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Mario Cipollini Photo Gallery

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Win list | Pro teams | Nicknames | Photos |

Mario Cipollini (born March 22, 1967) was the 1990's dominant field sprinter. When armed with a capable lead-out train he was almost invincible. It has been said he was the first sprinter to have a lead-out train, but riders going back to Rik van Looy have used a line of teammates to wind up the peloton's speed before being launched.

Cipollini's 42 Giro d'Italia stage wins is the record, just beating Alfredo Binda's 41. Cipollini thrived in the Giro d'Italia, willing to suffer in the mountains to make it to the finish in Milano. That dedication yielded him three purple jerseys, given to the Giro's points classification winner.

But the Tour de France was another story. He never finished the Tour, generally leaving before the high mountain stages. The Tour felt riders should start the race with the intention of finishing, so it refused to invite Cipollini's teams in 2001, 2002 and 2003. Never one to miss an opportunity for publicity, Cipollini and his sponsors responded to the snubs with vigorous campaigns for Tour wild card invitations, to no avail.

Cipollini was a consummate professional. No rider has ever been so skilled at self-publicity and bringing attention to his sponsor's products. Cipollini would wear wild outfits, usually quite against cycling rules. The resulting nominal fine would be paid and Cipollini would reap priceless publicity. It's said that Cipollini's antics also unnerved his opposition.

In the later years of his career he threatened to retire several times, but each time started racing again. But in 2005 as the wins got harder to find, he really did quit.

Kinda. He tried a short comeback in 2008, but after riding the Tour of California he retired for good.

Like so many riders of the 1990s and 2000s, he was accused of using banned performance enhancing modalities, including blood doping and EPO. Though he initially denied doping, the 2004 test results (released in 2013) of his 1998 Tour de France samples were positive for EPO.


Major victories: 191 career professional wins.

42 Giro d'Italia stage victories, the absolute record
14 Tour Méditerranéen stage wins
12 Tour de France stage sins
12 Tour de Romandie stage wins
11 Volta a Catalunya stage wins
7 Paris-Nice stage wins
6 Vuelta a Aragon stage wins
6 Vueta Valenciana stage wins
4 Tirreno-Adriatico stage wins
3 Vuelta a España stage wins

1985:

1987:

1990:

1991:

1992:

1993:

1995:

1996:

1997:

1998:

1999:

2000:

2001:

2002:

2005:


Professional Teams:

1989-1990: Del Tongo
1991: Del Tongo-MG
1992-1993: GB-MG
1994-1995: Mercatone Uno
1996: Saeco-AS Juvenes San Marino
1997: Saeco
1998: Saeco Macchine pre Caffé
1999: Saeco Macchine pre Caffé-Cannondale
2000: Saeco Macchine pre Caffé-Valli & Valli
2001: Saeco Macchine per Caffé
2002: Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
2003: Domina Vacanza-Elitron
2004: Domina Vacanza
2005: Liquigas-Bianchi
2008: Rock Racing


Nicknames: Il Magnifico, Emperor of the Sprint, Cipo, Super Mario, The Lion King [Il Re Leone], Nice Mario (because of his careful grooming)


Photos:

Mario Cipollini wins a stage in the 1989 Giro d'Italia

Cipollini wins stage 12 in Mira in the 1989 Giro d'Italia.

Cipollini at the start of the 1990 Paris-Roubaix with Rino Negri and Alfredo Martini

Mario Cipollini at the start of the 1990 Paris-Roubaix with writer Rino Negri (left, wearing cap) and Alfredo Martini.

Cipollini at stage 1 of the 1990 Giro d'Italia

In the start house of stage 1 in Bari of the 1990 Giro d'Italia. Francesco Moser watches.

Cipollini easily wins stage 20 in milano of the 1990 Giro d'Italia

Cipollini easily wins the final stage of the 1990 Giro d'Italia in Milano.

Cipollini on the podium with Gianni Bugno

1990 Giro winner Gianni Bugno on the podium with Cipollini. Bugno was the points winner, but since he was wearing the Pink Jersey, Cipollini got to wear the purple jersey during the race.

Cipollini in the Alps during the 1991 Giro d'Italia

Stage 13 of the 1991 Giro. Cipollini (center, with unstrapped helmet) is riding with the autobus to Sestriere, clearly not enjoying the climbing.

Cipollini wins the final stage of the 1991 Giro d'Italia

Cipollini wins the final stage of the 1991 Giro d'Italia.

Cipollini wins a stage in the 1992 Giro d'Italia

1992 Giro d'Italia: Super Mario wins stage 17 in Vercelli.

Cipollinji time trials in the final stage of the 1992 Giro d'Italia

Cipollini time trials in the final stage of the 1992 Giro.

Cipollini wins the points classification in the 1992 Giro

Cipollini wins the 1992 Giro points classification. On the right is Giro boss Vincenzo Torriani.

Cipollini at stage 10 of the 1993 Tour de France

Cipollini at the start of stage 10 of the 1993 Tour de France.

Cipollini in the 1993 Tour de France

Cipollini making his own way to Isola 2000 in the 1993 Tour.

Cipollini wins the second stage of the 1995 Tour de France

1995 Tour de France, stage 2: Cipollini triumphs in Vitre.

Cipollini gives an interview after winning  stage 2 of the 1995 Tour de France

Cipollini gives an interview after winning stage 2.

Cipollini wins stage 4 of the 1995 Tour de France

Cipollini wins again, here at the end of stage 4 of the 1995 Tour in Le Havre.

Cipollini wins stage 8 of the 1996 Giro d'Italia

1996 Giro d'Italia, stage 8: Cipollini wins in Naples.

1996 Giro, Cipollini climbs

Cipollini having no fun in stage 14 of the 1996 Giro, climbing to Briançon.

Cipollini wins 1996 Giro 18 in Vicenza

It got better. Here he wins stage 18 of the 1996 Giro in Vicenza.

Cipollini wins the second stage of the 1996 Tour de France

Cipollini wins the second stage of the 1996 Tour de France in Wasquehal.

Cipollini rides stage 4 of the 1996 Tour de France

Cipollini rides stage 4 of the 1996 Tour de France. Note the Italian Champion's jersey.

Cipollini riding 1997 Milano-San Remo with Bjarne Riis and Marco Pantani

Cipollini (right) riding with Bjarne Riss (center) and Marco Pantani (left) in the 1997 Milano-San Remo.

Cipollini wins a stage in the 1997 Giro d'Italia

1997 Giro d'Italia: The Lion King wins stage 2 in Cervia.

Cipollini wins the final stage of the 1997 Giro d'Italia

Cipollini wins the final stage of the 1997 Giro d'Italia.

Cipollini wins the 1997 Giro purple jersey

Super Mario won the 1997 Giro's purple points jersey.

Cipollini rides the 1997 Tour de France prologue

Cipo rides the 1997 Tour prologue.

Mario Cipollini wins the first stage of the 1997 Tour

Cipollini wins the first stage of the 1997 Tour.

Cipollini in yellow in the 1997 Tour

Which is good enough to put him in the Yellow jersey.

Cipollini starts the 1998 Tour's prologue

Cipollini starts the 1998 Giro's prologue.

Cipollini at the 1998 Giro

Cipollini, the master publicist, demonstrates how light his bike is at the 1998 Giro's 16th stage. I hope Cannondale gave him a bushel of money, because he earned it.

Cipollini wins the 1998 Tour's 5th stage

Stage 5 of the 1998 Tour. Cipollini triumphs.

Mario gets back on the raod after a repair in the 1999 Giro

1999 Giro d'Italia, stage 1: Getting big Mario going again after a repair.

Cipollini wins stage 17 of the 1999 Giro

Look at the gap! When Cipollini was on form, he was spectacular. Here he wins stage 17 of the 1999 Giro d'Italia.

Cipo wins the 2000 Giro's 4th stage

Lots of pushing behind him as Cipo wins the fourth stage of the 2000 Giro.

Mario Cipollini wins the 2002 Milano-San Remo

Cipollini wins the 2002 Milano-San Remo. American rider Fred Rodriguez is on the right.

Cipollini wins the 2002 Giro's final stage

Cipollini nails the 2002 Giro's final stage and wins the points classification.

Cipollini at the end of the 2002 Giro d'Italia

End of the 2002 Giro d'Italia with the jersey winners at the front. From the left: Massimo Strazzer, Julio Perez Cuapio, Cipollini and Paolo Savoldelli.

Cipollini wins the 2002 world road championships

Super Mario becomes the 2002 World Road Champion in Zolder, Belgium.

Cipollini at the 2003 Tirreno Adiratico

Nobody has ever looked flashier than Mario Cipollini when he was world champion. Here he rides to the start of stage one of the 2003 Tirreno-Adriatico.

Cipollini in the 2003 Tour of Flanders

Cipollini in his World Champion kit riding the 2003 Tour of Flanders.

Mario Cipollini wins stage 8 of the 2003 Giro d'Italia

He's still got it. Here Cipollini wins the 8th stage of the 2003 Giro d'Italia.

Cipollini wins the Giro della Provincia di Lucca

Mario Cipollini celebrates his last big win at the Giro della Provincia di Lucca in 2005.

Mario Cipollini at the 2012 Interbike show

Mario Cipollini was at the 2012 Las Vegas interbike show to promote his line of bikes.

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