Marco Pantani (Cesena, January 13, 1970 – Rimini, February 14, 2004) was an Italian road cyclist, with characteristics of a pure climber. Professional from 1992 to 2003, he obtained a total of 46 victories in his career with the best results in stage races, winning a Giro d'Italia, a Tour de France and the bronze medal at the 1995 World Championships.
Nicknamed "the Pirate", he won the Tour de France (in 1998, 33 years after Felice Gimondi) and was the last of the cyclists (after Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Stephen Roche and Miguel Indurain) to have won Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same year.
Excluded from the 1999 Giro following a hematocrit value above the permitted value, Pantani was affected by the media clamor aroused by the story and, although he returned to racing not long after, he only sporadically reached the levels he was used to. Falling into depression, he died on February 14, 2004 in Rimini, of cardiac arrest due to an alleged excess of drugs. In 2014, the Rimini prosecutor's office reopened the case, filed as a suicide or accidental overdose for which two drug dealers were convicted of manslaughter, instead assuming the crime of voluntary homicide, as claimed by Pantani's family.
Official website of the Marco Pantani foundation
Some videos of Marco Pantani