Worlds Zolder: Saronni Leaves the Sprint to Cipollini
97 days after the last Giro d’Italia stage win and after having risen above the crisis of his retirement, Mario Cipollini will return to racing this Saturday on the roads of the Vuelta a Espana, passing from this to the Worlds in Zolder.
“I decided to return because this Worlds is the most important appointment of my career – explained SuperMario – for a sprinter like myself the rainbow jersey is the most. It’s the passion that has put me back on the saddle, I believe the fans have understood. When I decided to stop I felt agitated instantly, in that moment I couldn’t have done more, watching the sprints in the Tour I was enraged”.
The Cipollini storm has passed and he is ready to battle the worlds best in Zolder, sight of the 2002 World Championships. The first to give their predictions on him is Giuseppe Saronne, champion of the world in Goodwood exactly 20 years ago: “The real knot around the Worlds in Zolder will be to successfuly take Cipollini to the sprint to compete for the biggest race of his life”.
“On a course adapted to the sprinters – added Saronni – Cipollini will hneed to demonstrate that he has the same condition as he did in the spring: in the Vuelta it will be clear immediately”.
“They want there to be men who know how to take control of the bunch perfectly so that they can launch Cipollini into the final 300 meters: who will sacrifice thier own chances of a break to control the field if they believe that they could capture the victory? For the CT Ballerini it will be a difficult sitation to manage”.