Although the Apennines may not be as famous as the Alps to the north that’s not to say they are any less of a challenge, often deserted their steep and irregular pitches are a playground of pleasure and pain. The problems of the sport may have been well documented but despite what we know today as a kid growing up watching the Tour and Giro I couldn’t help but be inspired by Marco Pantani, his unique style grinding out a big gear, hands on the drops, bandana covering his shaved head. It was these moments in the mountains that I watched way back then that stuck with me, made an impression and ultimately led me to want to explore these mythical places for myself.
As a former professional rider and close friend of Marco’s I was fortunate enough to be joined by Davide Cassani, now the coach of the Italian national team, to learn more about Marco’s life and to experience the climb that he made famous the world over, in his own unorthodox style, as he tested himself time and time again to know if he’d be ready to conquer the Grand Tours on the short but challenging slopes of the Carpegna!
Special thanks to Tonina Pantani, Marco’s mother, for her help and support.
Ride safe and enjoy!
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