Happy birthday to Marco Pantani who was born on this date in 1970, and died on February 14, 2004.
Nicknamed "il Pirata" (The Pirate), the Italian rider experienced a meteoric rise in fame after winning both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in 1998. Sadly, Pantani’s career took a downward spiral after being expelled from the 1999 Giro for testing positive for the banned substance EPO. And, while he later returned to the sport, Pantani never reached his previous level of performance.
Periods of rejection and dejection soon followed, and the iconic rider was found dead one morning from an apparent drug overdose. R.I.P. Marco !
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