Italian Shorts: Pantani, Simoni, Cipollini
Pantani Goes On?
He was present few days ago at the presentation of the route of Tour de France 2003 and he was still upset over his “lost in the mail” invitation to the French race in recent years. “In the organization of Tour, there’s something that must be changed. It needs the best
riders, it cannot happen that riders who won big races like Classics, Grand Tour or a World Championship stay at home”. He was talking about last year, when Super Mario and the Pirate have been left at home by Jean Marie Leblanc. “It’s a nice Tour, but I need guarantees, because it’s me who has to decide if to be or not to be at the start”.
Simoni “it shall be monotonous”
Also Gilberto Simoni was at Paris, “it’s a nice Tour but…it’s drawn for the latest winner. Perhaps the Alps before the Pyrenees could be an advantage for me. I think that some hilly stages at the start will make the race interesting, but to tell the truth, I think it’s drawn for Lance Armstrong, and it shall be monotonous”.
“A professional sport needs to be programmed. It’s crazy that many riders don’t know if they will take part at the most important Grand Tour”.
Cipollini vs Binda
Last week was the Binda Day, and many champions of the past take part in it. But there was also the World Champion of Zolder, Mario Cipollini. “I want to try next year to surpass the record of Binda: he is at 41 stage victory and with mine 40 – it will be great to arrive at his record or surpass it”. Jean-Marie Leblanc was present at that celebration and he sent a message to SuperMario: “I wanna give my compliments to Cipollini, champion especially for his personality. In the past we got troubles of communication, isnt it Mario?”.