Down-Lo On CIPO: Is He Done?
T?-p?ed a Snagglepuss and “exited, stage left” from the Giro – winless and muttering about his team not being up to snuff. But in uncharacteristic fashion, he slipped out barely noticed. We put Dunc on the case to chase down the down-lo…
I phoned Cipo’s manager for you to ask him the questions. He was very vague as he is (of course) protecting the image of his client. Cipo doesn’t seem to have a program pre-TDF, but here are my thoughts and feelings on this subject.
For me, Cipo wasn’t 100% sure that he was going to win as he did before, he does complain a lot but it was always balanced out by his wins. He hasn’t won lately (as he is used to), and for the 1st time started talking about his age and that he is feeling it.
He is a guy that has time and a place for everything, not an easy person but also a fun loving guy. I’ve heard from close sources that he isn’t easy to work with but as Cipo is Cipo, and a real “Personaggio” and showman, which Petacchi isn’t and probably never will be, for Specialized he’s worth all the time and problems.
I’ll add to this that Domina aren’t easy either so at some stage the relationship will become strained. If you have read any of my other articles to will know that Domina management have never left me with a good impression. Remember that Domina is constructed around Cipo, and rightly so, but he wants it only like that so anyone wanting a bit more space has to move team.
Bennati told me that he learned a lot from being with Cipo, he is professional and doesn’t leave anything to chance. It was the best schooling Bennati could have possibly asked for but he moved to Phonak to find his own space. Let’s not forget that Cipo for the 1st time in his incredible cycling life hasn’t only found an opponent that is capable of constantly beating him but also took a feather out of Cipo’s hat and constructed a train that is as strong, if not stronger, than Cipo’s train of the past, all at a time when Cipo’s own train has got weaker. Wouldn’t it have been great to have seen both trains at their top hurtling down the last 1000mtrs for there incredible captains?
Domina have a young team, Scarponi is a great cyclist and it’s a shame not to see him at the Giro battling with all the other younger riders, Cunego, Sella, Popovych, that are making this Giro so exciting. (I told Bennati that I thought Popovych would win, he stuck to Simoni… now we will see!!!) Scarponi didn’t ride the Giro for the simple reason that he wouldn’t have been given even 1 other team member, to help him out to aim for a podium finish as all were there for Cipo. So this year he decided to get experience in the TDF instead so aimed all his efforts at learning to ride the TDF.
So yes there is a bit of in-house tension and I will be interested to see if Domina continue with Cycling after Cipo has given it his farewell!
To finish, the amazing thing about Cipo pulling out of the Giro didn’t really cause a stir and also hasn’t really been talked about. This for the simple reason that the Italians have already crowned Petacchi as king of the sprint. So Cipo has lost a bit of his appeal, which I find a bit wrong, but that’s the law of sport, when you’re winning you’re “The Man” when you’re not you’re forgotten!
Ciao for now. Dunc
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