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  Marco Pantani    

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Marco Pantani was born in Cesena, Italy on January 13, 1970. He died on February 14, 2004.

The Italian rider was a supremely talented climber who was able to unleash vicious attacks on the steepest climbs that few riders could match.

Although a pre-eminent climber, Pantani chose to compete for overall glory in the Grand Tours and not specialize on the mountains jersey competitions.

Pantaniís record in the Grand Tours includes a rare double victory in the 1998 Tour de France and Giro díItalia.

Pantani won the Giro d'Italia in 1998 over Pavel Tonkov of Russia and Giuseppe Guerini of Italy.

Pantani won the Tour de France in 1998 in front of Jan Ullrich of Germany and Bobby Julich of the USA.

In addition, Pantani was third in the Tour de France 1994 behind Miguel Indurain of Spain and Piotr Ugromov of Latvia.

Pantani was also third in the 1997 Tour de France behind Jan Ullrich of Germany and Richard Virenque of France.

In addition to his victory in the Giro d'Italia in 1999, Pantani was second in 1994 behind Evgeni Berzin of Russia and won the Mountains Jersey in 1998.

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Pantani was 3rd in the 1995 World Championship Road Race behind winner Abraham Olano and 2nd place Miguel Indurain, both of Spain.

Pantaniís achievements might have been even greater had he not suffered a badly broken leg in the in October, 1995 when he was hit by a car in the Milan-Turin race.

It took 18 months of rehabilitation to repair the broken leg.

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