Ricco believes his fans will support him
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Monday, March 01, 2010

Ricco believes his fans will support him

by Neil Browne at 9:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Even with negative press swirling around him, Riccardo Ricco still believes that his fans will remain loyal.

Ricco's ban for CERA ends March 17th. However his ex-girlfriend and mother of his son, Vania Rossi, came up positive after placing second at the Italian cyclocross championships for CERA. Ricco was positive for the same drug during the 2008 Tour de France which resulted in a two year ban.

CERA is the third-generation form of EPO that was thought to be undetectable at the time of Ricco's positive result.

"I can not expect people to believe in me now, I have to prove it on the road. I do not think fans are interested in whether there is doping in cycling or not. They are interested in competition. I do not think the real fans are interested in doping. If anyone was a fan of Ricco, they are still, whether he made a mistake or not, " says Ricco to the Italian magazine Pro Cycling.

Ricco goes on to compare his current situation to the tax evasion charge made against GP motorcyclist Valentino Rossi [no relation to Ricco's ex-girlfriend].

"I was a fan of Valentino Rossi, although he did not pay taxes in Italy. For me, a champion is a champion. I think my real fans see me as a 23-year-old who made a mistake, but they can not wait to see me race again. How I see it. There are of course other forms of cycling fans, but that is how I see things, "said Ricco.

Ricco split from Rossi three days after his team Ceramica Flaminia was left off of RCS Sport's list of invited teams for Milan-Sanremo.

Now Ricco's first race is likely to be Settimana internazionale di Coppi e Bartali.

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