Mario Cipollini holds the record for the most Giro d’Italia stage wins and so we are going to spend the next two stages of Our Giro looking at his career and life, which has been as turbulent as it’s been flamboyant.
Richard Moore, Lionel Birnie and Daniel Friebe take a broadly chronological look at the career of the man who was nicknamed the Lion King and Super Mario, who marketing men wanted to use to sell their products and who was the undisputed fastest man in the world for a period in the 1990s.
This part takes us to the peak of his career, the 2002 season when he threatened to retire and yet won Milan-Sanremo and the World Championship title.
We hear from two of his contemporaries in the bunch sprints, Tom Steels and Ivan Quaranta, from Matt White and from photographer Graham Watson, who saw the Lion King up close.
There’s also wine of the day, a delicious simple lunch that combines carbs to brilliant effect, and the regular amacord feature delving into The Cycling Podcast’s back catalogue.
As Daniel points out, at the start of the 2000s, the five biggest names in professional cycling were Lance Armstrong, Marco Pantani, Jan Ullrich, Frank Vandenbroucke and Mario Cipollini… All achieved greatness as well as notoriety and could be seen as poster boys for an era when the professionals rode as close to the sun as they could. Strap yourselves in to see if we can tame the Lion King.
The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science In Sport