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Cipollini to kick off prologue

The recently retired Mario Cipollini will add his usual colour to the prologue of the Giro d'Italia, as he has accepted an invitation by the organisers to ride it, five minutes before the first rider officially sets off at 18:45. Cipollini has 42 Giro stage wins to his credit - an all-time record - but is not expected to upstage the rest of the field too much.

"I was happy to accept the invitation from the Giro organisers, it's a very nice way of saying goodbye to everyone," said Cipollini.