On February 15th 2004 my friend Drew and I rolled out on a solemn bike ride. We were sporting black armbands, strips of cotton cut from an old t-shirt — a shabby yet honest tribute. Our conversation came in fits and starts, interspersed by long moments of silent gloom. We were in shock, saddened and more than a little angry: the man of our shared sporting inspiration had died the previous day of a cocaine overdose.
|pic from cycling-passion.com|
The late Marco Pantani was a cyclist I greatly admired, a climber whose exploits further fuelled my admiration of the cycling climber and stoked my ambition to go to Europe and try the mountains for myself. He was also the cycling inspiration of Drew, my companion during the travels that make up my book, The Breakaway – Cycling the Mountains of the Tour de France. Without Marco I might never have ridden Alpe d’Huez, the Stelvio, Mont Ventoux, et al. Continue reading “Remembering Marco”