Sunday, January 14, 2024

Marco Pantani

 Marco Pantani

"Il Pirata" would have been 54 years old yesterday. He and Fausto Coppi are probably the most revered cyclists in Italy.

Why? An early death under tragic circumstances explains part of it but Zio likes to think it's a lot more than this and their racing records.

Both men overcame injuries and other obstacles to win and win again - something that can't be explained away as a product of doping.

Both men endured scandals, but overcame those too and both were revered by former teammates for their generosity.

Books in English about them are more rare than they should be. Matt Rendell's "The Death of Marco Pantani" is still available as is Manuela Ronchi's "Man on the Run: The Life and Death of Marco Pantani. Zio thinks both should be read to get a balanced take on The Pirate.

William Fotheringham's "Fallen Angel: The Passion of Fausto Coppi" does a pretty good job of describing Il Campionissimo. Sadly, most of the other books about Coppi Zio likes are no longer in print, his favorite being Herbie Sykes' "Coppi: Inside the Legend of the Campionissimo".

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