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Marco Pantani?

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Marco Pantani?

04 Aug 2009 14:31

This guy was around a couple years before I began watching cycling. I was just wondering why there is still such a strong following with him? I have done some research on him and he seemed to be a big doper and really the poster boy of the era that cycling wanted to end. I never saw him race so I don't really understand why he is so likable.
Clemson Cycling
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04 Aug 2009 14:41

Clemson Cycling wrote:This guy was around a couple years before I began watching cycling. I was just wondering why there is still such a strong following with him? I have done some research on him and he seemed to be a big doper and really the poster boy of the era that cycling wanted to end. I never saw him race so I don't really understand why he is so likable.


I went to his home town recently in Cesenatico. It’s a sleepy beach town and a little naff. Think Blackpool in Italy but with much much better food (and women).

In each and every cafe, bar and restaurant was a photo of the man himself. Next to a picture of Jesus.

I was told the day he attacked Ullrich in the 98 Tour everyone ran from their shops, bars and homes to the beach where they had large screens erected. They crowd were shouting "Pantani, attacco, attacco!" in football like chants.

He is held up like a God. A good description of him is “quixotic”. The Times in London gave him this title and best describes the man.

Italians like mixed up people. Otherwise they wouldn't have voted for Berlusconi. As much as they want to take Berlusconi down they also admire him for using every single dodgy method to stay in power. It's the Italian way.
User avatar thehog
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04 Aug 2009 14:41

He was a shy, unusual racer, unusual in the way he could go up hills, as well as being physically unusual.
He was certainly amazing to watch race, but he obviously had issues at various points of his career. His early death cemented him as a legend.
anubisza
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04 Aug 2009 14:43

thehog wrote:I was told the day he attacked Ullrich in the 88 Tour ..


I'm guessing a typo on the 88 :) 1998.
anubisza
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04 Aug 2009 14:44

anubisza wrote:I'm guessing a typo on the 88 :) 1998.


No typo. I'm just 10 years ahead of my own time. 1998 for everyone and 1988 for me.
User avatar thehog
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04 Aug 2009 15:06

Clemson Cycling wrote:This guy was around a couple years before I began watching cycling. I was just wondering why there is still such a strong following with him? I have done some research on him and he seemed to be a big doper and really the poster boy of the era that cycling wanted to end. I never saw him race so I don't really understand why he is so likable.


Many ask the same question about Armstrong.

Pantani never tested positive.
Eva Maria
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04 Aug 2009 15:11

The Italians are very passionate about all sports and cycling is still hugely popular in Italy.

I have watched many races throughout Europe but I was struck by the passion and knowledge of the Italian fans or casual roadside spectator has.
In Italy they even have a name for those passionate fans called the tifosi.

After the second World war Italy was in the depths of a depression but two of their cyclists - Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali - were flying the Italian flag at all the major races throughout Europe.
Cycling was looked at as more than a sport - Coppi & Bartalis achievements were used as a symbol to restore pride back in to Italy

Of course in typical Italian fashion many supporters sided with one rider over the other - causing huge debate among the tifosi.

Pantani was admired because of his attacking climbing style and his panache on the bike. His shy personality and large ears endeared him to the public.

He was a popular winner of the Giro in 1998 but he was elevated to superstar status when he became the first Italian to win the Tour later that same year.

If you are interested in the history of cycling than a browse of either Coppi or Bartali's career would be a great place to start.
User avatar Dr. Maserati
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04 Aug 2009 15:28

Clemson Cycling wrote:This guy was around a couple years before I began watching cycling. I was just wondering why there is still such a strong following with him? I have done some research on him and he seemed to be a big doper and really the poster boy of the era that cycling wanted to end. I never saw him race so I don't really understand why he is so likable.


He was a quirky looking little guy (his looks were one of the big factors which made him appealing) who had the ability to make things happen. He added excitement to the racing whenever the roads started to point upward.

In the TdFs before he won there wasn't a great deal of excitement, at least not since Lemond beat Fignon in the final stage time trial into Paris. Indurain, Riis and Ullrich were all a bit boring to watch. They won, and did so pretty convincingly, but it wasn't exciting...little flair.

That's what Pantani brought.
Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades - Eddy Merckx
mistahsinclair
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04 Aug 2009 15:29

anubisza wrote:He was a shy, unusual racer, unusual in the way he could go up hills, as well as being physically unusual.
He was certainly amazing to watch race, but he obviously had issues at various points of his career. His early death cemented him as a legend.


Isn't it possible the doping actually killed him?
[color="SlateGray"]Stand on my dog and I'll cut your head off[/color]

'Only once did clenbuterol show up in 83,203 animal samples tested by EU countries in 2008 and 2009, says the European Commission's directorate for health and consumer policy. Spain tested 19,431 samples in those years; none was positive for the drug.'
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04 Aug 2009 15:29

Eva Maria wrote:
Pantani never tested positive.


That's a very interesting interpretation, of the facts. Are you really comfortable with your double standard?
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04 Aug 2009 15:30

scribe wrote:Isn't it possible the doping actually killed him?


Kinda...it was an accidental cocaine overdose.
Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades - Eddy Merckx
mistahsinclair
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04 Aug 2009 15:33

Clemson Cycling wrote:This guy was around a couple years before I began watching cycling. I was just wondering why there is still such a strong following with him? I have done some research on him and he seemed to be a big doper and really the poster boy of the era that cycling wanted to end. I never saw him race so I don't really understand why he is so likable.


You gotta love SC: http://www.wcnc.com/news/topstories/stories/wcnc-080409-stewart_southcarolina.a8f89ba7.html
Thoughtforfood
 

04 Aug 2009 15:35

VeloFidelis wrote:That's a very interesting interpretation, of the facts. Are you really comfortable with your double standard?


Sarcasm doesn't always translate well

The OP is a staunch defender of the Armstrong myth, yet was able to conclude that Pantani was a doper by doing "some research". Just pointing out the duplicity of his position.
Eva Maria
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04 Aug 2009 15:37

VeloFidelis wrote:That's a very interesting interpretation, of the facts. Are you really comfortable with your double standard?


Pantani never tested positive. he was removed from the 99 Giro for having an elevated crit of 50.1%.
Any rider who went above 50% was 'suspended' for two weeks for health reasons. It was never a sanction - so it is a fact.

I dont think anyone is denying the other point though. But that should be discussed in the Clinic.
User avatar Dr. Maserati
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04 Aug 2009 15:41

mistahsinclair wrote:Kinda...it was an accidental cocaine overdose.


Cocaine has its place in some doping methods, no?
[color="SlateGray"]Stand on my dog and I'll cut your head off[/color]

'Only once did clenbuterol show up in 83,203 animal samples tested by EU countries in 2008 and 2009, says the European Commission's directorate for health and consumer policy. Spain tested 19,431 samples in those years; none was positive for the drug.'
User avatar scribe
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04 Aug 2009 15:42

Dr. Maserati wrote:Cycling was looked at as more than a sport - Coppi & Bartalis achievements were used as a symbol to restore pride back in to Italy


bartali even prevented civil war by winning the tour in 48!

/ontopic:

apart from the italian sports mentality pantani was the exact opposite of the posterboy you describe.
the posterboy of the epo-era was the 90kg sprinter who couldn't get his fat *** over the kemmelberg in 1992 and in 1993 suddenly rode along with the best on the tourmalet. preferably on a 54*12 or something like that. no attacking, just putting in power.

pantani was one of a few old style climbers who dared the powerhouses by attacking every time the road went up. the old fashioned pinches every km that eventually got everybody on their back.
that and his personality is why people love him.
the almost religious adoration is italy at it's finest. from the moment they stole the '99 giro from him, he (and the italian media) portrayed him(self) as a martyr. the one that had to take the fall for an entire generation because the public wanted to see heads roll after the festina-debacle. He was the best climber of his generation (auto godlike status in italy), he was a nice but mentally weak guy and 'they' exploited and killed him.
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04 Aug 2009 15:46

scribe wrote:Isn't it possible the doping actually killed him?


This certainly could be argued.

Although the biggest reason for his mental decline and use of cocaine was because he was bitter at having been singled out and abandoned by the same people who had prospered during his rise to fame.
User avatar Dr. Maserati
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04 Aug 2009 16:13

Clemson Cycling wrote:This guy was around a couple years before I began watching cycling. I was just wondering why there is still such a strong following with him? I have done some research on him and he seemed to be a big doper and really the poster boy of the era that cycling wanted to end. I never saw him race so I don't really understand why he is so likable.


A good read is "The Death of Marco Pantani" by Matt Rendell. Meticulously researched and very well written. Sad story though
Leandro
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04 Aug 2009 16:15

Clemson Cycling wrote:This guy was around a couple years before I began watching cycling. I was just wondering why there is still such a strong following with him? I have done some research on him and he seemed to be a big doper and really the poster boy of the era that cycling wanted to end. I never saw him race so I don't really understand why he is so likable.


Marco was a genius, one and only Il Pirata, best climber ever... that's all

Dr. Maserati wrote:He was a popular winner of the Giro in 1998 but he was elevated to superstar status when he became the first Italian to win the Tour later that same year.


You are wrong my friend !? Why the name 928 for a famous Bianchi model ? The 9 and 2 come from the years 1949 & 1952 when Coppi won Giro & Tour de France and the 8 represents the year 1998 when it was won Marco Pantani.

R.I.P. Il Pirata

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User avatar Zen Master
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04 Aug 2009 16:31

Clemson Cycling wrote:I never saw him race so I don't really understand why he is so likable.


His trademark 'in-the-drops-uphill-attack' :D

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