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Tick's Blick 27 October 2004
By Staff
Date: 10/27/2004
Tick's Blick 27 October 2004

By Tick of Cycling4Fans

Mario Cipollini is always good for a headline and he got himself back in the news this week, even though he hasn't raced since - how many months now? He is allegedly searching for a new team to ride his last season with. Because of his preference for Specialized-brand bikes, apparently only two teams come into question. Cofidis admitted that they had been contacted, but denied anything further. Who else in the peloton rides Specialized? Gerolsteiner, of course! The very thought of the flashy Lion King joining the modest and quiet Sparkling Water boys is ludicrous. If Hans Michael Holczer didn't want to take on German media magnets Jan Ullrich or Andreas Klöden, he would certainly never seriously consider taking on a personality like Cipollini. And what about Danilo Hondo? He left Telekom to move out of Erik Zabel's shadow - would he enjoy turning into Cipo's locomotive? Not likely! But the most important aspect is: Can you really picture Cipo in that Gerolsteiner baby blue?

I certainly admire Damiano Cunego but have to admit that I feel sorry for him, too. Winner of the Giro, winner of the very last World Cup race ever, No. 1 in the World Rankings - and what will he do next year? Will he be able to stand up to the public pressure to equal or exceed his feats of this year? If he doesn't do well, will he be able to stand up to the scathing treatment the press will give him? Perhaps the most unanswerable question at this time is just how good the young man really is. Does he really have the potential to become one of the all-time greats? Or was he just lucky enough to have had one fantastic year? Will he be pushed too hard and burn himself out before he even reaches his potential? And is anyone looking out for his development and general well-being?

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