New Book On Marco Pantani

Discussion in 'Your Bloody Soap Box' started by Carrera, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    There's a new book out on the life and death of Marco Pantani, his fall from competition cycling and his battle with cocaine. Once he got busted for EPO, Pantani slid into a huge depression and began to use cocaine on a habitual basis.
    The book is titled "Man on the Run The Life and Death of Marco Pantani" by Manuela Ronchi and Gianfranco Josti.
    You can order the book with a discount if you fill in the form of the magazine Pro Cycling so maybe I will buy it. They already published an extract from the book in the magazine itself.
    Some may know Pantani also had a run in with Armstrong when he accused Armstrong of patronising him during the TDF, gifting Pantani a stage event during the climb.
    http://www.papertiger.co.uk/book/1861059205
     
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  2. Wurm

    Wurm New Member

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    That's correct. Then on the next day's mountain stage, Pantani beat Armstrong soundly. The day after that, MP left the TdF.
     
  3. MountainPro

    MountainPro New Member

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    That was the point where I lost all respect for Armstrong as a sportsman.

    The so called gift to Pantani was a calculated insult. There is some respect to be found when you’ve battled your way to the top of the mountain and gave it 110% and were beaten by a better rider. That’s fine, but what Armstrong did left Pantani with zero dignity.

    Armstrong may be a great rider but I have always maintained he is a very bad sportsman and really needs to learn some manners. The man is a petty, vindictive, rude and arrogant dick.

    The mountain stage you speak of Wurm was stunning, MP blasted his way to the top in stunning form. I have the full video of it with Phil Ligget on vocals.

     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I hope the Pantani book is not a sensationalist attempt to revise what happened to MP.

    it's funny, some former work colleagues who know zero about cycling used to tune in to the TDF mountain stages just to watch MP climb.
    Even ES said that MP's exploits brought in more viewers.

    I miss MP - he's the best climber I've ever seen.
    I count myself very fortunate to have been at the 1995 TDF when he won the mountain stages at Alp D'Huez and Guize Neige.

    I am even more fortunate to have witnessed MP trundling along in the 1998
    TDF Prologue in Dublin.
    I can still see him ambling up Christchurch Hill to finish 167th on that stage.
    Three weeks later he was in yellow on the Champs Elysee.

    Sleep well, Marco.
     
  5. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    The published extract in Cycling Pro gives the impression of Pantani winding up psychologically vulnerable, hooked on cocaine and weighed down by depression. I'll probably buy the book as it's only 10.95 with the voucher you get in this month's Cycling Pro. It's only just been translated into Italian and will be released in October.
    I think the book will also cover the happier period of Pantani's cycling career and life in general.
    As far as I'm aware, Pantani still holds the record for the Alpe De Huez Time Trial and has a few seconds on Armstrong.
     
  6. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    "21.10.2004/ Eight months after Marco Pantani's untimely death in a Rimini hotel room, Manula Ronchi, Pantani's ex-manager, has published a book, in Italian, entitled A man on the run: The true story of Marco Pantani. The 260 page book, written in collaboration with sports journalist Gianfranco Josti, uses the notes the cycling legend wrote during the last few months of his life to chronicle the Pirate's final years, from when it all started to unravel during the 1999 Giro doping investigations, right up to the drug overdose that killed him on February 14, 2004.
    'Pantani thought that he was the victim of a conspiracy headed by the president of the Italian Cycling Federation, Giancarlo Ceruti", Ronchi wrote. "Marco was afraid at night. He thought he was spied on with microphones. He searched for video cameras in the whole house and heard voices on the roof. His obsessions were the anti-doping investigations and his girlfriend." Ronchi also covers the fractious relationship between Pantani and his ex-girlfriend Christina Jonsson'.
    Some of the proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Marco Pantani Foundation. The film production company Colorado has already bought the rights to the book.
    Back in July shooting started on another Marco Pantani movie, under the direction of the Italian Claudio Bonivento. The working title for the TV movie is "The Pirate", and it should hit Italian TV screens in 2005. The script was prepared by two men who were closest to Pantani around the time of his death; Italian cycling journalist Pier Bergonzi and the retired pro rider Davide Cassani."
     
  7. el Ingles

    el Ingles New Member

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    does need to be said : Pantani did not fail a drug test for epo , nor was it ever proved that he had ever taken epo - he was thrown out of the Giro for a high hematocrit reading , 52% ( and my last blood test gave 53·7% , within normal limits )
    it´s like the errol flynn rape trial , he was the first celebraty to get in the sights of the italian ioc who had recently been caught ignoring drug taking in italian football ( bit like the current problems inthe usa ) so they tried to prove they were doing something without actually making waves with the money men ( remember that the current leader of italy was the then owner of intermilan ) of football .
    poor sod .
     
  8. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    good to see you back El.
    Hope you stick around.
     
  9. Wurm

    Wurm New Member

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    That is exactly why I don't like or respect LA either - he has very little respect for others in the peloton, and he always seems to be on such an ego trip that it makes one sick to even look at him.

    In my book, what he did to MP was unforgiveable. IF LA would have climbed that stage and simply passed MP and kept going at his own pace to the top and won, that would have been one thing. But he backed off just enough to show that he could have dropped MP if he wanted to, making MP look like a charity case, something I'm sure MP didn't ask for from LA. It really was a display of arrogance and phony kindness on LA's part. :mad:

    I would say that if MP was doing cocaine the way some have described, then that would account for his paranoia. People get extremely afraid of things when they're high on coke.
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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  11. lwedge

    lwedge New Member

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    Interesting, the US version is called "Man On Fire"
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1861059205/qid=1128453053/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/104-8130599-5106302?v=glance&s=books

    Do you have more details on the up coming movie?

    LW
     
  12. Wurm

    Wurm New Member

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    Exactly correct. That's why when I saw that actually happen live, I couldn't believe LA could stoop to that kind of level. Instant asshole.

    When Marco hammered his ass the next day and then quit, I thought he was totally appropriate.

    One good thing: Marco has his Alpe d'Huez record, and LA is still chewing on that crow. :)
     
  13. MountainPro

    MountainPro New Member

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    Marco just went all out that day to prove a point that he was the best climber bar none. He attacked 40 km into the stage and just kept the hammer down the whole way to the end. This was against his teams wishes and he must have switched his ear-piece off because he was reponding to no one except his own instinct.

    He was probably unable to continue the rest of the tour due to extreme burnout.

    Lance had the perfect opportunity to beat MPs Ale d,Hues record in the 2004 itt. He simply wanst good enough.
     
  14. Wurm

    Wurm New Member

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    Yes, I'm sure Marco was pretty spent after that last stage, because he went hell bent for leather, probably intending it would be his last stage for that Tour. Kicked LA's ass though, and there was nothing phony about it. :)
     
  15. ilpirata

    ilpirata New Member

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    Thankyou for pointing this out Carrera. I am glad to see it come out in the English version. There are some very damaging testimonies against Ceruti (former head of the Italian cycling federation)and others. I must correct you that Marco Pantani was never found positive for epo or any other banned substance. He was taken out of cycling for his refusal to comply with powers. I want to impress on you, that to get to the truth about whether or not there was a conspiracy to bring down Pantani, you can not look to the Italian media for much help. Most of the journalists are told what to say, and only a few have supported Marco Pantani through his dark times. I truly wish someone would go those steps necessary to get at the truth. But one thing for sure is that the mainstream media in Italy had more than a small part in destroying the pirate. In fact to this day they still defame him with every sort of calumny. I will touch on this as consisely as possible.

    After years of saying how Marco had been pumping himself with epo and how even his greatest victories were put into question. The procurator who had persecuted Marco with allegations of sporting fraud had asked for extra information from the autopsy convinced that there would be irrefuteable evidence of doping. However the performing doctor (Dr. Fortuni) gave the following statement in a live interview “After all statements over the years that had been written about Pantani and doping, I had expected to see evidence of bone marrow damage, I was surprised to find that it was integral and completely normal. This means that Pantani could not have used any significant quantity nor for any significant length of time the epo.” When pressed further he says “yes it leaves irreversible signs in the bone marrow”. For two days no major Italian paper prints this story. On day three a modified statement supposedly from Dr. Fortuni ( though without the interview), appears in the big papers: “ that certainly Marco Pantani had not used epo in the last period of his life”.

    The procurator was named Guariniello. He has jurisdiction in Turin. It is he who in recent times has taken a number of testimonies from soccer players of the famous Juventus club. Many have admitted the use of epo, and other elicit performance enhancers, but they were only testifying as witnesses. It is clear that a certain medical assistant will take the fall, and then later on appeal get a reduced sentence. Conversely, in 2000, Pantani is indicted for sporting fraud (for suspected use of epo in 1995) and suffers a disqualification of 6 months. Naturally on appeal, the charges are dropped because in 1995 there was no rule against high hematocrit, and it is was not a crime. But the damage in peace of mind, money, time, and reputation was done.

    This Guariniello had uncovered hospital records (5 years old at the time) of Pantani with high hematocrit following the accident at the 95 Milan- Torino where he had that terrible fall that cost him a season. A race the man was not trying to win (riding in the back of the pack). Doctors for the defence provide that it is not unusual for an athlete returning from altitude racing in Columbia, who is dehydrated and with trauma, bone fractures, contusions, and blood loss to have high hematocrit (Also the measurement accuracy was questionable). Guariniello is able to find other doctors who will testify the way he prefers. Who were these doctors i.e. scientific advisors? Doctors Benzi and Ceci, who were part of CONI's anti-drug commission! Naturally this obvious conflict of interest was part of the defences appeal of the first decision (Pantani found guilty of sporting fraud). At the appeal hearing (where the case was thrown out, see above) Pantani’s lawyer Cecconi makes the following statement "There are also a lot of scientific guidelines on the oscillations of hematocrit. The advisers for the prosecution considered an oscillation beyond 2-3 percent anomalous. In another court case dealing with doping (Bologna), the scientific advisers made reference to scientific studies conducted in the USA in which oscillations of up to 70 percent were explained. There are many controversial aspects and a highly qualified expert could clear them up,"



    And there is of course the testimony of Renato Vallanzasca who writes of how he had been approached in prison by an inmate who had inside information during the time of the 99 Giro. The inmate suggested to him that he should bet any money he had on the rider he best thought could win, because it is a certainty that the “bald one” will not arrive to the Milan finish. You see, that was the first year that betting on the Giro was allowed. Now you may start to think, Hmmm. Yes this is a country famous for it’s sport betting scandals. Remember Paolo Rossi. In 1981 Paolo Rossi, a tremendous young soccer talent had to serve suspension as a result of a semi- uncovered game fixing scandal. Luckily he finished his suspension and went on to lead Italy to a world cup in soccer. No thanks to the betting mafia.

    When there is money to be made, who cares about a sport hero.

    It is now known (but not widespread knowledge of course) that 373 million lire were bet on Pantani to win the overall classification for giro 1999, for a required payout of 605 million lire should he have won. The odds had started at 2/1 but as the bets came in, later dropped to 1.1/1. A total of 480 million lire were bet on the overall classification winner. Only 15 million were bet on Ivan Gotti (the eventual winner). A neat swing of basically a half a million dollars in the favor of the betting mafia!

    What else, the testimony of Marco Velo and Siboni who were ex-teamates of Pantani, who declare that every number of strange phone calls were received by Mercatone team the night before the infamous blood test. Reporters and opposing team riders asking “is it true Marco is not to start tomorrow?”

    According to Roberto Pregnalato the massage therapist for Mercatone Uno team, journalists that were following the giro that year, already knew the results of the blood test that would exclude Pantani from giro 99, half an hour before the blood was even drawn. They had attended a meeting of the organizers the night before.

    In the nationally televised show Porta a Porta, both Velo and Pregnolato were quickly cut off mid- sentence and hustled off stage while the show went to commercial break, yes they had started to recount the events surrounding the June 5th exclusion of Marco Pantani at Giro 1999.

    If it wasn’t a setup why does Marco Pantani pass the team hematocrit test the night of the 4th with a measurement of 48 and then get the same result at Dozza Imolese hospital three hours after getting the infamous out of the norm result of 52 on the 5th.

    Why hasn’t anyone tried to find out why Pantani (without ever having tested positive to any antidoping control) has been so clamorously and insistently investigated, incriminated, and condemned in first degree, by so many tribunals without even a law that claims the suppositions as a crime.

    Why the procurator of Florence, who ordered the blitz of giro 2001 has not been asked why in three years there was not done a DNA test on this siringe found in a room (a room rented by Mercatone Uno but not necessarily Pantani’s room) in a hotel that Pantani had abbandoned a day earlier to see if it was used by Pantani. Instead Marco pays 8 months of disqualification, and the truth is never to be officially known.

    Or to Dr. Ajello (PM of the antidoping comission for CONI) why it was never asked , in one of the numerous spaces dedicated to him in the major papers, how come he resigned from his job, because he was “scandalized by the absolution of Pantani given by CAF”? As it turned out a useless absolution because not recognized by the UCI and yet he did not resign or become scandalized for the soccer players who were actually found positive by the antidoping tests and nothing done?

    What about on the eve of the 2000 Sydney olympics when several Italian athletes were found with high hematocrit and growth hormone traces, but the papers only mention Pantani who was on the high end of normal. And all that suppositional crap about his sick bone marrow from the supposed overuse and dependency on epo.

    Here it is you italian cyclists. If you don’t do what you are told, and you go against the betting mafia, and the money men, you will pay the price in Italy. In fact if you look at the riders who have received suspensions for testing positive to antidoping controls in recent years Frigo, Garzelli, and Simoni you will see that they quietly served their suspensions and re-entered without being bombarded by calumny and tribunals. They understood the lesson of Marco Pantani. (The exclusion of Simoni and Garzelli the two favorites in Giro 2002 was also very suspicious also from a betting angle)



     
  16. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Maybe I'm being a bit naive but are you all sure Lance intended to insult Pantani or was Marco possibly over-reacting?
    I sometimes get the feeling Armstrong can't seem to win no matter what he does. Take the Simeoni affair. Lance chased down Simeoni in the TDF when the latter had tried to open up a break and Simeoni then decided to go to the judiciary to sue Armstrong over his behaviour, over what he apparently said and due to the fact Armstrong had called Simeoni a liar on French TV.
    But from what I gather, most of the peleton was on Armstrong's side. Simeoni had been making allegations in the press with respect to doping but also dragging down cycling in the eyes of the media.
    To my mind, it's very harmful to do what Simeoni had done - simply accuse another cyclist of cheating and doping in public, rather than make the allegations privately.
    I also note that Armstrong didn't ditch David Millar when the latter got caught with dope in his flat over in France. He continued to support Millar and stayed in touch with the brit rider during a difficult period, when I suppose he risked some degree of guilt through association. Usually at the first cry of drugs you tend to be counting your friends in a phone box.
    Personally I don't see Armstrong as being so bad. Maybe he's not what you might call a "nice guy" in the strictest sense of the word but I'd rather have Lance than Bob Geldof these days. If nothing else Armstrong continues to help cancer victims worldwide, has spoken up for cancer victims who were stuck in New Orleans while also critizicing the war in Iraq in private to George Bush.
    The article I read also mentions the fact Marco and Lance made it up towards the end of Marco's career and they were more or less reconciled. And, yes, I agree Marco is a better climber than Armstrong but he's a pure climber, of course.


     
  17. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Have you read the book? I read an extract published in Cycling Pro so I'll probably either buy the book in a shop or order a copy. It's obviously already been around for a while in the Italian version.

     
  18. ilpirata

    ilpirata New Member

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    Yes Carrera,

    I have read the Italian version. It was hard to put down. Feel free to search my other posts, for more discussions on Pantani. I read your discussion of the post Ventoux stage tiff between Armstrong and Pantani, there isn’t a lot there of surprise for me. You have two proud champions who don’t like to lose. I believe Armstrong did not wish to pass Pantani at the finish line, because Pantani was not a threat to his GC position, and naturally he would be subjected to criticism for this. Effectively by being able to hold the wheel of Pantani, he was able to extend his lead on the nearest rivals, and thus he left the stage win rightfully to Pantani. This is commonly done and is considered sporting. In fact in the Giro 1998 did the same favor for Guerini (who is still a very good climber) on one stage. The only thing was that Armstrong began to talk about having let Pantani win. This was somewhat provocative I would say. With Pantani admitting that the overall GC was out of reach but defiantly promising that he is not finished with Mr. Armstrong yet. Of course at Courcheval he put 1.5 minutes of separation between himself and Armstrong. He would attack Armstrong on one more stage that year, from much to far away from the finish, and believe me there was genuine panic and excitement, because when Pantani escapes he is rarely brought back. But it was not to be, he had asked too much of himself, the previous stages had finally caught up perhaps, or he did eat well enough, and he blew up.

    In regard to Simeoni, I believe Armstrong was upset about his testimony against Dr. Ferrari. Everyone of course knew that Dr. Ferrari was now working for Armstrong and the Postals. But Armstrong is in fact the superstar of the peleton. He has defended himself and the name of cycling in general against broad doping allegations. Remember his retaliatory shot at Mr. Pound of the WASA? Thus it is not a surprise that the riders of the peloton will stand with him against a little name rider who spoke out and admitted in testimony that doping exists and flourishes and he received plenty of it from Dr. Ferrari.

    I don’t believe Simeoni is lying.

     
  19. Carrera

    Carrera New Member

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    Armstrong did the same thing with Basso but he misjudged Marco. The difference is that Basso is a very talented, emerging climber while Marco was exceptional. So, Marco felt patronised when Armstrong attempted to show class in sportsmanship.
    But with Basso he got it spot on. Armstrong could have just about beaten Basso at the last stage of themb in the TDF but he made sure Basso won the stage by just a wheel. Later Basso acknowledged he felt sure Armstrong could have probably just clinched the stage but it was still possibly open to debate and Armstrong's actions made Basso look real classy and won Basso a lot of cheers from the crowd.
    So, I thought that was really spot-on sportsmanship shown to Basso by Armstrong because nobody really knew whether Armstrong did lose. It sowed genuine admiration for the high standard of climbing Basso demonstrated, being the only rider to stay with Lance in the final kilometres.
    But as I said, he misjudged Marco, I think, but the intentions didn't seem to be malicious. Marco was saying, "I don't need to be graced on a climbing stage, thanks very much! I'm good enough to beat you on the climbs regardless!"
    So, Armstrong probably felt like he had been given a good punch in the guts.
    I agree with you they both had a lot of ego and it was all about tension on the day.
    But I think Armstrong should have kept his mouth closed over Ullrich's decision to wait for him when he was brought down by a spectator. The fact is, Ullrich waited.


     
  20. Wurm

    Wurm New Member

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    Oh, I see. What LA did to MP was an "attempt to show class in sportsmanship"?! Pul-LEEZE. :rolleyes:
     
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