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WeLikeBike celebrates the MercatoneUno’s team

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WeLikeBike in San Daniele del Friuli (UD) recalled the triumphal ride of Marco Pantani and the Mercatone Uno in 1998.

In 2020, 50 years have passed since the birth of Marco Pantani and 22 since his unforgettable triumphal pairing Giro – Tour.
To remember all this, on the day off between the 15th and 16th stages of the Giro d’Italia, in San Daniele del Friuli, on October 19th, a small reunion took place that wanted to highlight what that species was of cycling battleship that bore the name of Mercatone Uno.
In San Daniele there were Roberto Conti, one of the most trusted followers of the Pirate, and then Fabiano Fontanelli, with the memory of his stage won in Asiago, during the Giro ’98, Dimitri Konishev who accompanied Pantani both to the Giro and to the Tour of that year, Stefano Garzelli, now an appreciated Rai commentator – and, two years after the historic 1998 one, in turn winner at the Giro 2000 – Fausto Pezzi, the son of the unforgettable patron Luciano, Veraldo Valdr√®, masseur of the Romagna champion and again , via skype due to the Covid emergency, Marco Velo intervened, now in the RCS organization and another appreciated wingman of Marco and Giuseppe Martinelli, now DS Astana, who at that time was running the Mercatone Uno of Pantani.
An hour and more of stories and testimonies, with the protagonists of the evening all united in remembering how much that formation was one with its captain, with many anecdotes about the champion, as taciturn as resolute when necessary, on his historical enterprises , from Piancavallo to Montecampione, to the gamble of the Tour, faced almost without ambitions and then transformed into a triumphal ride, for a winning double that has never been repeated after the now distant 1998.
All this took place in the frame of the exhibition dedicated by the We Like Bike Consortium to Mercatone Uno in 1998, with the many bicycles, t-shirts, memories and newspaper headlines collected by Mario Cionfoli from Vicenza, a great fan of cycling, of that team and of that timeless champion.
A limited repatriation but not defeated by the pandemic, which allowed visitors and those present to relive an unforgettable moment of sport and socializing: in 1998 television audiences recorded between 4 and 5 million with a share of around 50 percent … and almost six million bicycles sold in that year (in practice, one for every ten inhabitants).

WeLikeBike celebrates the MercatoneUno’s team

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