Master of His Domain

If you’re the type to pay attention to such things, you’ve undoubtedly been keeping close watch on the cobbled classics — Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. Since I tend to watch Twitter more than shaky livestream coverage, I’ve spent the last two weeks getting dropped by the local peloton in all manner of conditions: flats, hills, corners — I’m equally slow on all of them.

Of course, had I been present for the MCipollini-Giambenini-Gauss team camp in Italy a few weeks ago, I probably would have fared better. Team sponsor Mario Cipollini was on hand to give the ladies of his namesake squad a bit of guidance as they enter the season. Yes, Mario Cipollini, known for the sterling example he set while in the peloton.

The takeaway from the obviously staged team camp included an “I’m here to support women’s cycling” bit (which is very, very good), as well as a fairly humorous photo shoot. The funny part isn’t that Cipollini was there, it’s that these photos in no way made it look like he just happened to drop by one day during training camp. There’s not a candid shot in the bunch.

Some highlights:

“Come, dine with us!”

“You should eat breakfast. You know, for energy.”

“I had nothing planned for this presentation.”

“Yes, that’s it. Open the hip flexors.”

“It’s perfectly normal to stretch in full kit on yoga mats in a grassy field before riding. I did it all the time.”

“Yes, perfect! This is exactly how your sprint train should look!”

“In my biometrics training, I learned that the optimal amount of knee flexion, in relation to … uh … you know what? Just keep pedaling.”

Again, Cipollini isn’t dumb, and I have no doubt he has knowledge to offer this or any other team. But the idea of good old Uncle Cipo stopping by and going rider by rider on stretching, indoor-training form and proper nutrition is kind of funny.

Random link time:

  • What, exactly, was Thor Hushovd defying, anyway?
  • The stem on this rider’s new BMC should say everything you need to know about how relaxed the geometry is.
  • Have time for a photo gallery with about 7 gazillion shots? Check out this look at a carbon bike factory.

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