Remembering Pantani by Cor Vos

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Cor Vos
Alpe D'Huez, France

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Remembering Pantani

By Cor Vos on February 13, 2013

Nine years ago today marks the passing of Marco Pantani, who was the last rider to have won both the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia in the same year. Referred to as "Il Pirata (The Pirate)" due to his look consisting of a bandana, shaved head and ear-rings matched with his fervent attacking style. His career entered a downward spiral with doping allegations after being thrown out of the 1999 Giro d'Italia, two days shy of winning the Maglia Rosa, for failing a blood test which indicated a high haematocrit. In 2000 he served a three-month suspended prison sentence which was overturned on appeal. Later in 2002 he faced a six month UCI ban after a police raid in his hotel found insulin syringes during the 2000 Giro d'Italia. Pantani's last race was in 2003 where he finished 14th in the Giro d'Italia. In the same year he was admitted to a clinic for the treatment of depression and drug addiction. Felice Gimondi, who previously coached Pantani, was quoted saying "Marco has paid a very dear price for everything. For years he was in the eye of the cycling storm after being world number one. He then withdrew into himself. He was alone." Pantani, who was also third in the 1994 and 1997 editions of Tour de France. Since 2004 an annual race in the honour of Pantani is hosted in the area of Emilia-Romagna (Italy). The race start's in Pantani's hometown of Cesenatico. Each edition of the Giro d'Italia since 2004 has paid tribute to Pantani by dedicating a mountain pass in his memory, Cima Pantani. A number of monuments and memorials have been erected in his honour including, "Mortirolo Pass, Colle Fauniera, Col du Galibier and Cesenatico".
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  • cyclingTips

    There’s a documentary scheduled to be released in May called “The Accidental Death Of A Cyclist” by London-based New Black Films and directed by James Erskine. Is the film’s title a reference to Nobel Prize winning playwright, Accidental Death of an Anarchist? Hopefully we’ll soon find out.

  • Jimmy P

    Anyone know what year/race/stage victory this is?

    • Notso Swift

      It is the Tour, probably 97 because Bianchi sponsored in 98, he didn’t ride a Bianchi but that isn’t the point

    • O’nev

      It’s the 1997 TdF

  • Notso Swift

    Never really got caught up on the fuss, anyway to each is own

    Maybe its because I was more a fan of Der Kaiser