By Steve Frothingham
Mario Cipollini’s relationship with the American team Rock Racing has ended, and the Italian is quashing rumors that he might jump into this weekend’s Milan-San Remo for a different team.
“Unfortunately I’ve had to end my relationship with the American Rock Racing team that started a few months ago,” the former world champion said Tuesday.
European papers had speculated that Cipollini would join the Tinkoff Credit Systems team for Milan-San Remo, but he said he was only interested in joining a team if he could be involved with its management and development.
“The idea of riding Milan-San Remo made sense if it was linked to a wider project of building and managing a new team and my return to racing was part of the project to create a dream team. Despite a contract, this hasn’t happened for reasons out of my control.”
Rock Racing team owner Michael Ball said the relationship did not work out for either side.
“From a business perspective and from an overall team standpoint, the relationship between Mario Cipollini and Rock Racing was not advantageous, and would not work long-term. We have terminated his contract and wish him luck in future endeavours,” Ball said.
-Agence France Presse contributed to this report-