"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - Pantani... What?
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05-05-01, 05:07 PM
This is an extract of an article that recently appeared at cyclingnews.com:
Meanwhile, Marco Pantani has called on fellow riders to boycott the Tour this year because his team, Mercatone Uno, was left out of the Tour. Apparently, the Pirate plans to call up both Lance Armstrong and Hein Verbruggen, president of the UCI, to support his protest.
In an interview published this morning in the French sporting daily L'Equipe, Pantani said ``Some of the champions could very well demand that I, and others with me, be at the start of the Tour, otherwise they won't ride. The Tour could find itself with just five or six French teams, maybe with no foreign riders.''
What hope do ya' reckon he's got?
Hey, they don't call it the Tour de France for nothing....
05-05-01, 11:19 PM
Pantani is apparently not up to prime condition due to the distractions of his personal problems. The Societe does not consider Mercatone Uno a viable Tour contender without him it top shape.
05-06-01, 02:42 PM
It will be disappointing not to be able to see the Pirate in the Tour. It will be interesting to see how he does in the Giro. That should show just what kind of shape he is in. He may come out determined to show the Tour officials what a mistake they made. I mean they make the decision sound logical, but one has to wonder if it would have been the same if the team was based in France.
05-06-01, 04:44 PM
Of course, as a hill-climbing madman myself, I would like to see Pantani in the tour, but the truth is, he hasn't finished a race since the 2000 Giro (i.e. over a year), and then he hardly set the world in fire. I really don't think he has anything to complain about.
05-07-01, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Ba-Dg-Er
Not true... in fact he just finished 29th in the Giro del Trentino.
OK, point taken, but if finishing 29th there was the best he could manage in over a year...
I just don't think he or his team have done enough to deserve inclusion, that is all.
05-08-01, 03:04 AM
Garzelli Might be dissapointed he's not going to be there. He might have proved a point or two.
05-08-01, 09:05 PM
Not having Pantani in the Tour eliminates a dimension that I was really looking forward to this year. Ullrich will be out for blood this year (count on it), Armstrong's making noises like he has it in the bag. Armstrong will probably be better than Ullrich in the mtns, and no slouch in TTs. But if Ullrich and Telekom have their act together, I think Ullrich is stronger, and Postal will be a little weak in the support department. It's a cryin' shame a world class climber with podium potential (tm), from a different team, won't be part of the mix.
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