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The peloton went at a leisurely pace early in the day but sped up on the approach to Munster where they were welcomed by big crowds lining the streets.
Contador laughs off bike motor rumors spread by Cipollini
There are five kilometers to go. There are 10km remaining.
Obviously, the pace has picked up, the peloton is now cruising along at better than 40kph. He is now nine seconds out of the overall lead. The pace continues to hover around to 35kph. There were a starters this morning. Slovenian Gorazd Stangelj Fassa Bortolo who finished the prologue in last place yesterday down crashed and broke his collar bone yesterday and has withdrawn.
Get the latest race news, results, commentary, and tech, delivered daily to your inbox. Cipollini winning, a familiar sight Photo: Graham Watson. Tyler Hamilton shook off his prologue crash Photo: Graham Watson. Cipollini traded zebra stripes for pink Photo: Graham Watson. Weekly Newsletter Get the latest race news, results, commentary, and tech, delivered daily to your inbox.
Newsletter sign-up. Giro d'Italia.The Giro began on 13 May with a stage that began in Perugia and ended Terni. The race came to a close on 4 June with a stage that ended in the Italian city of Milan.
Mario Cipollini won the event's first leg in a bunch sprint, allowing him to be the first rider to don the race leader's maglia rosa English: pink jersey. The following stage was an individual time trial that was won by Rominger, who also gained enough time on Cipollini to take the race lead. Rominger built upon his lead by winning the remaining two time trial stages, along with the hilly stage 4, and retained the lead for the duration of the race.
By winning the Giro he became the third Swiss rider to win the event. In addition to the general classification, Tony Rominger also won the points and intergiro classifications. Brescialat rider Mariano Piccoli won the mountains classification. Gewiss—Ballan finished as the winners of the team classification.
The team points classification, a system in which the teams' riders are awarded points for placing within the top twenty in each stage and the points are then totaled for each team, was also won by Gewiss-Ballan. A total of 22 teams were invited to participate in the Giro d'Italia.
The teams entering the race were:  . The starting peloton included Evgeni Berzinthe winner. Italian Marco Pantani was seen by some to be a contender for to win the race.
The nineteenth stage was regarded as the queen stage as it featured the climbs of the Col AgnelCol d'Izoardand Colle di Sampeyre. The race route began in Perugia and traveled throughout the southern half of Italy for the first ten stages. Chiappucci believed that the descents of the mountains included in the race were very difficult.
Mario Cipollini won the race's opening stage by several bike lengths to don the race's first maglia rosa English: pink jersey.
The thirteenth stage saw the race begin to enter the smaller mountains within the Dolomites. The sixteenth leg was a downhill stage from the Swiss Alps. The nineteenth leg saw a breakaway of nine riders form off the front of the peloton. Rominger wound up losing minimal time. Berzin rode solo to win the stage and managed to gain twenty-five seconds on Ugrumov and Rominger.
Three riders achieved multiple stage victories: Cipollini stages 1 and 3  Rominger stages 2, 4, 10, and 17    and Richard stages 13 and Mapei-GB-Latexco had four stage wins through Rominger.
Four different jerseys were worn during the Giro d'Italia. The leader of the general classification — calculated by adding the stage finish times of each rider, and allowing time bonuses for the first three finishers on mass-start stages — wore a pink jersey. For the points classificationwhich awarded a purple or cyclamen jersey to its leader,  cyclists were given points for finishing a stage in the top 15; additional points could also be won in intermediate sprints.
The green jersey was awarded to the mountains classification leader. Each climb was ranked as either first, second or third category, with more points available for higher category climbs.Alberto Contador Tinkoff-Saxo rode to fourth place in stage 5 of the Giro and captured the pink leader's jersey.
They have five. And this talk of motors? Rumors of motors hidden inside frames might be considered a joke by some, but the UCI is taking them very seriously. The cycling governing body has already checked bikes during this Giro, a move that comes on the heels of checking dozens of bikes for illicit motors during Milano-Sanremo.
So far, no motors have turned up inside professional bike frames, and nearly everyone agrees it would be a PR disaster for the sport. Switching bikes during races is nothing new. Riders will often pull off for quick, planned bike changes ahead of key mountain stages to ride a bike with lighter wheels, different tire pressure, or easier gearing.
Contador has done that throughout his career at choice moments. Get the latest race news, results, commentary, and tech, delivered daily to your inbox. Weekly Newsletter Get the latest race news, results, commentary, and tech, delivered daily to your inbox. Newsletter sign-up.Mario Cipollini, if he follows his recently established tradition, will turn up at the Giro d'Italia tomorrow and pull off an eye-catching stunt before winning several stages in the opening week.
Last year he wore an outfit in tiger stripes, in a catsuit depicting the internal organs of the body and on both occasions he was fined for breaking clothing regulations, which merely added to the story. Such sartorial extravagances are perfectly in order for cycling's greatest showman.
Cipollini is variously nicknamed "the Lion King", "the Sun King" and "the fastest man in the world", graces fashion shows with his bella figura, swaps shirts with Ronaldo, has a room in his Tuscan mansion devoted solely to fur coats and shoes and is legendary for a bike shoe advert in which he was portrayed being fed grapes by scantily dressed nymphs. Italy's best sprinter has a chance tomorrow to make a far more substantial mark in the Giro's opening stage around the city of Lecce, deep in the heel of the Italian boot.
Victory there, in what is likely to be his final year of racing, would give him his 41st stage win in the Giro, would equal the record held for 70 years by one of the great names of Italian cycling, Alfredo Binda, and would - subject to time bonuses - earn him the maglia rosathe pink race leader's jersey. Cipollini is already ahead of such nonpareils as Eddy Merckx and Fausto Coppi in the Giro d'Italia stage rankings but it is the comparison with Binda that is striking.
Binda was one of the original campionissimia "champion of champions", and he set his record by dominating the Giro in the late s in outrageous style, by taking eight victories in successive days infor example. It is truly an achievement from another age, equivalent to Jesse Owens setting four track and field records in 70 minutes in So dominant was Binda that he was paid by the Giro organisers not to start the race, merely to maintain some interest.
The organisers have adopted the opposite approach with Cipollini. Soon after he won the world title last October on the Zolder motor racing circuit in Belgium they changed the first day's format from the usual time-trial to a flat road race, probably with the sprinter in mind.
Then hopefully I can then win another stage in the first week to make the record my own. Intriguingly, given his brash exterior, Cipollini is modest about what the record would mean. People, fans, consider me a champion but I know that I am a sprinter, perhaps the best sprinter.
Sprinters are a bit mad, a bit narcissistic, and there's a lot of that in me.
The Place in Pink con Mario Cipollini
Far more than a record hangs on Cipollini's performance in the next three weeks. The Italian is determined to earn a place in the Tour de France, where he enlivened the opening week for most of the late s and won four stages in a row in In a crash kept him away and in the following two seasons he was not invited by the organisers, who felt that his habit of winning several stages and then going on holiday when the race hit the mountains was sending out the wrong message.
This mortally offended the proud Tuscan. He felt he had vastly enlivened the Tour with his sprinting, not to mention his colour-coordinated racing bikes, shorts and jerseys or an unforgettable episode in when he turned up at a stage start dressed as Julius Caesar, having invited all the press to a party where a stripper called Cleopatra was the star guest. After accusing the Tour organisers of being provocative - "how many French riders do they invite who no one has heard of?
He then changed his mind in August, trained like a demon and duly won the world title to prove that he would have been worth a place in France.
The Tour organisers will have their chance to end the soap opera on May 19, nine days into the Giro, when they name the final four teams for the Tour. There is another subtext to Cipollini's attempt to earn immortality. He is the only cycling star in Italy still untouched by a drugs scandal and the Giro is struggling to regain its credibility after four years in which the race has been rendered meaningless three times thanks to a string of positive tests and a massive police raid during the event.
The state of Italian cycling is summed up by the sight of its former hero, Marco Pantani, winner of the Giro and Tour indesperately trying and largely failing to regain his good name since being thrown out of the race in The record would be the best way to push those issues into the background, which is why the race organisers will be as desperate as Cipollini to get off to a perfect start.
The German team, who signed Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich in January, have been stopped from competing indefinitely.
Reuse this content. Most popular.Single-Day Races and Classics. He is regarded as one of the best sprinters of his generation. Cipollini's 42nd Giro stage win in - his last stage win in that race - broke the record by Alfredo Binda that had stood since He has also found success in Belgium, winning Gent—Wevelgem inand record.
At the peak of his career, Cipollini's speed was unrivaled, and he is credited with being the first rider with a sprint train. The red jerseys of his Saeco team were commonly seen at the front of the peloton toward the end of the flat Grand Tour stages in the late s.
The train kept the pace high in the closing kilometers, to dissuade opposing riders from attacking and to ensure that in the final — meters, Cipollini was the only cyclist able to maintain the speed.
This changed the way teams approached mass sprints and bred a new generation of sprinters such as fellow Italian Alessandro Petacchi. However, a falling out with the organizers of the Tour de France made him announce his retirement.
Italian national coach Franco Ballerini convinced him to return to competition, and built the Italian national team around Cipollini for the UCI world championship.
Cipollini won the rainbow jersey in a sprint finish in Zolder, Belgium. In the Giro d'Italia Cipollini focused on Alfredo Binda's record 41 Giro stage wins while in the world champion's jersey. His attempt was almost derailed by Alessandro Petacchi of the Fassa Bortolo team. After many failed attempts, he finally broke the record, although he had to abandon the next stage due to injuries in a crash on a rain-soaked finish.
He said that the crash ended his career. His team, Domina Vacanze-Elitronwas left out of the Tour de France that year, prompting a comment from Cipollini that the organisers disrespected the rainbow jersey. When he retired from the Giro due to another crash, it was the only time he entered the Giro without winning a single stage.
Inhe returned to competitive cycling with the Rock Racing team at the Tour of California. Cipollini made no secret that he did not like climbing stages, and while he completed all stages of the Giro on many occasions, he infuriated purists by not attempting mountain stages at the Tour or Vuelta. While this is a common practice with sprinters without points jersey aspirations so as to save themselves for the rest of the season, Cipollini's practice of releasing photos of himself lounging at the beach while the others struggled in the mountains earned him more than his fair share of attention in this regard.
MARIO CIPOLLINI ESSENTIAL CLASSIC MEN SHORT SLEEVE JERSEY
Cipollini also became famous for extravagant clothing, especially racing uniforms, sporting custom-made skin suits. Some of his memorable kits include a muscle suit, [ 2 ] zebra, [ 3 ] and tiger [ 4 ] prints, and a techno-skinsuit [ 5 ] inspired by the film Tron. Off the course, Cipollini and his Saeco squad dressed as ancient Romans during a rest day at the Tour de Franceto celebrate Julius Caesar 's birthday and to commemorate Cipollini's record fourth consecutive Tour de France stage win.
He was fined for wearing an all-yellow outfit while leading the Tour de France; this practice to wear more yellow and even have a yellow bike has since become generally accepted. These antics violated UCI regulations, which resulted in Cipollini and his team being fined thousands of Swiss francs. Some organisers, especially Jean-Marie Leblanc of the Tour de France, took offence at his hijinks and he wasn't invited to race in the Tour from —, despite being the world champion in His team had been invited to compete with the condition that Cipollini participated.
He said he was recovering from injury and should not have been forced to race in the first place. Cipollini's powerful performances sometimes risked being eclipsed by his flamboyant manner and lifestyle. His height, looks and mane of hair earned him the nickname "Lion King", and he adopted other names, including "Super Mario" and "Mario the Magnificent.While some feature very loud, complicated designs, others are much more subtle and understated, often being a reflection of the rider.
We thought this was a great excuse to run through our favourite custom paint jobs. Mario Cipollini poses with his cars and bikes in No list of custom bikes would be complete without an entry from Cippo, with the charismatic Italian being an early pioneer in custom paint jobs before they became the common place.
Note the four-spoke Spinergy wheels which were eventually banned by the UCI, after the spokes were deemed too dangerous. We love colour so much that it actually pipped another famous S-Works Venge from making this list …. Anyone who has seen this bike in the flesh will attest that the paint really sparkles in the sun.
The most simple paint job in this list is no less deserving of its place. The paintjob splits the bike down the middle, with the left hand side featuring red lettering on a white background, while the right hand side has blue lettering on the white blackground.
The black and gold Pinarello Bolide is a bike of absolute beauty. Bradley Wiggins on stage seven the Tirreno-Adriatico. The gold accents, details and lettering are a nod to Wiggins being the reigning Olympic time trial champion. Peter Sagan shows off his new bike before the Tour de France. Something he went on to do. One of the classiest riders in the pro-peloton also rides one of the classiest bikes. Although intricate in places, the beautiful art work is understated.
The use of red contrasts beautifully against the white and silver, while there are also smaller red details depicting the Swiss national flag. What do you think? Are there any custom bikes that you would like to see in this list?
Let us know in the comments below. Home News General News. Pro Team Bikes. The stunning blue fleck paint job. Cool Japanese Flag detail on the pedals.