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Two Italian sprinters in the limelight
By Fabio
Date: 4/16/2002
Two Italian sprinters in the limelight

Cipollini criticizes Italian Riders Association: "They must do more to protect us": Mario Cipollini is not only a great sprinter, but also a man with a strong personality. A true leader of the peloton, at least at national level. Jean Marie Leblanc himself experienced it some days ago, as he found out there's somebody who can afford to say no to an invitation from no less than the TDF (or in this case Paris-Roubaix) boss.

But Cipo gave a further proof of his skills as "peloton chief" even more recently, when (besides paying visit to his friend Flavio Briatore at the F1 GP of San Marino, where he gave one of his Specialized bikes away to the Formula One Team Director) he deeply criticized the recent behaviour of the "ACCPI" ("Associazione Corridori Professionisti Italiani - "Italian Professional Riders Association").

Maybe as he thinks the ACCPI was not enough by his side in the "Paris-Roubaix" case, maybe because the association didn't look after the Acqua e Sapone's interests in an appropriate manner when JML retaliated by excluding the Lion King's team from the "Queen of Classics", Cipo outspokenly said "I'd like to know what the ACCPI is doing in order to defend the interests of all us riders. Some organizers do what they want to, and use the rules to their own advantage. It is all to detriment of sponsors (who are the essence of cycling), riders, and smaller teams who often are not invited to the races. In other words, there's a lack of respect".

But Cipo's accusations were addressed to other Italians too, from public Television RAI to the guys who want too much money for the transmission rights of road races: "The Giro is not broadcasted abroad beacause of the way too expensive TV rights, and as for Italian Television, Gand-Wevelgem was broadcasted on the Rai Sport Satellite Channel only, but not on terrestrial Tv. That's a scandal, to the detriment of millions cycling fans in Italy".

"Daddy" Quaranta back to the races: If Cipo is quite unhappy with ACCPI and italian Tv and race organizers, the mood of one of his main rivals, Index-Alexia's Ivan Quaranta. must be very different in this period. Indeeed "Il Ghepardo" ("The Cheetah") had two good news in recent days: first, he will be back to races in the "Settimana Lombarda" competition to start on Wednesday in the Bergamo area.

The sprinter from Crema crashed two weeks ago while training in Waregem, Belgium, after a dog unexpectedly ran out in front of him (seems that these things don't happen in Italy only ...) and he broke the fourth metacarpal in his right hand. But one of the (or maybe just THE) man's main target, namely the Tour of Italy, is approaching, and Ivan can't miss any more chances to continue his build-up for the race.

So tomorrow he will be at the startline in Novate, along with teammates Giuseppe Di Grande (Ita), Bo Hamburger (Den), Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita), Paolo Savoldelli (Ita), Sebastiano Scotti (Ita), Gianluca Valoti (Ita) and Paolo Valoti (Ita). A line-up with a strong "Bergamasco" flavour indeed. But even better news come from the hospital where Ivan's wife Carmen gave birth to a little boy (and future cyclamen jersey of the 2030 Giro ?) named Samuel. The "Daily Peloton" congratulates neo-daddy Quaranta an wishes his family all the best.

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