By Gregor Brown
Former champion and teammate of Marco Pantani, Claudio Chiappucci, has his own memories of Marco Pantani that were not altered by Il Pirata-Marco Pantani, the film which recently debuted on Italian Television. El Diablo spent the end of his career on the same team as the little climber and has fond memories. (Read others' reactions to the film.)
"I want to remember him like a cyclist, it does not interest me how they had shown him in television," he explained to Blogosfere Sport e motor. "We rode a lot of years together on the same team, often sharing the same room. The differences with us were the fault of other persons, and the press would often pit us against each other. The journalists like to create a duel between two cyclists like us. Anyway, I have my own memories of Marco. I remember beautiful things, and carry in my heart the truth."
The end of the film Il Pirata-Marco Pantani focused on the dark, later years of Il Romagnolo's life. Chiappucci remembers how Pantani was often alone in those years leading up to his death. "He was an impressive racer; he came away with incredible results even with the bad accidents that were his main protagonists.
"He was strong, but the true downfall of Marco is that he never had real friends. He remained isolated. He did not have near him the right people to help him escape his problems. Then after he died everyone cried how someone should have done something. After his death all the books came out on his life, now this film. It is sad to say, but the death of Marco created work and money for many."