Sonny Colbrelli and Claudio Chiappucci finished off the back and so failed to be elected in regional political elections that were held in northern Italy at the weekend.
Colbrelli decided to stand with Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party in January after his professional racing career ended in 2022 due to cardiac problems.
When he formalised his candidacy at the end of January he stated a clear focus to develop sport in his political endeavours but also a hope to better road safety after an abundance of cyclists were killed on Italian road’s last year including Italian legend Davide Rebellin.
However the former Paris-Roubaix winner collected just 1,387 votes in Brescia, close to his hometown of Valle Sabbia, which placed him fourth in the running for a seat on the Lombardy regional council.
Chiappucci, who will be 60 in a fortnight, is remembered for his exploits at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France while racing for Carrera in the nineties. He also won Milan-San Remo in 1991 but his career ended after he was found to have a blood haematocrit value above the 50% permitted.
In the Lombardy elections, Chiappucci secured just 121 votes as he ran for the liberal centrists with Letizia Moratti in Monza.
Lombardia and Brescia are largely ruled by Italy’s right-wing parties, with Forza Italia and the Northern League parties recently winning national elections after joining forces with the Brothers of Italy nationalist party. They again dominated in Lombardy and the Lazio region of Italy which includes the Italian capital.
Colbrelli reportedly said he was “a fan of Berlusconi” despite the 86-year-old being found guilty of tax fraud, being embroiled in multiple scandals and a long-term associate of Vladimir Putin.
In 2014 Colbrelli posted a comment on Facebook suggesting that former fascist dictator Mussolini was needed to deal with an influx of immigrants in Italy. He later deleted the post saying he regretted it and denied it had political or racial connotations.
Colbrelli’s racing career ended last spring after he suffered a life threatening unstable cardiac arrhythmia. He collapsed after stage 1 of the Volta a Catalunya in March and subsequently had a subcutaneous defibrillator fitted to stabilise his heartbeat in the case of another arrhythmia. Italian law does not allow athletes with a defibrillator to compete, meaning Colbrelli had to retire from racing.
He still rides a bike and was recently announced brand ambassador role for…
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