What's Cool In Road Cycling

TDF: Cipo’s Out, No… In! ??

In what could be mistaken as a weekly rant, our own Charles Manantan provides the voice of thousands – perhaps millions of fans… It seems that after Cipo’s widely lambasted exclusion from the Tour, he may now get a last minute invite to the greatest show on earth! Is it slick pubicity, or simply a case of “what were we thinking” on the part of the TDF organizers? You decide…

Not only was it with incredibly bad judgment that Jean Marie LeBlanc excluded Mario Cipollini and the Milaneza MSS squad from the tour, but now it seems to be as much a publicity stunt as anything else.

Was anyone on the [cycling] planet not aware that Cipo should have been in the last few tours? Is it (and has it been) news to anyone that the man with (until the trend of annual ignorance) the stage speed record, most active stage wins and still the sport’s best sprinter and arguably biggest personality should be included?

This round of complaining stems from Jean Maries latest statements that, after getting a letter from Cipo and meeting with the boss at Domina Vacanze-Elitron, Cipo now has a chance to be included. I have to wonder what Mario could possibly have included in his letter that shouldn’t have crossed the mind of the decision makers at the Tour six months (or at least 6 weeks) ago!? What new info is there to consider, given the fact that they knew they were screwing both Cipo and the public before they came up with the last selection of pack fodder to round out the field?

The word from Jean Marie is that there is now a 10-15% chance that DVE will be allowed to go. The problem most noted is that it will be a logistical difficulty. Well I say take the extra dozen rooms from the fat cats that made the mistake of taking a few teams that don’t deserve to be there in the first place. Take the meals out of the mouths of a few of the big wigs that always seem to get 5 star treatment from the UCI and the Tour organizers. Take out a few of the fat cat ride-alongs out of the caravan to make room for the DVE team cars (and sit the hell down in the follow car and show some respect to the stage winners while they’re at it). Basically the Tour needs to do what it should have done the last 3 years and exclude a few people that have done and won far less at the tour than Mario, World Champion or not.

Get the job done Jean Marie, and use your power to give something back to cycling and its fans instead of contributing to something that you and your people obviously see as more important than the Tour, the sport or its fans. Nobody will be misled into thinking that you can’t get this done, so stop with the excuses and go and use the tremendous amount of political clout you have to help someone who actually deserves it.

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