After an illustrious 17 seasons at the pinnacle of cyclesport, Mario Cipollini's swansong will most likely be 2005. While many riders go into team management (such as Australian Scott Sunderland or Discovery DS Johan Bruyneel), Cipollini has decided that fine fabrics take priority over lycra in his retirement.
Cipo told cyclingnews after his Milan San Remo ride that he's always been interested in fashion and that is his calling once the bike has gone into the garage for good. He said that Italians are renown the world over for their love of all things uber sleek and the Lion King is no exception.
Men's clothing and frangrances would be the likely target of Cipollini's venture, with men's and women's swimwear to follow. There's a hint that some sporting apparel may be in the design stages already, but the big man of pro cycling wasn't giving too much away.
The prolific sprinter isn't sure what his label would be called, but our bet is that the name may be derived from his very nickname - "the strength and power of the lion are things that can be applied to the world of fashion" said Cipollini when asked whether the rumours were true. "Lean and mean, that's the best way. That's why all the models are so thin. It makes sense."
Yes it does, Mario... yes it does.