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Words from a Champion. A World Champion.
By Fabio
Date: 10/13/2002
Words from a Champion. A World Champion.

Right after the end of Sunday's successful ride, brand new World Champion Mario Cipollini as well as other members of the Italian squad, whose efforts played a fundamental part in Cipo's victory, gave interviews to more than one TV channel. Here's the text of the interview the "Lion King" gave to Eurosport before the awards ceremony .

Q: In a few minutes you'll be wearing the rainbow jersey. Did you ever think you could acheive such a result one day in your life ?

A: Wearing the rainbow jersey has always been a dream to me. And it was the same today too. Even during the race. And after I crossed the line I kept wondering whether it still was a dream, or the truth. Well, I realized this is the truth, and now I must enjoy it thoroughly.

Q: A perfect ride by the Italian squad. I guess that Mario Cipollini owes a lot to his team-mates And after the team did such a hard work, the race ended in a battle between Mario and the "who's who" of sprinters, a finish eventually paying proper tribute to the best one

That's right. I think this squad was built around me, and both (coach) Ballerini and all the riders have done an extraordinary work There was harmony and calm inside the team while we were building-up for the race. It didn't take a long time for us to realize that we could perfectly work together, and all through the race I had wonderful teammates, who did an incredible work, right beside me. Then I still had good legs in the final 250 mt. so I could sprint and win.

Q: During the race, and the last lap in particular, some crashes occurred. Were you afraid of getting involved in any of them ?

Yes, I was afraid. But also thanks to my experience, I succeeded in avoiding such dangers, and gaining the front of the peloton in the final part of the race, when I stayed on the wheels of my teammates, who did such a job .. I don't know how I could thank them.

Q: From Milano-San Remo to the Worlds. You won in the early part of the year, as well as in the last one. That would be enough to say it all about your season...

There are no doubts that this has been a wonderful season for me, I might say my whole career was "summarized" by this year's results. When I think of what I have achieved this year, I still can't believe it. It will take some time for me to realize it well.

Q:So are you going to sign a "peace treaty" with cycling after this victory ?

A peace treaty with cycling ... well. I had some problems, like everyone else does, but this sport has given a lot to me. And even more after today's win. This is the kind of things that keep you going on, both in cycling and everday life as well.


And here is what an extremely pleased Mario Scirea (namely Cipo's most loyal leadout man, who did a huge job for his captain on Sunday too) told Italian Channel RAI 3. The 38-year-old said that "We really believed in our chances. That's why we have been working hard during the whole race. Things went the way we planned in yesterday's meeting, and we got the victory. A victory belonging to all riders, all of them. A victory of the whole team. What you have seen today is a TEAM"

Last but not least, a few quotes from Daniele Nardello's interview. Right after the race the former national Champion told Italian journalists that "Today we proved that we are a very good team, and showed how we believed in both Cipo and coach Ballerini. This is not my first time time at the Worlds, actually it's the fourth, or fifth. But I think it is the best one. Yes, this time we have been really great".

The Daily Peloton's coverage of the Road World Championships will continue with more news, reports and interviews to come ... Stay Tuned !

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