Book Review: Pantani, Debunking The Murder Myth

“Pantani, Debunking The Murder Myth” by Andrea Rossini, translated by Matt Rendell

The Giro finishes in Madonna di Campiglio today. While we’re all interested in the climb to the finish this is the tale Marco Pantani’s fall from grace which began here, taking him from a national icon to an isolated crack addict found dead in a hotel.

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Roads to Ride: Colle di Fauniera


The hardest climb you’ve never heard of? The Giro d’Italia has included the Colle Fauniera sparingly and perhaps needs to go back at some point to correct this. For everyone else it’s open all summer and is one of the most spectacular climbs in the Alps.

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Film Review: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist

You might know the story of Marco Pantani: an early sensation in the mountains and then injuries, race expulsions, humiliation, absence from the sport and then his lonely death in an out of season beach resort. But here’s a documentary film to tell the story? Does prior knowledge spoil the film? Not necessarily because it’s a well-told tale featuring archive footage alongside new interviews and narration from his family, journalists and peers.

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Giro Stage 8 Preview

The first “reveal” of the race and one of two mountain stages in the under-rated Apennines mountain range, this 179km stage climbs Monte Carpegna first on one flank and then another with conclusive 13% ramps just before the finish line. Both are extremely difficult climbs with narrow roads and double-digit gradients. This is no medium mountain prelude to the Alps.

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Book Review: The Death of Marco Pantani

Marco Pantani book

It might be St Valentines today but scanning Twitter it’s Pantani day to commemorate his death on this day in 2004 and the excitement he generated during his life.

There are a lot of books about Marco Pantani. Most are Italian. There’s a French one by Philippe Brunel, La Vie et Mort de Marco Pantani which is a good account. Brunel shuttles back and forth between France and Italy, Paris and Rimini to piece together the last moments of Pantani’s life and seems so suggest Pantani was a victim of conspiracies, whether his ejection from the Giro whilst leading the race, or his death in a hotel room.

But The Death of Marco Pantani is surely the best, being well-researched and a full biography of Pantani, from his early days to the post mortem.

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Marco Pantani remembered

Marco Pantani died on this day in 2004. The Italian cyclist was wildly popular during his career and has become the stuff of legend. Visually recognisable, his exploits on the bike combined with posthumous myth ensure Il Pirata, the pirate, is still famous today.

Swashbuckling on the bike but the reality is less glorious. The song in the video above is by French band Les Wampas, a tribute but one that captures the sad demise of a man dying alone in a seaside hotel during the winter.

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Exploiting Pantani

It’s a sad read at times but Matt Rendell’s “The Death of Pantani” is a powerful biography of Marco Pantani. If you’re new to cycling, Pantani was one of the most exciting riders in the 1990s, a mountain climber who appeared to marry art, emotion and sport. He died aged 34. Only the biography reveals … Read more

Mortirolo and Pantani

Weather permitting, the Giro’s going up the Mortirolo pass today. Just the name is bad, morte means death in Italian, the name seems derived from sinister meaning. It’s a very difficult climb, the Passo del Mortirolo has sections at 22%. The Giro only went over the climb for the first time in 1990. In 1994, … Read more