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Domina Vacanze aims for Giro
By Anita van Crey
Date: 5/9/2003
Domina Vacanze aims for Giro
When one says Giro and Domina Vacanze one at the same time says Il Re Leone (The Lion King). As is told on his website, “the in Lucca born Italian sprinter is on the hunt this year for the Alfredo Binda record. Cipollini entered the cycling pro at the end of the 80's and succeded in gaining an important place in the hall of champions due to his outstanding and spectacular victories. Soon he took part to the "Giro D'italia" wearing the "yellow t-shirt" of Del Tongo, that belonged to Saronni. Spectacular sprints, "pink t-shirt" and "ciclamino t-shirt" on his shoulders. He started taking regularly the top places and winning important races. Then he won the "yellow t-shirt" during the "Tour de France" and his nickname became "Cipo", "le beau Mario". He's a smart and handsome man and is often a guest in TV shows and even in fashion shows where he displays the class of a professional model. Cipollini has got an extraordinary personality! After a victory during the "Giro d'Italia", he wore Ronaldo's T-shirt to greet the champion and announce his favourite soccer team. Stars and stripes on the shorts to thank his american sponsor which build his bikes. In other occasion he changes the colour of the shorts to meet the colour of his shirt (pink or yellow).”

Mario Cipollini
date of birth: 22 March 1967
Place of birth: Lucca, Italia
professional 1989-
1989 Del Tongo-Val di Non
1990 Del Tongo-Val di Non
1991 Del Tongo-MG Boy's
1992 GB-MG Boy's-Bianchi
1993 GB-MG Maglificio
1994 Mercatone Uno-Medeghini
1995 Saeco-Mercatone Uno
1996 Saeco-Estro
1997-1998 Saeco
1999 Saeco-Cannondale
2000 Saeco-Valli-Valli
2001 Saeco
2002 Acqua & Sapone
2003 Domina Vacanze-Elitron

The race will start in Lecce, in the heel of the Italian peninsula, with several flat stages that will give new world champion Mario Cipollini a great opportunity to break the late Alfredo Binda's record of Giro stage wins. Binda won 41 stages between 1925 and 1933, while Cipollini has won 40 stages. Cipollini smiled as the opening stages were revealed : “I thinks it'll be a really good race. I like it because there are lots of stages which suit me and could end in a sprint but there's something for everybody," he said.

And as is put down in words at Interpres sas : “We have long since understood that Lucca’s phenomenon is a mould-breaker. We probably knew it all along, from the time away back in 1974, aged only 7, he won his first race at Porcari and was disqualified for having used a gear ratio allowed only in higher categories. He wished to be different, to break the mould of a sport, which, often if not always, recalls to the collective imagination the compact group that works hard to clock up a lot of mileage towards a far away target, till the final spurt of the “soloist”, the man who attempts to outdistance the others by letting his desire to be the centre of attention prevail. It is no accident that Cipollini is the perfect prototype of the sprinter - one who knows, near the finishing line, both in life and on the track, when to jump up and scientifically place the final sprint.

Thus at Zolder, in Belgium, he conquered the greatest recognition for his career with the help of the perfectly tuned blue and white team, their domestiques and hard work to shield and support their leader till the crucial moment, the narrowing before the home straight, where he, the Lion King, knew how to get his mane in before others. Super Mario has the brand and the charisma of the champion. Someone interpreted the last four years of his career on personal feelings and sensations. The decision to withdraw in July, through bitterness and as a protest rather than through conviction, triggered the scepticism of many detractors. When his largely publicized afterthought occurred, they did not spare him the accusation of a perfectly designed publicity stunt.

Much can be said about Cipollini, but certainly not to the effect that he is not an instinctive person. And unfortunately (or fortunately) one drags this talent (or defect) along for an entire lifetime. I personally heard him blast a sports reporter who flattered him after he won a final lap of a race. “You needn’t act the smarmy now; you were one of those who thought I was through...” He decided to leave the 250 thousand euro federal prize to his team-mates as a personal recognition of their effort and self-sacrificing spirit. And even in Zolder, during the international ride, he turned true to type. After refuelling, when the group was advancing at 50km/hour, a not very altruist colleague thought it a bright idea to throw a half empty bag into the air, having drunk from it.

It unavoidably ended up straight in the arms of the person behind him. It was, unluckily for him, the very Lion King, who reached him, roared his displeasure at him at a 2 cm distance and as a finishing touch returned the incautious discard straight into his face. Analysing the self-accusation and repentance that followed this unavoidable gesture, Cipollini confirmed once again that calculated gestures were not his specialty. If it were thus, if reason had prevailed on instinct, probably the future world champion would have soon perceived how dear that unorthodox manner of his to dispense justice was to cost him - hundred seconds of pure rage, a discharge of adrenalin that caused a high alteration rate in a complex machine perfected with more than 365 days’ work, which involved sacrificing affections and putting a 14-year long career at stake. It was a nervous expenditure of energy dictated by an inner upheaval, which, typical of the Tuscan in him, Mario has never succeeded in decisively controlling.

This picture probably helps us perceive or understand the complex facts that lead Lucca’s champion from a presumed withdrawal to a triumph on Belgian soil. It was no doubt a matter of principle! At a time when the world of cycling was shattered by the doping effect, the organizers of the Tour de France had allowed themselves the liberty not to invite an athlete who had won 12 laps of the greatest French competition during his career. He, a living ad of how one can be a protagonist even on two non-motorized wheels, had been set aside as the least important of supporting actors. He, a unique figure in the positive publicity of a sport that risks credibility and survival, had been ghettoed as a troublesome character now on the wane. Hence the contradictory synthesis of his decisions! As in a parody of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, SuperMario first reacted instinctively to the disappointment, deciding to definitely withdraw from an environment that had ended up in the hands of politicians “of bicycles”. But once he woke up from his emotional trance and followed the advice of those who always cared for him, he turned his pent-up rage into a positive force. Few have stressed it, but probably this, at 35, is Cipo’s most rewarding achievement. Backtracking on decisions made as an impulsive athlete at last meant that the game (in other words the right strategy) was worth the candle.

The rest of the team will consist of:
Daniele Bennati
Date of birth: 24 September 1980
Place of birth: Arezzo, Italy
professional 2002-
2001 Grassi Mapei
2002 Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
2003 Domina Vacanze-Elitron

Gabriele Colombo
Date of birth: 11 May 1972
Place of birth: Varese, Italy
professional 1994-
1994 Gewiss-Ballan
1996 Gewiss-Playbus
1997 Batik Del Monte
1998 Ballan
1999 Cantina Tollo
2002 Acqua e Sapone
2003 Domina Vacanze-Elitron

Giovanni Lombardi
Date of birth: 20 June 1969
Place of birth: Pavia, Italy
professional 1992-
1992 Lampre
1995 Polti
1997-2000 Telekom
2001 Team Deutsche Telekom
2002 Acqua e Sapone- Cantina Tollo
2003 Domina Vacanze-Elitron

Gianpaolo Mondini
Date of birth: 15 july 1972
Place of birth: Faenza (Ra), Italy
professional 1996-
1996 Amore & Vita
1998 Selle Italia
1999 Cantina Tollo
2001 Mercatone Uno - Albacom
2002 US Postal Servce
2003 Domina Vacanze - Elitron

Alberto Ongarato
Date of birth: 24 july 1975
Place of birth: Padova, Italy
professional 1998 -
1998-1999 Ballan
2000-2001 Mobilvetta
2002 De Nardi-Pasta Montegrappa
2003 Domina Vacanze-Elitron

Michele Scarponi
Date of birth: 25 September 1979
Professional 2002-
Teams :
2002 Acqua e Sapone
2003 Domina Vacanze-Elitron

Mario Scirea
Date of birth: 7 August 1964
Place of birth : Oltre il Colle (Gb), Italy
professional 1989 -
1989 Café de Colombia
1990 Château d'Ax
1991 Gatorade
1992 Château d'Ax
1993 Gatorade
1994-1995 Polti
1996-1997 Saeco
1998-1999 Saeco - Cannondale
2000 Saeco - Valli & Valli
2001 Saeco Macchine per Caffè - Valli & Valli
2002 Acqua e Sapone
2003 Domina Vacanze-Elitron

Francesco Secchiari
Date of birth: 24 August 1972
Place of birth: Fivizzano (Ms), Italy
Professional 1995 -
1995 Navigare - Blue Storm
1996 Scrigno - Blue Storm
1997-1999 Scrigno - Gaerne
2000 Saeco - Valli & Valli
2001 Saeco Macchine per Caffè - Valli & Valli
2002 Mercatone Uno-Stream TV
2003 Domina Vacanze - Elitron

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