Former professional Mario Cipollini will be making a guest appearance at the 2019 Tour Down Under in January, appearing at both the Legends’ Night Dinner and the Challenge Tour, where he’ll ride with cycling enthusiasts during the mass-participation event.
The self-styled playboy retired – for a second time – in 2008 following an 18-year pro career that included 42 Giro d’Italia stage wins, 12 Tour de France stage wins and a year in the rainbow jersey as winner of the 2002 World Championship road race.
He never raced the Tour Down Under, but said on the race’s website, tourdownunder.com.au, that he was looking forward to his trip in the new year.
“Australian cycling fans are passionate about this sport and I know have supported me from afar throughout my career, on and off the bike,” Cipollini said. “There will be lots of opportunities for me to meet the fans and share my stories about life in the peloton.
“I will be riding the Challenge Tour so expect to have company, and I may even pack a special skinsuit for the occasion,” he said, referring to his flamboyant personality that saw him fined on multiple occasions by race organisers for not wearing his regulation team kit.
The 51-year-old Italian rode for a number of teams during his long career, including Mercatone Uno, Saeco and Liquigas, with the latter his last team before he first retired at the end of 2005.
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