A CHILD OF THE 1970S, MARCO PANTANI WAS HIGHLY TALENTED. HUGELY TROUBLED. BUT, HE WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. ON THE 13TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS DEATH, WE PAY TRIBUTE TO IL PIRATA.
For his detractors he is a once in a generation talent who turned to the dark arts, a paranoid maniac who blamed everyone else for his misfortune, overly protected by a loyal press corps and a cocaine addict who masterminded his own seedy descent. For his lovers he is modern cyclist's greatest climber, a fragile character taken advantage of by the system, an icon of anti-establishment and individualism. We're not here to speculate on either. Just to remember a truly unique sportsman, a national icon who finished lonely, mentally and physically broke.