Former Rivals to attend the Gran Fondo Marco Pantani
Armstrong, Basso, Cipollini, Tonkov, Indurian, Ullrich, Cassini, Marinelli to attend. Three challenging routes designed by Allessandro Vanoti include the climb of Montevecchio and the Marco Pantani monument
Cesenatico celebrates its most famous son in a weekend of celebrations culminating in the Gran Fondo Marco Pantani on September 2nd 2018.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of Marco Pantani winning the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France double. The last man to achieve such a feat. Standing on the podium on the Champs–Elysees it was another former Italian giant of the cycling world, Felice Gimondi, who had himself won the Giro d’Italia – Tour de France in 1965, that presented Marco with the yellow jersey. With the world watching, it was an iconic moment that proved to be the pinnacle of Marco Pantani’s career.
Those attending the event can look forward to a weekend full of highlights that include a gala dinner attended by stars of the cycling world (Friday) along with a celebratory event in the centre of Cesenatico on Saturday evening. Ivan Basso (two times winner of the Giro d’Italia) will be one of the many stars attending (of which more will be announced in the coming months).
Alberto Contador, Jan Ullrich, Pavel Tonkov and Miguel Indurain have been invited to take part in a 'Champions Ride' on the day before the Gran Fondo, with the organisers also hoping Bradley Wiggins will ride.
Armstrong and Pantani often clashed in races and via the media but, Pantani's mother is now keen to meet Armstrong, with the Gran Fondo suggested as the right place for reconciliation.
The anniversary of this achievement is the perfect moment for Cesenatico to remember Marco’s life. This year’s Gran Fondo is much anticipated by both lovers of cycling and Italy. A collaboration with Marco Casadio Strozzi and Vanotti Cycle Camp has resulted in a new approach to attracting both Italian and International riders. Italy Bike Tours in association with Gran Fondo Guide will specifically be working to promote the event internationally.
Allessandro Vanoti needs little introduction, and having completed 19 Grand Tours he is considered to be one of the best domestics of his generation, helping Vincenzo Nibali and Fabian Aru to Grand Tour victories. His experience and knowledge of the pro-peleton has proved invaluable in creating this superb weekend.
"The first idea was to change the ride a little and add other events to include the local area. We hope to have 2000 entries, both Italians and from the rest of the world because Pantani is still a legendary figure for many people," Vanotti said.
The first notable difference from this year’s edition is the logo, which recognises Pantani’s iconic bandana and earring. The logo also reflects the colours which are synonamous with the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France – yellow and pink. The pirate logo of course paying homage to Pantani’s nickname the ‘Pirata’
The Pantani theme is also evident in the three courses designed to offer both challenge and fun. This is a weekend to celebrate Marco’s life, and therefore Allesandro Vanotti has thoroughly researched the routes that Marco used when training, and riders can look forward to riding Montevecchio and also passing the Marco Pantani monument.
The weekend of events will begin on Friday, August 31 with a dinner to raise funds for the Cycling For Armenia charity that helps a hospital in the country. There will be a 'Pedalata con i Campioni' ride on Saturday, September 1 with the big-name former professionals and then the Gran Fondo itself on Sunday, September 2.
The Gran Fondo includes three distances of 73km, 107km and 145km, each visiting hills inland from Cesenatico and the Pantani memorial on the Cippo di Carpegna climb, where il Pirata often trained.
If you interested in taking part in the Gran Fondo Marco Pantani, you can contact Italy Bike Tours for more information.
You can discover more details about the programme of events and also learn how the Armenia Cycle Federation will benefit from the proceeds of the dinner with the stars held on the Friday night.
Up to date information on the Gran Fondo Marco Pantani will be available shortly, please visit gfmarcopantani.it