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The Lion spoke.....
By Anita van Crey
Date: 8/27/2002
The Lion spoke.....
Mario Cipollini concluded he will continue!

In his own words:

August 27th 2002

An open letter

First of all I'd like to answer the question everyone is making me from all over the world. Yes, I'm going to keep on cycling. It's a choice I've made on my own, as well as the one I made when I decided to stop. In the last 2 months I've often thought that I would never put a number on my back.

I was disgusted by several matters I don't feel like talking about right now. I wanted to stop and I didn't know I would think it over. Partly because... my father Vivaldo didn't know anything about my choice. I knew he was understanding something and he was suffering about it. Anyway that was the question many, many people made me by letter and by e-mail.

The people affection, the team friendship, the messages I received made me reflect really a lot, together with my passion for this sport, also even if the feeling that made me come to my decision are always the same. Until entering my garage I have better my bicycle instead of my car, I won't be overcome.

There are still many challenges for me. First of all the "Vuelta", where I hope I can win a section. Secondly the "Mondiale" on a route I like particularly. Since I was a child, I hoped to win the world champion and something tells me that in Zolder it'll be possible. And there's still the "Giro d'Italia" and something unsettled in "Tour de France"...

During this period far from the competitions and far from the "world" that so much disappointed me, I discovered once more my love for cycling, my pleasure in working for a great target.

When I began cycling, someone told me " The bicycle has a soul. If you are able to love it as it deserves, it will give you emotions you will never forget". At that time I was young and I couldn't understand those words, but now I can and I wish I am able to send this message to all the young people who begin this sport.

When I said I would stop cycling, I was full of rage and disappointment and I showed all my feelings during the press conference in which I told that all the decision was mine, without waiting for any other signal. As mine was the speech I made with the press, also even if some of my words were misunderstood, above all by the sponsors, with which there's no problem now.

There are many other factors I didn't realize at the moment: the Team, the Companions, the Staff which are very important for the reaching of my successes. Leaving them right now won't repay them for all they have done. All those reasons, as well as the pushes I recieve from inside, make me decide to keep on cycling in spite of my choice of July, 9th. Me and my bicycle feel like going on,because there are other targets to get and because I prefere live with remorses instead of regrets.

And now, after all those words, let the facts talk.


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