the War Between the States aka Civil War aka The War of Northern Agression :) but who won the war?
Comparing apples and orangesLive Steam
May 21, 2003 12:56 PM
Most teams entering a GC don't have a prayer of fielding an overall winner that is why there are other competitions within the competition - green jersey, white jersey, team points, etc. Stage wins are goals too.

Cippo and Merckx are not comparable. One is a dragster the other is a Ferrari.
But Cipo has NEVER contended for a jersey...TJeanloz
May 21, 2003 1:00 PM
For to win a jersey, you must finish the race. Something that Cipollini has arrogantly never done. His presence makes the green jersey competition an even greater farce.
In the Giro...merckx56
May 21, 2003 1:28 PM
Cipo has won the points competition and in the Tour, he has worn yellow on several occasions. As for your post about it being less interesting, Cipo is a character. Characters, in general, make the Tour what it is. He showed up dressed as Julius Caesar fpr pete's sake! Pantani fancies himself a character and Ullrich has become a characature. I'd rather see Cipo light it up and make the first week more exciting, than listen to Pantani piss and moan about Lance, or Ullrich wonder where he can score some X, or who makes the best black forest gateau, along the route! Leaving a slot open for the possible return of a team that could not keep it's finances together over a solid team is absolutely asinine. Just think, if Cipo were to wear the yellow, what would he show up wearing? He might just get himself airbrushed yellow with Worlds stripes everywhere!
Not correct...TJeanloz
May 21, 2003 1:35 PM
Cipo has WORN the green (points) jersey exactly once, after his Stage 1 & 2 wins in the 1997 Tour. He did not finish the Tour, and hence, did not win the jersey.

He has WORN the yellow jersey exactly twice, in 1993, after winning stage 1; and in 1997, after winning stage 2. He has never won the yellow jersey.

I'm guessing you were a big Dennis Rodman fan?
Read the post TJ, it starts..."In the Giro"...merckx56
May 21, 2003 3:47 PM
at no time did I mention the green points jersey in the Tour, nor did I say that he had WON either green or yellow. He did, however, win the points jersey in the Giro, hmm, when was that...oh that's right...last year!

I understand how the jersey system works, you patronizing f*ck. Maybe you should read posts a bit closer before you decide to open your steel trap of a brain!

And WTF does this have to do with Rodman? An alcoholic, womanizing, basketball player with serious emotional issues?

By the way, one correlation between them is accurate. Cipo may not be the best cyclist ever, but he is the best sprinter. Kinda like Rodman not being superb in all aspects of roundball, but if you read up on some NBA rebounding stats, you will see his name...A LOT.
On a re-read, my mistake...TJeanloz
May 21, 2003 4:19 PM
I missed the "and" in the Tour, and read it as "has won the points competition in the Tour" - a well placed comma would have made some sense, but it was my fault. Regardless, I wouldn't call wearing the yellow jersey twice "several" times.

What it has to do with Rodman is that he was an excellent ballplayer, and a better showman. The best rebounder, as Cipo is the best sprinter. And both are the best entertainers.
Not correct...<- even these "facts" are wrong....russw19
May 21, 2003 5:35 PM
TJ, you are letting your anti-Cipollini mindset cloud what I would otherwise characterize as your having great and accurate posts....

Cipollini also wore the green jersey in 1993... here's a picture as proof... check him out, he has like spiky punk rawk hair.. he's kinda cool looking, not all suave like he looks now. Of course this is him at 25, not 35....Of course that's not taking into account the glasses!

Are you sure? I got my info from
May 22, 2003 7:07 AM
I pulled the stats from the official Tour site. I can't be sure that they are correct.
Are you sure? I got my info from
May 22, 2003 10:21 AM
Yeah, and I have the video of that race too.

By the way, I was giving you a friendly ribbing... not trying to flame ya... hope you took it the right way. I would have put a smily in, but I hate those thing...

I will watch the tape and tell you what stage he takes it in, I don't recall off the top of my head, but I think he has it on the 3rd stage, then loses it to Abdujaparov. I will double ckeck it.

Didn't take it wrong...TJeanloz
May 22, 2003 11:04 AM
I was more surprised that the Tour was wrong than anything else.
Are you sure? I got my info from
May 22, 2003 11:07 AM
I did some checking and I am sure your info is wrong... for one thing, Cipo didnt' wear the Yellow after winning stage 1 in 1993, although he won the stage the yellow went to Wilfried Nelissen (BEL- Novemail) Cipollini took the Green that day and held it until he took the yellow on Stage 4 after the Team Time Trial, lost it back to Nelissen the next day, then regained it on Stage 6 where he finished 2nd on the stage to Johan Bruyneel. He lost it the next day by more than 2 minutes to Johan Museeuw, but still held the Green Points jersey heading into the next stage... stage 8 finishing in Verdun, which was won by a young Texas triathlete turned sprinter named Lance Armstrong.
Cipollini actually raced stage 9 and abandoned after it when he lost the Green Jersey to Abdujaparov, who held it for the rest of the race.

Interesting to note about this particular tour, Lance abandonded after winning stage 8... Mario lasted one day longer before abandoning. However that was due to a miscommunication between Lance and Och. who wanted him to do the next stage in the mountains, then leave after the rest day. That would have been after stage 9, Lac de Madine, on July 12th. The 13th was a rest day and transfer day.

By the way, L'Equipe is a better historical site than

Check it out...

Ya' gotta love the guy! I would love to have him ...Live Steam
May 21, 2003 1:39 PM
at my party! I loved the "Human" skinsuit he wore three years ago for the TT. He is a great ambasidor for the sport. Good clean fun no drugs and bad press.
Cipo v. Ullrich...merckx56
May 21, 2003 12:28 PM
Ullrich: Got fat, left Telekom, crashed Porsche while drunk, dropped a tab of X, got suspended for 6 months, joined Coast, Coast falls apart, but still may get a birth in the Tour.

Cipo: Italian playboy (always has been, always will be), has won classics throughout his career, won two classics and the Worlds last year, broke Binda's record(do you realize 42 stage wins is 6 weeks worth? That's two entire Giros!), never been so much as accused of doping, adds color to the Tour, and promised to finish this year to honor the Worlds jersey.

Forrest Gump could figure this one out!
re: If Cipo wanted in the TdF so bad...TJeanloz
May 21, 2003 12:47 PM
Why invite somebody who is not only going to make the race less interesting (remember, the race is a three week tour, not a series of industrial park criteriums)? In my mind, inviting Cipollini to the Tour would be like inviting Carl Wolter (world record long golf ball driver) to the Masters. He's good at one aspect of a very difficult competition, but having him there excludes people who might make the real competition more interesting.
TJeanloz tees the ball up.....ClydeTri
May 21, 2003 12:54 PM
and waits for the flames to hit him!
Still waiting...(nm)TJeanloz
May 21, 2003 12:58 PM
Good point, butRJF
May 21, 2003 1:23 PM
There are, what, 160 guys or more racing the tour with no real chance of winning it, a significant percentage of whom are not competitive in any stage and who will not finish the tour? There are only 3-5 riders with any measurable chance of competing for the tour overall title, period. As opposed to inviting a team full of guys who will all finish between 50-150 on GC with zero stage wins but who happen to be French, I'd rather have SuperMario in there myself to compete for the flat stages and at least provide some excitement. I don't think it would be a case of SuperMario replacing someone who would make the tour interesting if his team were picked over Jean Delatour.

But then, arguing over Tour selection is one of the great rites of spring!!!
Pray tellWalter
May 21, 2003 2:52 PM
who exactly amongst the last wildcard French teams is going to light up the Tour?

If you don't like Cipo, you don't like him no big deal. Hey I don't like asparagus but I won't argue that it doesn't belong in a food group. Like wise I don't buy an argument tht Cipo doesn't deserve a ride in the Tour. (Tortured analogy, I know).

Which teams are holding out GC hopes? USPS obviously. Telekom with Botero, CSC and ONCE as well, maybe a few others. The rest want to win a few stages, get some coverage for their sponsors and if they've got a young rider with potential, start getting him some experience. How that is more "legitimate" or "competitive" than the current World Champion who will at least hot up the Green Jersey competition?

Besides, as already pointed out even Lance feels he should be there.
Do you watch the race?TJeanloz
May 21, 2003 3:09 PM
Last year, we saw stage winners from Jean Delatour, FdJ, and AG2R. Is it more interesting to have 3 underdog winners, or the best sprinter in the world dominate the field? I would say the former. I actually like Cipollini, and have for a long time, but I don't think he makes the Tour more interesting. I think long breaks that have potential GC impact are more interesting than having everything chased down for a field sprint. If I wanted to see that, I'd watch a Cat4 crit.

He doesn't "hot up" the green jersey competition because he is never in the competition. Cipollini has not only NEVER won the green jersey, he's never even been eligible to win the green. In fact, he makes it worse, because he robs real contenders of valuable points, only to take a helicopter to the beach when the road turns vertical.
To elaborate...ClydeTri
May 21, 2003 7:20 PM
I have thought the same thing, as a spectator, a series of breakaways and the peloton trying to catch them all day is more exciting than four hours of everybody pedaling together with 500 yards of mayhem sprinting at the finish. If you like the sprinters just watch the last minute of the race. If you like to watch two to three hours of the race, breakaways make for much more intrigue. Remember that 36 minute breakaway in TdF a couple years ago that had USPS somewhat scared and now they say they will not allow that again..but,do they care if Cipo wins every flat stage? No, because he will quit in the mountains, but some newcomer could get a massive breakaway and throw a wrench in LA's quest for five whereas the sprinters dont have any impact on the GC usually.
The absence of Cipo means no sprints?Walter
May 22, 2003 3:40 AM
The flat stages will still be bunch sprints whether Cipo is there or not. McEwan, Pettacci (sp?), Zabel, O'Grady and others will see to that. The breakaways happen on rolling stages generally or like the one mentioned take advantage of situations like bad weather. So if there are going to be sprints anyways why not have the best over the last decade?

Alot, I guess, comes down as to whether you believe he'd finish the race. I happen to believe he would.

Of course the point is moot, he's not going to Le Tour and nothing posted here will change that.
The absence of Cipo means no sprints?ClydeTri
May 22, 2003 4:34 AM
No, just saying that sprints are way overblown as spectator driven events. There is a few seconds of suspense, as opposed to possibly hours of suspense of breakaways..and if the breakaways are successful, there are no Cipos, McEwens, Zabels sprinting at the end..