April 26, 2005
The Lion King to roar no more
Cipollini retired and unretired in 2002, and said at the end of last season he was done, but raced through the spring with Liquigas-Bianchi, where he pulled off a satisfying victory over his spiritual successor, Alessandro Petacchi, at the Giro di Lucca.
"I would have liked to be at the start of the Giro d'Italia looking for victory again, fighting for the pink jersey," Cipollini said. "Maybe, an ‘old man’ like me, who has given a lot to cycling and has also received a lot, has to recognize when is the right moment to stop.
Over a 17-year career, Cipollini won 12 Tour de France stages and wore the yellow jersey for 6 days, despite dropping out every year when the race hit the mountains.
There's also this enigmatic bit from the AFP story on Cipo's retirement:
The Liquigas team announced that Cipollini, nicknamed the "Lion King" would reveal further details of why he has decided to retire at a press conference in Milan on Friday.
At left, Cipollini far from his native habitat, laboring up Brasstown Bald at the 2004 Tour de Georgia.
It's starting to feel like a generational shift, with Cipo's retirement, Lance Armstrong's announced retirement, and Andrea Tafi's retirement.
Samuel Abt offers a profile of Cipollini facing the onrushing dusk of retirement last year.
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Too bad, he's a great showman. He's been an asset to every tem he's been a part of, and not just for his fearsome sprint. The connsumate showman, who can forget the muscle skinsuit, the fines for appearing 'not in his team kit' and the finely tailored suits at the press conferences?
Posted by: fixedgear at Apr 27, 2005 6:00:23 AM
I think we'll see more retirements before the season is out and through next. My predictions: Hincapie, Eki, Ulrich and some others I can't think of at the moment.
Posted by: gundog99 at Apr 27, 2005 5:13:25 PM