I became a fan of professional cycling in the early 90’s and being from Britain this meant watching Tour de France highlights on Channel 4 at home or occasionally Eurosport if I was at a sports club. The Tour was the gateway drug and it was only later that I hit the harder stuff like the Giro or the classics. So watching cycling in this … Continue reading Tour de Past, Stage 10. 1995, Pantani’s first stage win, Alpe D’Huez.
https://flic.kr/p/qXQB6w Photo from Brian Townsley on Flickr. This years Giro d’Italia starts in Northern Ireland on Friday. After 3 days on the Emerald Isle the race will return to Italy where RCS have organised a series of tributes to the nations most popular winner of recent times, Marco Pantani. Some form of memorial is well in order as 2014 marks the 10 year anniversary of his death.The fact that Pantani’s … Continue reading Giro d’Italia’s Marco Pantani Tribute.
Photo from Andrea on Flickr.
22nd February 2013.
Gerard Vroomen asked an interesting question on Twitter on Monday. He was wondering why Marco Pantani gets so much kudos when he was as much a doper as Lance Armstrong. This has been something I have been thinking about recently as I wrestled with my own views on Marco Pantani while reading Matt Rendell’s book “The death of Marco Pantani”. Even though I have always known he was a doper and cheat I have held him in high regard as a magical rider and along with many cycling fans, I’m sure, spared him a thought on Valentines day. But why was I so delighted when Lance Armstrong was convicted of doping last month, while my adoration for Pantani is only starting to waver now almost 14 years since being kicked out of the Giro at Madonna di Campiglio for having a high hematocrit level. This was one of many times he recorded a high level and probably wasn’t too surprising given his links to Francesco Conconi and Eufemiano Fuentes. However Marco was a god to me and many others while Lance was the devil.