I had to chance to check out “Pantani: The Accidental Death of a Cyclist.” Prior to watching the film, all I knew of The Pirate was that he was a hell of a climber during the drug addled 90’s, was labeled as a cheat, and he died young of unnatural causes.
The film was very well made but obviously targeted for a very limited audience. It was really cool to hear interviews with his Mom, Greg Lemond, his mentors and other great riders of that era. The archive footage of Pantani riding amongst Lance Armstrong, Pedgro Delgado, Miguel Indurain, and Jan Ulrich were really captivating for me.
I always enjoy the back story as well. This time of the young kid who was smoking everybody while riding his Mom’s cruiser bike.
Pantani was a great rider, but a troubled man who was caught up in an unfortunate generation of riders. The Festina affair and Operation Puerto were included in the films story line. The film even alludes to the various conspiracy theories as sports betting on cycling became available during his professional career as well.