Riccardo Ricco is currently serving a 12-year ban for blood doping but that doesn't mean that he has skipped cycling. The "Cobra" plans to break the records on several legendary climbs in June or JUly 2014.
Riccardo Ricco has been pariah in the cycling world due to his repeated doping offences that have led to the 12-year doping ban that the Italian is currently serving. As he will be approaching his 40th birthday when his ban expires, his professional career has effectively ended but the Italian recently told Ciclismo Internacional that he is still training every day.
Ricco is banned from all official competitions but this doesn't mean that he cannot make up his own. He plans to show that he is still one of the best climbers in the world by making a record attempt on a number of legendary Giro and Tour climb in the summer of 2014.
Ricco confirmed to Cyclingnews that the bid will probably include three or four climbs but that only one ascent will definitely be included in the programme.
"The Ventoux is inked in, but I still have to decide on the other ones," he said. "One might be the Galibier, another could be Alpe d'Huez, but I don't know yet. It's all still in the planning stage. They'll be famous Giro and Tour climbs, that's for certain."
Iban Mayo set the record on the Giant of Provence in the 2004 Criterium du Dauphiné when he made it up the legendary slopes in a time of 55 minutes and 51 seconds in a mountain time trial. "I've got a feeling that'll be hard to beat, though," Riccò conceded.
Given his past, it's natural to ask whether the Italian plans to ride clean but the Italian assures that there will be no banned substances involved this time.
"Of course!" he exclaimed. "I'll be on top, top form but clean, yeah."
Ricco is likely to get some backing from potential sponsors. He maintains a good relationship with the Giordana clothing company and bike manufacturer Cipollini. He also plans to make a living out of cycling in the future.
Ricco recently told Ciclismo Internacional that he would do whatever he could to get a reduced sanction that would allow him to return to racing earlier than planned.
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