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Intimate biography of the charismatic Tour de France winner and the world that caused his downfall At 9:30 pm on 14 February 2004, former Tour de France winner Marco Pantani was found dead in Rimini. It emerged that he had been addicted to cocaine since Autumn 1999, weeks after being expelled from the Tour of Italy for blood doping. Conspiracy theories abounded - that he was injected in his sleep by a business rival, that the Olympic Committee had framed him, that Italian Industrialists had engineered his downfall, etc etc. If ne of these is entirely true and ne of them fully explains Pantani's personal tragedy, ne of them is foundationless. This book debunks the myths and makes surprising revelations. About Pantani's personal tragedy, but also about the world of cycling. Matt Rendell had access t only to court transcripts but to many of Pantani's friends and the doctors who treated him. But Pantani's life is about much more than drug addiction. Lance Armstrong described him as 'more of an artist than an athlete - an extravagant figure ...' Despite being plagued with injuries he won both the Giro and the Tour in 1998, something very few cyclists even attempt. He was an inspirational icon, and the remarkable wins against all odds make gripping reading.
MATT RENDELL survived Hodgkin's Disease and lecturing at British and Latvian universities before entering TV and print journalism. His first book Kings of the Mountains: How Colombia's Cycling Heroes Changed their Nation's History (Aurum Press 2002) was described in The Times as 'meticulous, elegant and sensitive.' His Channel 4 documentary about sport in Colombia and Ecuador, also called Kings of the Mountains, was described in The Observer as 'a gem, telling us more about the essence of sport in under an hour than a season's worth of Premiership matches.' He has written for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, including British coverage of the Tour de France, and he edited The Tour de France Centennial 1903-2003 (Weidenfeld and Nicolson 2003). The National Sporting Club named Matt Rendell 'Best New Sports Writer 2003'.
Winner of British Sports Book Awards: Biography 2007.
Orion Publishing Co
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Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )