So how did the Italians manage to stop Riccò?


The reality soap opera that is Riccardo Riccò public life might be tiring. In the latest episode, today his comeback is over before it even started. After announcing a deal to ride for the discreet Meridiana-Kamen team, today brings news that he’s been temporarily suspended “on grounds of health” by the Italian authorities. But if you’re tired of  Riccò, stay with me as this is more a story about local federations having the power to stop a rider from racing if they feel it’s in a rider’s interest.

I got an email from a reader asking why the UCI couldn’t stop him yet the Italians have. Here’s an explanation…

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The State of Shock

The clip above is from the film Casablanca. When the police swoop on Rick’s Café, the police chief Renault expresses his shock to find gambling happening on the premises, using this breach of the law as a pretext to close down the bar. But only after he picks up his winnings. Beware of people expressing … Read more

Riccardo Riccó: "I gave myself a blood transfusion"

And we thought Contador had issues Riccardo Riccó has apparently admitted to blood doping, transfusing himself with blood that he’d stored in a fridge at home, confessing that he’d kept the sample for 25 days, that the blood could have been poorly stored during this period as a warning to the doctors. The sensational news … Read more

Goodbye Aldo Sassi

Sassi busy rebuilding fitness and recovering reputations It’s a stinker of a morning, first the news of Pegasus and now the departure of Aldo Sassi. Sassi was an Italian coach and sports scientist who ran the Mapei Training Centre near Milan in Italy. For too long in Italian cycling the idea of a sports doctor … Read more

Aldo Sassi to tame the Cobra?

La Gazzetta Dello Sport says that Italian coaching maestro Aldo Sassi is ready and willing to work with Riccardo Ricco. “I know it could put my credibility in play but it’s easy to pick challenges you can’t lose. Sometimes you have to take risks with something big” says the Italian coach. Sasso works on Ivan’s … Read more

Quick Step: no questions asked?

Yvan Van Mol, Quick Step’s back seat driver? La Gazzetta Dello Sport quotes Ricardo Ricco’s agent as saying the move to Quick Step was thwarted by two people, rider Jerome Pineau and team doctor Yvan Van Mol. Pineau had already made his thoughts known via the media. But apparently Van Mol didn’t want Ricco, although … Read more

What to make of Ricco

Riccardo Ricco’s move to Vacansoleil is not without its controversy. The Dutch team wants to step up a level to enter the ProTour, it also wants to take part in the big races like the Tour de France. Is signing Ricco a good way to go about this?YesRicco has proven he can win and he’s … Read more

New sponsor… old ways?

Moi, controversial? Caisse d’Epargne might be withdrawing from pro team sponsorship but the French savings bank has not had its last word. Team manager Eusebio Unzue wanted to sign Ricardo Ricco, on release from Flaminia, but the sponsor blocked the deal. “Unzue wanted me but not the French sponsor” explains Ricco in the Gazzetta dello … Read more

Cav picks his words

“To be honest, when I see him, I think I’ll have to fight the urge to get off my bike and hit him, it’s his lack of remorse… You see, he thinks that everyone’s doing it. People look at what I’m doing and think that I must be cheating. But cycling’s in the forefront of … Read more