Tonina and Paolo Pantani, parents of Marco Pantani, who died in 2004, had the hope of opening a cycling school for children and now the first Marco Pantani camp has taken place.
Paolo said that "I always liked the 'ciclismo giovanile' (youth cycling), even before my son started. Today, to lend a hand or be part of a school to teach the first steps in this sport, symbolizes me."
The mother of the former Tour de France winner added that "the spirit of the school, with its diversions and playing [attitude] symbolizes the aspect of this experience, which really enriched me. Those kids entered in me. Now that they returned home I am strongly feeling their absence."
The camp was attended by 60 kids aged six to twelve. The bambini were from four different regions in Italy and the camp was held in Cesenatico, Pantani's hometown on the Adriatic coast. Technical instructions including positioning and how to ride in a group were part of the camp as well as basics in nutrition and training techniques.
Roberto Conti, former teammate of Pantani, visited the camp on Saturday.
The big finale was the "Gimkana Sprint" in the centre of town, in which all sixty kids from the camp, plus another dozen local boys participated.
Photos from the event are in the picture gallery.