US Pro Challenge: Men Vs. Women

Mario Cipollini has been in the press recently, first for a possible return for retirement, secondly for this video, showing a very "hands on" approach to coaching the women's cycling team sponsored by his MCipollini branded bikes.

It turns out he has a very specific goal for his women's program. Cipollini says, "Since I have left the peloton, I see only small men. These small men, look and ride no different than the women, so I prepare my women to race against."

It turns out that the upcoming US Pro Challenge agrees. In a first for a major event, the UCI will allow Cipollini's team to race head to head with the boys. The earlier petition by Marianne Vos to race the Tour of Italy with the men, was the first step. And even though, that was denied for the individual, Teams will apparently be allowed.

Don't mistake Cipolllini's push as entirely motivated by a proactive interest in feminism. Cipollini goes on to say, "If I am not allowed to return to the peloton, and I must watch from the side, then I must watch bella donne."