What's Cool In Road Cycling

Leblanc-Cipollini: The Battle Continues

– Reported by Datasport.it –

The depart of the 2002 edition of the Tour de France is at the doorway and Jean-Marie Leblenc, the “Father-Patron” fo the French stage race hasn’t lost the occasion to sling another poisoned arrow at a very fierce rival: Mario Cipollini, excluded agian from the Grande Boucle along with his team. The sprinter from the Acqua & Sapone team has called the French patron a dictator and Leblanc immediately refuted the charges.

“More than a champion, he is a star – Leblanc said of SuperMario -I admire him for his presentation, for his perseverence, but I know very well that from being a champion and above all a show business star that the provocative phrases that he puts in the media and publications are him playing his part”. And also on the Tuscan: “Those who know me at the head of the Tour know that I’m not a dictator. What dictatorship could there be? That of the exclusion of Cipollini’s team? If I had been the selector for a soccer team and I chose the 11 men to put on the field, then I would be a dictator. In ’89, I introduced rational criteria for Tour selection, those of the UCI. Our personal choice is restricted to only 4 or 5 teams”.

Positive judgements he saves for Lance Armstrong, winner of the last three tours, who he admires much, because of “the things behind his power; work, diet, professionalism”.

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