Pantani’s last Wilier

The bronze sculpture placed in Piazza Marconi in Cesenatico depicts Marco Pantani in action on a Wilier Triestina.
After accompanying Marco Pantani in his triumphal climbs of the Alpe d’Huez and Morzine in the Tour de France of 1997, Wilier Triestina would stay close to the late champion from Romagna also on the pedestal of a monument.
The Gastaldello family financed the bronze sculpture portraying Pantani in action, placed in the middle of Piazza Marconi in Cesenatico in Saturday, 28 May 2005. The cast is signed by the judo medallist Emanuela Pierantozzi, whose overwhelming emotions prevented her from pronouncing her dedication to the late champion just a few moments before Pantani’s parents could lift the veil from her work among an applauding and moved crowd. It was a subdued ceremony, understated and without rhetoric. Amateur cyclists, friends, fans and the general public not involved in cycling but charmed by the myth of one of the best climbers in modern cycling met under the scorching sun to inaugurate the Pantani’s simulacrum. When the drape was lifted and the shining outline of that racer facing the climb appeared, it was like seeing all of the champion’s feats in one flash. But in a second the celebration and enthusiasm that were associated with his victories turned into sadness and nostalgia. In her reproduction of the bike, Emanuela Pierantozzi followed one of Wilier Triestina original models used by the racer in the seasons 1997 and 2002. With this initiative Wilier Triestina showed its pride for having linked the name of the company with Marco Pantani’s sport achievements; the main aim, however, was to celebrate a champion with his fans.
It was thus a tribute to enthusiasts, his people who will always have him in their heart.

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17th December 2013