Cycling News

Bahrain-Victorious’ cat killer Antonio Tiberi among the Giro odds-on favourites

Bahrain-Victorious' cat killer Antonio Tiberi among the Giro odds-on favourites

While perusing various sports betting websites to whet one’s appetite for the fast-approaching Giro d’Italia, one notices the same names drawing the best wagering odds for the maglia rosa. Tadej Pogačar tops every site’s list, one odds maker helpfully explaining “Pogačar has an implied probability of 81.8% to beat out his rivals for the Giro d’Italia crown”. Other riders on repeat are Geraint Thomas, Ben O’Connor, Romain Bardet, Dani Martinez, Damiano Caruso, Thymen Arensman and Cian Uijtdebroeks. But one name among those favoured to stand beside the Slovenian in Rome in late May might surprise: Bahrain-Victorious’ Antonio Tiberi, the notorious cat killer.

When employed by Lidl-Trek (then Trek-Segafredo) in 2022, Tiberi shot and killed a cat while testing his new air rifle. The kitty happened to belong to his neighbor, San Marino’s tourism and posts minister Federico Pedini Amati. Disgrazia!

Tiberi was fined in early 2023, then sacked by Trek-Segafredo a couple of months later, and then finally hired by Bahrain-Victorious a couple of months after that. In the 2023 Vuelta a Espana, he was the fourth of five Bahrain-Victorious riders in the GC top-20.

So why does Tiberi elicit up to 16/1 odds on numerous sports betting sites?

The 22-year-old Italian was recently third in the Tour of the Alps, behind O’Connor but ahead of Bardet and Thomas. He also took the best young rider jersey. At the Volta a Catalunya he placed eighth behind winner Pogačar but 11 spots better than teammate Caruso. In his first stage race of the season, Tirreno-Adriatico, he came in 27th, a distance behind top-7 chaps O’Connor, Arensman and Uijtdebroeks.

Tiberi no doubt wishes he was known less for killing a cat than for winning the 2019 Junior time trial world championship despite having to change bikes almost immediately into his ride due to crank failure.

But no, Tony, the internet was practically made for the celebration and reverence of cats. And it has a long memory.

The 107th Giro begins Saturday in Venaria Reale.

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Canadian Cycling Magazine…