He was more of an artist than an athlete – an extravagant figure, a Salvador Dalì
Posted this caricature of Pantani by Jorge Mora last night. Sal Ruibal replied with a blog post about Il pirata’s suicide note. Sal posted it under his Nick Verstain alias and it was published in Dirt Rag in 07. I got teary reading it.
You will read this after, so I want you to know I was happiest on the bike. For all of my memory I felt the most at home With my feet on the pedals and the world moving around me. The perfume of grease, mentholated embrocation and the heat in my legs.
Matt Rendell wrote about the life and death of Elephantino for the Guardian in 04.
Everyone longs for freedom to behave in the way they see fit. I’m a non-conformist, and some feel inspired by the way I express freedom of thought. I’ve never been meticulous or calculating, on or off the bike. I ride instinctively, responding to the moment. There’s chaos in everyday life, and I tune into that chaos.’
The sport hasn’t seen a character like Pantani since. It needs one.