What's been rumored for a couple of weeks now is official - Mario Cipollini is coming out of retirement to race again. Better still....he's part of a team that will be racing quite a bit in the US so many fans here may get the chance to see him and all of his funky skin suits streaking past us. C'mon, wasn't it fun to see what crazy design he'd be wearing each day of Le Tour? Not what Le Tour is about, I know, but a fun side piece on the day's serious racing.
Yes, I know he's about to be 41 and yes, I know the team is controversial, but people, it's Mario Cipollini. There is nothing bad about that. That statement is more than just from some chick's perspective. Think about it from the side of what the sport of cycling needs right now. There isn't anything bad about Mario coming back - he's flashy, he's fun to watch, he's usually got something entertaining to say and he's darn talented. The sport needs some fun right about now and, especially in the US, the sport needs someone to draw in fans. With his flamboyance and talent, Mario may just be the person to do that. He'll certainly get attention for his new team, Rock Racing.
On a side note, does anyone else think that it's pretty ironic that Mario, the fashion king, will be racing for a team where the main sponsor is a "trendy clothing company", Rock & Republic? Do I see cross advertising in the future? Oh yea.
I was already a fan of this team because Michael Ball is giving my friend Tyler a second chance. That's all the reason I need to get back out to a race, chalk the roads and cheer like a maniac. Adding The Lion King to the team? Bonus. When can I buy team merchandise and where are they all racing first? I'm going to try to be at whatever race that is...see you on the roads soon!