Number 6.

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A very young Marco Pantani in 1989. He would have been all of 19 years old when this was filmed. All class. He simple blows it to pieces. I love the bikes from that era: steel & sleek. Awesome. And, I should note, Marco had a full head of hair back then too.

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Credit to Lorenzo FiuzziAdd via Facebook for the find.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

29 Replies to “Number 6.”

  1. That’s one of the coolest things I’ve seen on here in awhile. Thanks for sharing Johnny. I hear ya loud and clear on those steel bikes, too.

  2. so… pantani -a pro who was so flush with drug use, both performance and recreational, that he actually fucking DIED from it- he is all class?! seriously? and spare me his ‘clean’ autopsy results. if you believe this guy was clean and classy and somehow manages to ride as he did, all the while whooping the shit out of other dudes who’re stoked to the gills on whatever the fuck the drug du jour was that year, then you are obviously not thinking clearly.

  3. Yeah – not for nothing, but as awesome as il Pirata was in his day, the dude was not unknown to drug use (if we go by our modern standard of guilt/innocence in these manners). I loved – LOVED – watching Pantani put the hammer down, but even I can’t deny what lead to his end. Even when he buried Ulrich and local champ Julish in ’98. But even I’ve had to face it, Il Pirata, our boy VDB: we lionize these guys, and skip over the fact that yeah, they where clearly as dirty as the worst of their colleagues. If we’re going to paint characters with broad brushes, lets not forget their ‘shortcomings’ as well as their strengths.

  4. trudat… unless said drugs are used to cheat. cheating is not classy… cheating is classless. i’m surprised this point is lost on you considering your history of lambasting the users -proven or unproven- in the peloton.

    the bikes though. classy… except the ones with the water in the tubing to pass the weigh-in. those bikes are cheaters, i hate them.

  5. that is some rad shit!
    to dope or not…whatever
    doping cant help the schleck bros or rasmussen down a hill or thru a time trial to save there lives
    skill counts

  6. …ever seen fotos of our boy when he broke his leg in two places by going headfirst into a car during milano-torino in october of 1995 ???…

    …i remember seeing him in a ‘blow-up’ air cast & that was some seriously ugly nasty shit…just the fact that he came back from that & two & a half years later won both il giro & le tour in ’98 is a testament to his fortitude…

    …after his death, miguel indurain paid tribute by saying “There may be riders who have achieved more than him, but they never succeeded in drawing in the fans like he did.”

  7. clean living in an albanian salt mine,


    dope, glory, chicks, self-loathing, death in a hotel room.

    people, really, are disposable. victory is forever.

    fuck you, sports. you really fuck me up inside.

  8. You mean steel, sleek, and brutally over geared. My knees hurt just thinking about those days.

    As for the dope, there were plenty of riders juiced up harder than Il Pirata that weren’t nearly as much fun to watch. I’ll leave it at that.

  9. How many CC’s of amphetamines do you have to take before the rock goes high enough up the slide to bang the bell at the top that dings “CLASS”?

    I’m guessing 40.

  10. The Pirate, and a few others were the catalysts that drew me towards road biking so many years ago. And so many years later to climb past the memorial to him on a stiff bit of hill in Lombardia as part of my own bucket list.

    Cycling is a sport of extremes and Pantani epitomized that and brought in fans like few before or since.
    Thats classy.

    “Ballero vive Pirata For Ever”

    That was painted on the Mortirolo for the Giro this summer. His name is *still* painted on the tarmac for the Giro (as is Coppi’s). I think that speaks to the place he earned in the collective cycling consciousness.

  11. Awesome video, no lame commentating, just intermittent mumblings of an unrecognizable foreign voice and a bike race (or ass whoopin) in action… I’ll take that over Versus coverage any day.

  12. Let us speak of love and not of blame. I could give a shit that he doped.
    When Marco Pantani died, I was in the middle of a backpacking urban adventure through the bowels of Mexico. I was in the massive airport of Mexico City, in a tram, moving from one terminal to another. A newspaper lay in a seat beside me with a front page featuring a picture of Marco and the heading:
    Murio Marco Pantani.
    I started weeping openly in that packed tram car, and the tears are coming back as I shakily write this.

  13. And I’ve made a conscious, educated decision to get down tube shifters back on my sleek 1989 road bike as soon as reasonably possible.

  14. this is mind blowing !!!…he’s riding on a flat back tyre into the finish to win a gold medal !!!

    …can you imagine the sheer force running through olano’s mind in that final 500 meters ???…

    …absolute focus, absolute drive, absolute determination, the team manager frantically urging him on, the fans screaming their excitement, willing him to the line…


  15. …it’s one hell of a sport, isn’t it gianni…

    …i watch action like that & i can’t sit still…i’m literally rocking back & forth like an idiot urging riders on but it comes from the heart, so i’m down w/ it…

    …we all hate the bullshit & that’s certainly been voiced here over & over but there have been so many absolutely stunning things to appreciate in cycling throughout the years that we’re all still here diggin’ it…

  16. Once more a great post !

    That would be a good thing this book should be translated one day:

    On February 14, 2004, Marco Pantani was found dead of an overdose at the Residence Le Rose in Rimini. His room was devastated. Newspapers make the portrait of a depressed, addicted and depraved former champion. The judge immediately excludes homicide. The investigation is complete in less than two months. Too fast? Was it really only at the time of his death? And if everything had established June 5, 1999 in Madonna di Campiglio, when he had been banned from the Tour of Italy after a doping control? In an attempt to solve the mystery of his death, the author conducts an obsessive and meticulous investigation. He is recovering the very last footsteps of Pantani. In Rimini. In the office of judge in Cesenatico. In his hometown, a seaside resort on the Adriatic coast, the Riviera dello sballo “theater of all vices”, but also to those who knew him, his parents, relatives, friends since childhood, without ever betraying the subject of quest: Marco Pantani himself. The “case” Pantani is not only the story of a man in decline. It is a plunge into the murky waters of doping. A true story about cycling controversial years Armstrong.

  17. LJ brings quickly and clearly to mind a slightly ironic story of my own— I still remember exactly where I was (and that I was alone) when I learned that Ayrton Senna, the greatest race car driver ever, period, had died in a 1994 Williams F1 car, leading from the pole at Imola. Ayrton lives in our hearts forever— you still see lots of banners with his name at every F1 race.