Friday Velovid: Battle. Armstrong v Pantani

Pantani v Armstrong – photograph from The Huffington Post

Friday Velovid: Battle

Right. Friday Velovid time. What’s the time? Oh, only 30 minutes left of Friday… That doesn’t mean we can’t have some epic fun right?

Earlier today, I put a call out to our readers for some suggestions as to what we could include in the FV. Well, utter legend Peter Bloor came up with the goods on our Facebook page and suggested something that he feels is a bit obvious.

NO PETER! Don’t be ashamed. Your suggestion is absolutely spot on. You gain massive kudos from myself; but more than that you also will be showered by utmost affection from the droves of readers who depend on The Breakaway to start their weekend.

Peter suggested revisiting the battle between Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong  on Mont Ventoux in 2000. OK, so both of these riders have since had their credibility somewhat reduced, but if this clip remains compelling viewing.

This is the climb that claimed the life of Tommy Simpson. Pantani had won the Tour in 1998 and 2000 was one of his last hurrahs. Armstrong seemed to let him win this stage. He was to die only 4 years later.

I just love this clip, what with Ventoux being one of the most iconic climbs in the sport of cycling, and this period being the time that glows strongest in my early memory of bike racing. No helmets, pink v yellow, pumping euro dance, riding at speeds that I could barely achieve on the flat let alone up a huge mountain, no holds barred. Pure drama. Just a shame about… you know…that thing.


by Duncan Palmer – @cyclodunc