Italian great thanks social media "judges" for concern over his safety in own inimitable way...

Italian legend Mario Cipollini has hit out at people who criticise him on social media for not wearing a helmet while riding a bike ... by posting a picture to Facebook in which, shoes and socks apart, he is entirely nude apart from the helmet he's wearing.

With a body most 48-year-old MAMILs would kill for, the 2002 world champion - who once said that if he weren't a professional cyclist, he'd have been a porn star - addressed the post to "all the 'judges' who comment on my photos."

He added: "I've even put on a helmet while on the rollers. I'm glad of your advice about my safety."

Indor training .....Dedicato a tutti i "giuridici" che commentano le mie foto !Ho messo il casco anche sui rulli !Sono grato ai vostri consigli riguardo la mia tutela !

Posted by Mario Cipollini on Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Hopefully the rider who won 57 Grand Tour stages during his career - 42 of those in the Giro d'Italia - didn't fall off while riding in the buff, otherwise damage to the helmet on his head might be the least of his worries.

> road.cc talks to Super Mario

> Cipollini turns James Bond in bike video


Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.