Marco Pantani: Cycling
Marco Pantani (13 January 1970 – 14 February 2004) was one of the greatest climbers in modern cycling. He was loved by many even after being expelled in the 1999 race after failing the anti-doping test. Pantani was famed for his stylish, unparalleled ability in the mountains. He stood 1.72 m and weighed 57 kg, having the classic built for a mountain climber.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Pantani achieved the rare double of winning in the same year both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia in 1998. He won a number of mountains classification and stages in the grand tours on climbing stages.
He competed for Italy in the Road bicycle racing and won bronze for the 1995 Duitama World Championships road race.
Why Was He So Good?
Pantani is one of the most important cyclists of the last decade. He was one of the fiercest and purest climbers that had spidery abilities to scale steep routes and do so quickly. Marco Pantani’s attacking style and aggressive riding made him a fan favorite during the 90s. His gift to hop on the pedals spoke genuinely to his generation, commanding respect and demanding terror with a resenting grin.
What You May Not Know
- When he was eleven, he joined the Fausto Coppi cycling club.
- Marco Pantani was nicknamed, “Il Pirata”, the pirate, because of his shaved head, bandana and earrings that he always wore during cycling.
- After winning both the Tour and Giro in the same year, many expected that he would dominate cycling into the next decade. But he was caught in a blood-doping scandal and in 2004, he was found dead of cocaine poisoning.
- The 2004 Tour de France was dedicated in his honor.
Was he a legend?
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