Leonardo Piepoli

Leonardo Piepoli
Personal information
Full name Leonardo Piepoli
Born (1971-09-29) 29 September 1971
La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 7 in)
Weight 54 kg (119 lb; 8.5 st)
Team information
Current team Retired
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Climbing specialist
Professional team(s)
19951997 Refin–Mobilvetta
1998 Saeco Macchine per Caffè
19992003 Banesto
20042008 Saunier Duval–Prodir
Major wins
Giro d'Italia, 3 stages
Vuelta a España, 2 stages
Subida a Urkiola (1995, 1999, 2003, 2004)
Infobox last updated on
9 September 2007

Leonardo Piepoli (born 29 September 1971 in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland) is a former Italian professional road racing cyclist. He most recently rode for Saunier Duval–Scott on the UCI ProTour, but had his contract suspended in July 2008 during the Tour de France amid allegations of the use of the blood boosting drug EPO in the team. He was later suspended for two years, which effectivelty ended his career.


He is a record four-time winner (1995, 1999, 2003, 2004) of the Subida a Urkiola. Piepoli is a specialist climber, and this was shown in the 2006 Giro d'Italia, where he was one of the strongest riders in the mountains and won two stages. In the 2007 Giro d'Italia, Piepoli won the mountains classification. He has won stages in the Giro and the Vuelta a España. He also made himself famous by 'gifting' two stage victories to his team-mates Gilberto Simoni and Riccardo Riccò. During the Vuelta, Piepoli lead the mountains classification, but was forced to leave the race, citing 'family problems'

During the 2008 Giro d'Italia Piepoli crashed two times, leaving the race with three broken ribs and with his left hand fractured in two places.

In the 2008 Tour de France, Piepoli won the 10th stage, a mountain stage that climbed the legendary Hautacam, and also helped his team-mate Riccardo Riccò win two stages. Before the twelfth stage, Piepoli and the rest of his team stepped out of the race, after Riccò had tested positive for doping.

Doping allegations

Piepoli was fired from Saunier Duval on 18 July 2008, for what his team called "violation of the team's ethical code." The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that Piepoli had confessed to EPO usage, using the same third generation form (CERA) for which his teammate Riccardo Riccò tested positive,[1] but he denied this at the Italian National Olympic Committee's investigation into Riccò's case. On 6 October 2008, it was announced that two of Piepoli's samples from the Tour de France had also tested positive for CERA EPO.[2] In a 7 January 2009 interview with the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, Piepoli acknowledged that he had used CERA in "a moment of weakness".[3] In January 2009, he was suspended from the sport for two years.[4]

Career achievements

Major results

1st Subida a Urkiola
Mountains classification, Tour de Suisse
2nd Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st stage 4
3rd Clásica San Sebastián
1999 Banesto
1st Overall Vuelta a Castilla y León
1st stage 2
1st Subida a Urkiola
1st stage 4 Vuelta a Burgos
2000 Banesto
1st Overall Vuelta a Aragón
1st Overall Vuelta a Burgos
1st Mountain Classification
2nd Subida a Urkiola
10th Overall Giro d'Italia
2002 Banesto
1st Overall Vuelta a Aragón and stage 1
1st Overall Vuelta Asturias and stage 4
2003 Banesto
1st Subida a Urkiola
1st Overall Vuelta a Aragón and stage 1
1st Subida al Naranco
2004 Saunier Duval–Prodir
1st Subida a Urkiola
1st Stage 9 Vuelta a España
3rd Vuelta a Aragón
3rd Tour de Romandie
3rd Subida al Naranco
3rd Vuelta a Burgos
2005 Saunier Duval-Prodir
2nd Overall Volta a Catalunya
1st Stage 4
10th Overall Tour de Suisse
2006 Saunier Duval-Prodir
11th overall Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 13 & 17
8th Overall Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré
2007 Saunier Duval-Prodir
14th Overall Giro d'Italia
1st mountains classification
1st Stage 10
1st Stage 9 Vuelta a España

Grand Tour General Classification results timeline

Grand Tour 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Pink jersey Giro WD 38 WD 16 WD 10 WD - - - - 11 14 WD
Yellow jersey Tour - 17 - 14 - WD 44 - - - 23 - - WD
golden jersey Vuelta - - 26 - 8 - - - 23 27 35 13 WD -

WD - Withdrew

See also


  1. Weislo, Laura (20 July 2008). "Dueñas, Piepoli confessed". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  2. George, Sue; Laura Weislo (7 October 2008). "Piepoli and Schumacher Tour de France samples positive for CERA". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  3. AP (7 January 2009). "Piepoli says he doped in "moment of weakness'". USA Today. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
  4. AFP (28 January 2009). "Italian cyclist banned for drug use". The Age. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
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