last year, when I was looking for KOM winners of the Grand Tours of recent years to invite to ride the Taiwan KOM Challenge, i received a mail suggesting i get in touch with Matteo Rabottini of Neri Sottoli.
Rabottini had shot to fame with a victory Rabottini on the stage to Piani dei Resinelli at the 2012 Giro d’Italia, taking the KOM classification. the following year he was 17th on the GC. he was young (25 when he won the KOM at the Giro) and charismatic, and looked perfect for the KOM.
(shortest video on Rabbo’s win i could find, excuse the music – sounds like cycling on drugs… oh wait…)
anyway, at the last minute negotiations fell through, can’t remember why, but did we dodge a bullet or what?
why? well cos the Italian just got the results of his B sample back, from a test taken on August 8th. and they confirmed he’s been on the EPO. for sure though he wasn’t on it when he won the KOM jersey.
he’s denying all.
at the time of the KOM classification win he laughed about having been given the nickname Rambo by his teammates. CyclingSnooze wrote:
‘“I’m not like Rambo”, joked Rabottini as he wanted to underline that he’s not naturally gifted.’
perhaps he should have underlined that he’s unnaturally gifted.
this is now the fifth time i have either raced against a guy who was later found to have doped or been in talks to get a guy to enter a race who was later found to have doped. i am not in a rush to get to number 6, but suspect it will happen sooner rather than later.
just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…