An angry Mario Cipollini took to the airwaves on Italian radio today to attack “the blatant Anglo bias” that “currently plagues the entire cycling nation” thus preventing his return to the sport at the Giro d’Italia for “ridiculous” reasons.
The interview, which began at 6 a.m. CET and didn’t conclude until 2 p.m. CET – pre-empting six radio shows on the station – gave Cipollini the platform to continue his campaign to be reinstated by the governing body in time to make his triumphant Giro return. However, Cipollini feels that racism against riders from Italy and Spain by the “Anglo-led UCI” is the biggest stumbling block to his return.
“I’m very, very, very, very, very, very troubled. The UCI allows 41-year old Chris Horner on a third-rate team to compete in the so-called WorldTour, but doesn’t allow me to compete? When was the last time Chris actually had a doping control? I don’t think he’s had one for at least two years. How else can you explain his performance this past week? How am I any different? I’m Italian and friends with the Spain. That’s the problem. The UCI punishes anyone who isn’t American, Irish or British. What a sad state of affairs when you have translucent-skinned cycling peoples winning races. No style. No good looks. No panache. By Ghisallo’s thighs, thank the Saint from the mountain that Peter Sagan and Vincenzo Nibali have been able to overcome this blatant bias to non-Anglo victories,” rambled the Lion King.
“Dutch are climbers? Did they build a mountain somewhere to train? Have they moved the nation to Switzerland? Has the world gone mad? If Hoogerland can contend in the mountains, than the Cipo will make the mountains classification his goal for this Giro. Why not? Everything else is just as absurd,” continued the tanned and virile one.
UCI president Pat McQuaid, was succint in his reply to the marathon interview, “Payback’s a bitch. After years of suffering against our southern neighbours, it’s time they see what it was like to lose on a regular basis.”
When asked if Cipollini’s return was to be allowed, McQuaid was terse, “Ask Acquarone.”
When reached for comment, Giro boss Michele Acquarone was his usual gracious and intelligent self, “We welcome Mario Cipollini as a great ambassador of the the sport of cycling. If he is able to secure a team which has a Giro invite, I’m sure we’ll look forward to his exploits.”
According to Cipollini’s protracted radio interview, following up from his marathon TV interview the day prior, there are several teams lined up for his services, most notably SaxoBank and RadioShack-Nissan.
“Both teams want me for separate reasons. SaxoBank for the obvious one. And RadioShack-Nissan? They need some sort of positive press to counteract the inevitable disappointment with the Schleck brothers. Becca also has approached me to be a spokesmodel for his new casino construction project. I’m leaning towards Becca, he does business in the old way,” continued Cipollini.
You can hear the rest of the interview, including his two hour pontification on the wrongs of the Italian taxation system at www.cipollinithelionkingwillcomebacktovictoryatthegiroandshowallwhatpanacheactuallymeans.com