Pantani, was loved in Italy and worldwide people tuned in to watch his amazing climbing skills. Pantani was an excellent speaker and very charismatic! He was a gifted climber and natural born cyclist impressing everyone from the moment he began riding in cycling clubs in Italy.
“We are all imprisoned by rules. Everyone longs for freedom to behave in the way they see fit. I’m a non-conformist, and some feel inspired by the way I express freedom of thought. I’ve never been meticulous or calculating, on or off the bike. I ride instinctively, responding to the moment. There’s chaos in everyday life, and I tune into that chaos.” -Marco Pantani
In 1998, Pantani attempted the Giro-Tour double. To win the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same season is a remarkable feat of strength. Pantani, an Italian rider with an Italian sponsor, could never miss the Giro. In 1998, he won both. Marco Pantani was the last cyclist to accomplish this feat! The Giro-Tour combo holds the most prestige and allure.
Only Seven cyclists have won the Tour and the Giro in the same year:
- Fausto Coppi (ITA): 1949, 1952
- Jacques Anquetil (FRA): 1964
- Eddy Merckx (BEL): 1970, 1972, 1974
- Bernard Hinault (FRA): 1982, 1985
- Stephen Roche (IRL): 1987
- Miguel Indurain (ESP): 1992, 1993
- Marco Pantani (ITA): 1998
Pantani’s dominance continued into 1999. On 30 May, during the Giro d’Italia, his chain slipped off at the foot of the climb up to Oropa. He stopped, fixed the problem, then attacked with such impetus that Laurent Jalabert said: ‘If I hadn’t got out of the way, he’d have ridden right over me.’ When Nicola Miceli tried to follow: ‘It was like trying to hang on to an aircraft’s wing.’
To learn more about this fascinating cyclist:
The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography is the intimate biography of the charismatic Tour de France winner Marco Pantani, now updated to include the 2014 and 2015 investigation into Pantani’s death. Tragedy fell on Valentine’s Day in 2004, when Marco Pantani was found dead in a hotel in Rimini, Italy. His death of an apparent suicide shocked Italy and the world. Drawing on his personal encounters with Pantani, as well as exclusive access to his psychoanalysts, and interviews with his family and friends, Matt Rendell has produced the definitive account of an iconic sporting figure.
You can buy the book here: