Team Mercatone Uno 1999 race jersey issued to Marco Pantani. Original Asics, size XL.
This jersey was donated to the BOF Association by Matteo Baldissarri who, in turn, received it from a member of Team Mercatone Uno 1999, former teammate of Pantani.
Marco Pantani, legend of cycling and considered by many to be the best ever, was born in 1970 in Cesena.
Between 1992 and 2003, "The Pirate" racked up 46 victories with the best results in stage races, winning the bronze medal at the 1995 and 1998 world championships, Giro d'Italia and Tour de France, the last cyclist to have won the Giro-Tour combination in the same season.
He made his professional debut in 1992 with Carrera Tassoni. The first victory came in 1994, at the Giro d'Italia, in the Merano stage. The same year Pantani also won the Aprica stage, and he began to establish himself.
In 1995, two stages in the Tour de France pushed him into the public and media spotlight. The "Pirate" icon was born with Pantani competing in a colored bandana. In the same year he won bronze at the Duitama World Championships in Colombia. Unfortunately, a terrible accident at the Milan - Turin forced him to miss an entire season, but he returned to racing in 1997 with Mercatone Uno.
Another fall in the Giro meant he had to miss some races, returning for the Tour de France where he won the stages of Alpe D’Huez and Morzine.
1998 was his golden year, winning both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.
In 1999, after being excluded from the Giro for drug use, Pantani returned to racing, only occasionally reaching the heights his fans had become accustomed to.