Filippo Simeoni wishes his career was remembered for his stage wins in the Vuelta a España or his Italian national championship title in 2008. Instead, as of a day in late July 2004, he became synonymous with an incident that had nothing to do with winning races and instead caused him to lose some of his faith in humanity.

Simeoni had previously testified against Lance Armstrong’s coach and doctor, Michele Ferrari, and now Armstrong made him pay. On a day that for him should have been meaningless, just another canter towards inevitable victory, Armstrong thwarted Simeoni breakaway attempts and scolded him with insults and, Simeoni said, threats.

Fifteen years have passed and Simeoni has long since left pro cycling behind. This week, however, he returned to the Giro when the Corsa Rosa passed through his hometown in the Apennines south of Rome. Between pangs of nostalgia and thoughts of what might have been and what wasn’t, he reflected on his career, cycling today and of course the Armstrong incident.

Kilometre 0 is supported by Hansgrohe

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