Italian cycling "is no more" according to 42-time Giro d'Italia stage winner

Mario Cipollini has laid into the current state of Italian cycling, saying that Vincenzo Nibali is the country’s only rider with any real talent.

In an interview with Il Giornale, the winner of 42 Giro d’Italia stages said that Italian cycling “was no more” due to a lack of talented riders from the country.

“We only have Vincenzo Nibali,” Cipollini said. “He is the only real talent at our disposal. As for the rest they are only extras”

Cipollini even includes Vuelta a España winner Fabio Aru in his list of “extras” saying that he is “waiting for a sign” from Aru that he is a truly talented rider.

The winner of the 2002 edition of Milan-San Remo also had his say on last week’s race that saw Michal Kwiatkowski edge out Peter Sagan for the win.

Cipollini praised Kwiatkowski for his strength and tactical nous in the final kilometres, but said that Sagan should have waited longer before opening the sprint.

“It happens – Milan-San Remo is a cruel race. Peter was only beaten by himself. If only he had left [the sprint] a moment later.

“As for Kwiatkowski, he is a great rider. Strong and intelligent.”