What's Cool In Road Cycling

Most Influential Rider Of 2002

Most Infuential Rider – It’s Cipo !

Part of the ongoing and rewarding task of being a PCN contributor is the constant demands on one’s mental ability to form an opinion. Right? Wrong? No matter – it really is the thought that counts… As part of our ongoing year-end celebration of 2002 “moments”, we asked our guys “who was the Most Influential Rider”… And aside from possible mis-interpretations of just what defines “Influential”, the popoular vote went to Mario Cipollini – Il Re Leone – !


Always the style-setter, Mario was fined for wearing this “illegal” jersey at the Vuelta.

“Super Mario! What can you say? He does every-thing he said he would and retires. Top rider, top bloke. The sight of him outsprinting all the worlds best riders in Zolder, he told them he would do it, and he did.”

“Mario Cipollini. He surprised everybody for his spring and in summer he got all the media around him for his leaving. About the World Championships, every eye was on him. And with the great victory of a great team, cycling got the best “sponsor” for the next season.”

“Most influential? A tie between Big ‘Ol Lance Armstrong and Super Mario Cipollini. Both have done much to elevate the sport above the recent spat of muckraking that’s been a result of all the doping scandals. Lance’s inimitable work ethic and squeeky clean persona have proved that dedication goes as far as drugs, while Mario has brought a splash of glamour to the sport missing since since the retirement of, well, Mario.”

Robert VW
” Most Influential Rider: Giovanni Lombardi!
It would be too easy to say it’s Lance Armstrong again… and we only see him in so much races. So I wanted to pick Mario Cipollini for the same reason as before, even though Rob McEwen has more victories.
Wherever Cipollini wanted to win, he delivered and that’s really something for a veteran like him. He has built the perfect team around him and maybe we should credit his captain Giovanni Lombardi for Cipo
doing so well.”


“Tyler Hamilton. Besides being tougher than nails, we should also note that Tyler is the classiest and most humble bike racer out there. Most people, after doing what he did in the Giro, would write about themselves. The day after the Giro ended, Tyler wrote a very long letter on his website thanking everybody else on CSC, family, friends, fans, and barely mentioned himself. I usually never get caught up in the ego and hype surrounding athletes in general and cyclists in particular, but this posting from Tyler nearly brought tears to my eyes and made me believe in the sport again.”

“Scott Moninger, for backing up my Dietary Supplements article and making me look like Nostradamus! I’m going to start up my own psychic hotline if this keeps up. Thanks, Scott!”

Eric vB
“Most influencial goes to Santiago Botero for training in blue blockers, some other local team’s
jersey amidst the kidnapping capitol of the world
’till March or April. ”

“-Franco Ballerini for remembering who’s done what over the past few years and leaving their ego’s at home in order to get a rainbow.
-Giorgio Squinzi for telling the world he’d had enough, and rightly so. 100 million dollars means you get to state an opinion regardless of what Hein V thinks…
-Mario Cipolini’s accountant for keeping track of the payoffs required to help Franco Ballerini do the above…”

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