Big thanks to Velochimp for this – Apparently Mario Cipollini’s days of being involved with Italian realty TV weren’t limited to his appearance on “Dancing With the Stars.” This one was on Italy’s version of the practical joke show “Punk’d” (which in Italian is Scherzi a Parte). The whole thing is in Italian, but the idea is that he’s out on a training ride when his mechanic (the accomplice) comes to tell him that his house has been broken into and his bikes stolen. Just as he’s riding back to his house, a camper-van drives by with his bikes on the back – it’s the show’s actors, pretending to be the gypsy thieves. Cipo follows them home, amid all kinds of bleeped-out Italian swear words, and tries to get the “gypsies” out of the building they’ve locked themselves in. The Lion King nearly commits a crime before the show’s producers have to step in and tell him he’s been had.

It’s back when he was with Domina Vacanze, as you can see by the striped kit he’s wearing. And you’ve got to love the fact that the woman who’s hosting the show is doing so in a bathing suit and knee-high boots. Why? Well, the Italians would answer – why not?