Marco Pantani 1970-2004
The funeral for Marco Pantani was held today, Wednesday 18 February, in his hometown of Cesenatico,
Italy. Tens of thousands of people came to pay their last respects - colleagues,
dignitaries, fans, friends. Addio, Marco.
Pantani photo by cyclingpictures.de, Cesenatico
photos courtesy Agenzia Fotografica GLOBUS Cesenatico and the Comune di Cesenatico.
Our other articles this week regarding Marco Pantani:
Daily Peloton Reader Tributes to
Looking Back in
Sorrow: Tick's Blick
Ciao Marco by Anita van Crey
Addio, Marco by Charlie Melk
Great Climber Pantani by Nick Bull
Tuesday, 17 February, corrected edition: Tomorrow's funeral service in Cesenatico at the San Giacomo Apostolo church will be private, for family and friends only, but a tv monitor will be placed outside the church for mourners to follow the service.
Investigators have formed a somewhat criminal hypothesis to explain the cerebral swelling that caused his death. They postulate that ingestion of cocaine, combined with the use of prescription tranquilizers and anti-depressants, could have caused the fatal condition. The toxicological testing is not yet complete.
Police are now attempting to determine who might have had recent contacts with Pantani, based on the presence of a white powder suspected to be cocaine found in his room, and the fact that Pantani made a substantial monetary withdrawal recently (20,000 Euros); the money has not been found.
Monday, 16 February: The autopsy of Marco Pantani's body has
determined that the cause of death was pulmonary and cerebral edema. Trauma and
violence have been completely ruled out as causes.
Further test results are required to determine what caused the cerebral
Prescription minor tranquilizers and anti-depressants were found in Pantani's
room. Further toxicological screening will determine whether he had elevated
medicinal values in his system. These results will be known in the coming days.
At present the examining physician says he can neither include nor rule out
the possibility whether any chemical levels contributed to the fatal edema until
the full analysis is completed.
Marco Pantani's funeral will be held Wednesday at the Church di San Giacomo
in Pantani's home town of Cesenatico. Wednesday has
been declared a day of mourning in the city.
Readers may wish to visit the Marco Pantani
fan site to post their condolences, or the official Pantani site which today has a chat and a forum available.
We are deeply saddened, and very much regret to report that Il Pirata, Marco Pantani, was found dead in a Rimini hotel Saturday evening, 14 February 2004.
Saturday, 14 February: The body of Marco Pantani was found Saturday evening in his residence hotel
on the waterfront of Rimini, Italy. The doorman became concerned after not
seeing him in the evening for the dinner meal, and around 9:30 in the evening
the management began knocking on his door. Receiving no response, they gained
entry to his room, where he was found.
A physician and the police were immediately called. The police were
conducting a search of his room and stated they would have more information when
that was completed. There are various reports that low dosage medicines were
found there, but no drugs or alcohol.
His sister arrived at the hotel later in the evening, and at approximately
1:30 am his remains were removed to the morgue at the Rimini Hospital. The
crowds who had assembled on the street, clogging traffic in some places,
applauded for Il Pirata as he passed. (Italian news sources - Gazzetta, ANSI,
Marco Pantani was born in Cesenatico, Italy, on January 13, 1970. He turned pro in
"That's the way the cars go, Marco." --Phil Liggett, 1995 Alpe d'Huez
Giuseppe Martinelli: "For those who loved him there is only one word:
tragedy. He was a phenomenon, and this cannot be denied. He was the number one
of cycling, he became the symbol of evil. Certainly some didn't love him. And
others have wanted too much. Make no mistake. He was a giant."
Manolo Saiz: "He has been the best climber that I have known. He was a
valiant rider and we have to remember moments like when he attacked Induráin."
Vincente Belda: "We have lost two champions..." (speaking also of Jose Maria
Mario Cipollini: "I am upset. It is a tragedy of enormous proportions for the
whole bicycling world, it leaves an immense void. I am incredulous. All of the
riders (at the Tour Med) are shocked by this event."
Stefano Garzelli: "I do not have words, I am upset. This is difficult
Fernando Escartín: "I am very upset and what comes to mind is Chava... [to
leave cycling] is a very abrupt change and it is necessary to have one's head
very well seated, it is necessary to be mentally strong because it is a very
abrupt change of life to be mainly without the public that cheers one up.
Cycling is very hard and you spend much time away from home, very alone and when
you retire, your life changes an important way."
Franco Ballerini: "It is a such a huge thing that doesn't seem true to me.
I don't have words, it is impossible to find words."
Felice Gimondi: "Marco has paid much too dear a price. For years he has been
in the eye of the cyclone after having been number one in the world."
Mario Scirea, Fassa Bortolo, from the Tour Med: "We are all upset. This is a
deadly blow - news that I would never have expected."
Memories. Photo by Fabio
Il Pirata and Company.
Tears from heaven on the peloton.