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Another 15 minutes: Claudio Chiapucchi rides on

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

His goofy grin and blue-jean pattern shorts were almost an icon of 1990's cycling, but Claudio Chiapucchi never quite won the big one. He faded from the scene almost a decade ago after chalking up a respectable palmarès with stage wins and best climber in the Tour de France (three podium appearances in 1990-91-92). As a member of the almost legendary Carrera squad, Chiapucchi hung up his bike for good in 1998. But the hardheaded, hard-riding 43 year-old from Ubaldo, just north of Milano who was nicknamed "il Diablo", has returned with a vengeance.

Chiapucchi has become a star of Italian reality TV on a show called "L'Isola dei Famosi" (literally "The Island of the Famous"), a take off on Survivor with mid-level Italian celebrities that has become the #1 program on Italian television. Although Chiapucchi was once again second in the final audience voting on L'Isola dei Famosi, he could console himself with a special "tapiro d'oro" from a satirical news show "Striscia la Notizia", Italy's version of The Daily Show.

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