The first was for the Tour de France, where Pantani attacked with Lance Armstrong on Mont Ventoux and where he also won the stage in Courchevel, before finally abandoning the race with stomach problems. It’s black and heavenly but also has touches of pink to match the Mercatone Uno pink colors which replaced the usual yellow to avoid clashing with the race leader’s yellow jersey.
Armstrong always claimed he was much stronger in the ascent of Mont Ventoux and offered the stage for Pantani, but that only made their already strained relationship worse.
“Much of this hostility is due to what happened on the Ventoux in 2000,” Armstrong told Cyclingnews in 2014 on the 10th anniversary of Pantani’s death.
“I’m not here to glorify anything, everyone knows what happened that day, but we were leading the race and the trading. I told him, in my crappy Italian, ‘you can have the victory’. He thought I was saying “we have to go faster”. My Italian was so bad though, I could have said anything but we were going pretty fast trust me. What happened that day didn’t help matters, and from there things are never the same again.
The second bike was made for the Sydney Olympics for the summer of 2000 when the name Pantani secured him a place in the Italian team of five riders for the road race alongside Michele Bartoli, Paolo Bettini, Dailo di Luca and Francesco Casagrande.
Jan Ullrich won the gold medal with then Telekom teammates Alexandre Vinokourov and Andres Kloden completing the podium. It is also estimated that the second bike will sell for between € 25,000 and € 30,000.
Other items include a yellow 1998 Tour de France jersey and two pink Giro d’Italia jerseys signed by Pantani.
Pantani died on February 14, 2004, after being barricaded in a hotel room in Rimini under the effects of cocaine and antidepressants.
The winner of the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France 1998 suffered greatly from drug addiction and mental health problems following his disqualification from the Giro d’Italia 1999 due to a high blood hematocrit.
Pantani’s mother has always stood up for her son’s honor while admitting that he may have used blood-boosting EPO during his career. Tonina hired top Italian lawyer Antonio De Rensis to investigate all the circumstances of Pantani’s death and managed to spark a new investigation in 2014, fueled by reports in Italian media that played on the chords of the enduring popularity of Pantani among the tifosi.
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