Lions never stop roaring, their roars just become more outlandish.
The ego formerly known as Mario Cipollini stunned the cycling world today by announcing his desire to ride the Giro d’Italia in support of young speedster Andrea Guardini (Farnese-Vini Selle Italia).
This was sure to fire up the Italian press into a froth, discussing the possibility of the 45 year old working himself into shape and somhow skirting the UCI six month rule on returns to competition.
While this may seem like an obvious PR stunt, the Italian is dead serious. In fact, Cipollini announced later in the day a whole series of sporting events he plans to enter this year. Besides the Giro, he plans to take part in the track cycling events in the London Olympic games, run the New York Marathon in under 2 1/2 hours and play forward for Juventus in the Italian Serie A soccer league.
However, Cipollini is thinking even bigger than that. He has already begun training with a Turkish climbing group that will tackle Everest in six months. Cipollini will also drop in to crew on the Puma Ocean Racing boat for the 4th leg between Sanya and Auckland. Captain Tony Mutter hopes the skills of the former sprinter will push his boat into the lead in the Volvo sponsored race around the world.
Cipollini has apparently given up his plans for bobsledding in the Winter Olympic Games but insists nothing will compromise his Giro preparation or his training to set a new free diving depth record. The current distance is 214 meters set by Austrian Herbert Nitsch but Cipollini believes his leg strength and lung capacity give him a legitimate shot at shattering the mark.
While the sheer number and intensity of his athletic events is sure to keep Cipolini busy, he reportedly has plans to make a soft-core porn movie with Jane Birkin and Madonna entitled The Donkey & The Swan.
In unrelated news, management at Cipolini bicycles announced a sales increase of 11.7% over the previous day’s figures.