Thursday, August 23, 2012

A visit by famed cyclist Mario Cipollini

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Cafe Velo was hopping last night with a visit by retired Italian pro-cyclist Mario Cipollini.

As part of an open house at the bike/coffee shop that raised dollars for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado's Waldo Canyon Fire fund, Cipollini signed silent-auction items and made the rounds, smiling for fans' cameras.

Cipollini chats while iPhones capture his every move.
  • Kirsten Akens
  • Cipollini chats while iPhones capture his every move.

For those not familiar with the 45-year-old cyclist, Cipollini was one of the top sprinters of his time. Between 1989 and 2003, he won a total of 42 stages in the Giro d'Italia, 12 in the Tour de France, 11 in the Tour de Romandie, and seven in Paris-Nice. He's recognized as being the rider who developed the sprint train, basically a process by which a team of cyclists work together as they close in on the finish line to keep their team's sprinter at the front of the race — something we'll likely get to see in action here Friday during the final moments of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge's Stage 5

As he told the crowd last night, however, Cipollini feels his greatest accomplishment was winning the 2002 World Cycling Championships.

Cafe Velo owner Chris Witt with Mario Cipollini in Colorado Springs

Last night wasn't the only chance to connect with Cipollini. Die-hard cyclists who would like to ride with him Friday morning through the Garden of the Gods can do so — for $500. It benefits the Local Organizing Committee of the Challenge, and gives you a bunch of other perks. Details below. Register ASAP by e-mailing here.


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