He’s so over the top that if cycling did not have Riccardo Ricco it would have to invent him.
Ricco is certifiably nuts, entertainly so as evidenced by his latest media round to spruik his freshly penned biography, ‘A Funeral in Yellow - the Confessions of the Cobra’.
Cyclingnews has excerpted a good slice of the vocal stylings of Ricco from Tuttobici, focusing on the UCI's Reform Commission, but the quote that caught my eye was this:
Last week was a depressing one for cycling, with the Astana fiasco representative of many of the sport's seemingly intractable problems.
It’s increasingly hard to enjoy sport at the moment, any sport, with many disciplines tainted by on and off-field racism and violence, socially disgraceful behaviour by athletes and fans, and of course doping, match fixing and institutional corruption.
These days the sport news often resembles a police blotter, with too many athletes lining up for fingerprints and mugshots, and officials disgraced.
No one in cycling today is happy about the decision by the UCI's Licence Committee to extend Astana's WorldTour status except Astana itself.
The team of Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali is now on probation while the UCI conducts an "audit" which imposes some conditions on its continuing participation.
This despite Italian media reports of the long running Padua investigation which claimed Astana riders have worked with banned doctor Michele Ferrari. The UCI made the decision without access to that information.
It should be obvious to any close follower of the sport that Cyclo-cross is a growing phenomenon in the cycling world, but it often suffers as a poor cousin to the road, track and mountain bike disciplines.
The reasons for its growing success are varied, but in many ways Cyclo-cross (CX) is the ultimate cycling sport for today. Outdoorsy, action-packed in often purpose-built natural amphitheaters, easy to televise because of its compact racing time frames and perfect for attracting vantage point gate receipts.
The sport also has strong roots in its Belgian and Dutch heartlands and a rich history to build on as it branches out from its European playground.
When I decided to get back into riding off-road late last year I was presented with a choice, baggies or Lycra?
I already had several drawers full of roadie Lycra so I thought: "What the heck, gimmie the baggies, all the cool kids are wearing them." I can be just like them.
I'd also seen Cannondale professional cross-country world cup riders Manny Fumic and Marco Fontana wearing them in races and thought that if they wear them then it had to be OK.