Marco Pantani was born January 13th, 1970, at 11.45am, in Bufalini Hospital of Cesena. At birth his weight was 3.75 kg.
In the house in Via Saffi in Cesenatico, property of his grandparents Sotero and Delia (where Pantani’s family stayed until 1978), waiting Tonina mother and the little baby, there were his father Paolo, his sister Manola (15 months years old) and of course the grandparents. Marco spent his childhood in the name of curiosity. He wanted to know, dreamed, and had already clear his passions. He learned to dip his brightness in a wide variety of interests, often as an alternative to school, where he didn’t excell, because he didn’t dedicated it the best of himself. Fishing, because of his grandfather Sotero and hunting, because his father Paolo was crazy about it, were an important part of Marco’s world. He also played soccer, but soon he understood that this wasn’t the sport suitable for him.
One day, observing the boys of G.C. Fausto Coppi of Cesenatico, who met for training in the square near the apartment that the family Pantani had bought in Via dei Mille, Marco thought that he could use cycle for sport, while until that moment it had been only a play. For the first time, he joined to those kids using the bike for women, old and heavy, that Tonina used to go work. In spite of the cycle he had and the fact that he wasn’t accustomed to it, Marco had good results: he wasn’t detached, and during climbs he was often first. He was 11 years old.
In this way his relationship with cycling started, and April 22th, 1984, with victory in solitude in Case Castagnoli of Cesena, his legend began. Over the years, this immediate and amazing ability to climb became more pronounced, and his successes most prestigious. Categories passed, opponents became increasingly competitive, but the superiority of Marco on climbs increased
Among professional, his talent involved the entire collective imagination. His sprints, his being only in mountain made of him an Italian and international monument, entire nations rediscovered cycling thanks to him and the televisive audience exploded. Meanwhile, he was able to overcome a lot of serious injuries enough to discourage anyone and all that increased his enormous popularity. The victories in Tour of Italy and Tour de France in 1998, made of him a legend.
His being a sensitive and sincere man with a better vision than his colleagues on sport and its problems, made of Marco a reference, but also created the envy of the sector.In an adverse climate and with a control that still leaves open serious questions about its validity, on the morning of June 5th, 1999, in Madonna di Campiglio, two stages by the end of Tour of Italy, that Marco was dominating, he was found with a rate of hematocrit above 50%, which meant a stop of 15 days to protect her health and his farewell to the race.
For Pantani, that was the beginning of a long odyssey of tortures. A lot of that media that before had acclaimed him, now accused him. Only a few days later, the Judiciary began to investigate him. This opens the door courts for Marco, even in the absence of actual conditions of law. When he tried to get up, another Court began to investigate: at the end these Court were seven!
Knowing to be victim of higher wills, he let himself in to despair, and met coke. At that time, despite the difficulties, the disappointments and that alteration caused by drug, he focused himself on other aspects of his being an artist: painting at first. His paintings took on the traits of a further message. As his last letters that, despite the halting Italian, had the same poetry he had in bicycle. Marco Pantani, the boy who came from the sea to impress passions, who could sing and paint, who hid a lot of charity, because he didn’t want publicizing it to transform it in a business, died February 14th, 2004 in a residence in Rimini, even here, through an epilogue still full of secrets.