Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Pantani's 1998 Bianchi
A friend of Marco Pantani has decided to auction for charity the Bianchi that Marco Pantani won the Grenoble-Les Deux Alpes stage of July 27, 1998. That victory earned Pantani his first yellow jersey. Much of the proceeds from the auction (the base price will be set at 250,000 euro) will go to charity. The auction will take place on January 13, 2011, the date of Pantan's birthday.
The owner of the bike, Franco Corsini, explained, "I was in Forli with him and other friends. Before returning home he took me aside and told me point-blank: 'Go and see in the trunk of my car, there's something for you'. I could not even take it out of the trunk so great was my excitement. On that day, Marco told me that with that Bianchi he had won the mythical stage of Les Deux Alpes Tour of '98, the '99 Vuelta Murcia and used it during the '99 Milan-San Remo."
A few months ago Corsini requested and was granted a certificate of authenticity from Bianchi. Corsini will still have one other of Pantani's bikes. "It's the Wilier Triestina of another memorable victory, that of July 17, 1997 Alpe d'Huez," he said.
As for myself I have one piece of Pantani memorablia. It's a photo card of him that he signed one week before his tragic death.
Update November 4, 2010: the Pantani family has categorically denied that it may be the bicycle that has been raced on the famous Tour stage from Grenoble to Les Deux Alpes, now legendary, let alone the Milan-Sanremo the following year.
Photo: the Bianchi to be auctioned
Tribute video to Pantani:
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