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Bahrain-Victorious announce signing of Italian pro who shot and killed cat belonging to San Marino's former head of state

“With the help of this team, I will demonstrate that I learnt from the mistake made in the past,” former Trek-Segafredo rider Antonio Tiberi said in a statement

Bahrain-Victorious today announced the mid-season signing of former junior world time trial champion Antonio Tiberi, just over a month after the 21-year-old “parted ways” with Trek-Segafredo following a three-month suspension for shooting and killing a cat belonging to Federico Pedini Amati, the former head of state and current Minister of Tourism for San Marino.

In a statement which only vaguely refers to Tiberi’s past “mistakes” and his interrupted 2023 season, Bahrain-Victorious – fresh from a successful Giro d’Italia courtesy of stage winners Jonathan Milan and Santiago Buitrago – confirmed that the promising Italian has signed with the team until the end of 2025.

Earlier this year, we reported that Tiberi, who won the junior time trial event at the World Championships in Harrogate in 2019, had appeared in court and been fined €4,000 for shooting and killing the pet of a political figure in San Marino with an air rifle.

The pet had been adopted by Pedini Amati, the politician who served as Captain Regent, one of the landlocked country’s joint heads of state that are elected every six months, between 1 April 2008 and October 2008, and who is now a minister.

At the time, Trek-Segafredo called Tiberi's actions “reprehensible” and announced he would be suspended without pay for a minimum of 20 days, with his suspended salary donated to an animal protection organisation.

At the end of April, the US-based team confirmed that Tiberi’s contract had been “terminated”, as the “rider’s actions during his suspension did not meet our criteria for a return to competition”, leaving him free to join another squad.

Announcing the signing this afternoon, Bahrain-Victorious’ team principal Milan Erzen said that the controversial young rider could “thrive” in an environment dedicated to “inspiring the next generation”.

“Antonio joining the team is a really positive move, both for us and for him. He is a super-talented kid who we believe will thrive in this environment, where we want to ride not only to win, but also to inspire the next generation,” Erzen said.

“He is clearly a talented rider, and can achieve great things in the sport, but just as important for us is his personal growth and education.

“Antonio has made some mistakes, but he realises that, and our focus on discipline, character building, and guidance will help him on a path to long-term success both on and off the bike.”

Tiberi himself added: “I’m delighted to start a new chapter in my career with Team Bahrain Victorious from both a performance aspect and a human perspective.

“Looking from the outside, it has always seemed like a well-organized and solid team, so I didn’t hesitate when I received the offer. I already know some Italian staff members and riders, and everybody in the group has welcomed me warmly. With the help of this team, I will demonstrate that I learnt from the mistake made in the past.

“I started my 2023 season well, but after an enforced stop, maybe I will suffer a bit in picking up the pace. I want to come back racing so badly, so I’m training at altitude to prepare for my return on Swiss roads next week. It’s a great challenge, and I want to repay the confidence of the people who gave me this opportunity in the best possible way.

“It will be a path that will help me be a better cyclist and a better man.”

Ryan joined as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.

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Boss Hogg | 175 posts | 3 months ago

Karma is a bitch.

BuckBreaker | 38 posts | 3 months ago
1 like

Not surprising to me that a team of drug cheats would have no moral problems with the signing of a man who is a murderer. This is how they always start, with small animals like cats or maybe even dogs. There have been many cases like this in the Netherlands over the years and I am going to be sure that there have been many cases like this in places outside of my country too.

Welsh boy replied to BuckBreaker | 1148 posts | 3 months ago
1 like

Your analysis is a bit melodramatic dont you think? Who is this mysterious "they" you refer to?

Sredlums replied to Welsh boy | 115 posts | 3 months ago

He is referring to the fact that serial killers more often than not have showcased very disturbing behaviour towards animals in their youth, being cruel to them, killing them, etc.
So it is seen as a warning sign (although often missed, regrettably), it can be telling of someone's personallity.

mctrials23 | 152 posts | 3 months ago
1 like

Bit torn on this. Utterly utterly scummy to kill a cat on purpose and I simply cannot fathom how a reasonable and well adjusted adult can do that. I would struggle to see past it. 

Paul J | 1289 posts | 3 months ago

Stupid boy, but he's had his punishment - civilly and professionally (not 100% sure latter was right) - and he should be allowed to keep going with his career, given it doesn't involve animals.

Sredlums replied to Paul J | 115 posts | 3 months ago

Yes, he should be allowed to keep going with his career, but that doesn't mean a team should hire him.

Destroyer666 | 33 posts | 3 months ago


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