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Pantani and Mercatone Uno not on Bianchi???(11 posts)

Pantani and Mercatone Uno not on Bianchi???Ride-Fly
Apr 4, 2002 10:55 AM
Anyone know why Mercatone Uno is now riding Wilier bikes?? I wonder who dropped who?? Did Bianchi get fed up with Pantani and his
i illness's??
Don't get me wrong, I like Pantani but I am disappointed with his excuses. It seems that everytime I see or read about him in a race, he is always complaining about his legs feeling bad. Maybe he is not the same without his EPO???
re: Pantani and Mercatone Uno not on Bianchi???bartali
Apr 4, 2002 11:05 AM
Not the same without his EPO???

Hmmm. Let's see. Pantani won Giro and Tour in 1998. That was the Tour that lost three teams (Festina, first and foremost) and other riders due to EPO.

I wonder how Pantani being the yellow jersey for all those days got away with not testing postive at least once? :o)
You're right, Pantani was not caught for drugs in '98 tours...Ride-Fly
Apr 4, 2002 1:17 PM
but then again just because he wasn't caught doesn't mean he wasn't aided by a performance enhancing drug. Per Apr'02 Cycle Sport Mag, on Feb 12th of this year, Filippo Simeone testified in Italian courts, "that [Dr.] Ferrari told him how and when to take the drugs and how to cheat the heamatocrit tests before the races." :o) Also, I am not sure about this but was EPO testing as refined and routine in '97 and '98 as it is now?? Could explain it if that is true. Besides, it wouldn't surprise me if half the pros were using some sort of drugs today to help themselves out.
EPO markersRideLots
Apr 4, 2002 2:48 PM
Since EPO is very hard to detect, the manufacturers are beginning to incorporate a marker chemical in with it that is detectable, sort of like the smelly stuff in natural gas. Why can't they do that with all similar drugs?
You're right, Pantani was not caught for drugs in '98 tours...bartali
Apr 5, 2002 7:31 AM
Testing back then for EPO was simple: if your hemocrit level? was over 50%, it was suspected that you took EPO. That meant an automatic 15 day suspension to protect the health of the athlete.

Since Pantani did not have a level higher than 50% for Giro and Tour that year, it is assumed that he did not take EPO.

For the 1999 Giro, when he came up with a level greater than 50% (I forget if it was 52 or 54%), he was suspended immediately. And that came on the penultimate day of the Giro when he was the pink jersey.

As to drugs that are being used today, why do you think the police are involved in hotel raids during the Giro and Tour? That way they can find the doping agents that they don't even have tests for.

Dario Frigo was caught during last year's Giro with drugs that no tests exist.
Hematocrit levels starting to lower.Sintesi
Apr 5, 2002 8:58 AM
Cycling News had an article today where Hein Verbruggen (UCI president for those who do not know) says the avg level is now at 44% and has been steadily declining since they started implementing tests. Maybe the raids and aggressive tactics are starting to pay off.
Coast is riding Bianchi's this yearDave Hickey
Apr 4, 2002 11:30 AM
I know Coast is now riding Bianchi's. Maybe they have an exclusive.
Willier was Mercatone Uno's bike supplier before Bianchi.Sintesi
Apr 4, 2002 11:37 AM
I believe he was riding them before '98, so they had a prior relationship. Apparently Bianchi feels Pantani's star is fading and if the guy can't guarantee his team will be in the TdF then what's the point of sponsoring him? I guess anyway.
Pantani's UCI rank: rank 1500+eschelon
Apr 4, 2002 12:01 PM
re: Pantani and Mercatone Uno not on Bianchi???tomk85
Apr 4, 2002 6:21 PM
pantani is an over rated wiener, with a big ego and a tiny wang, i hope he reads this too, because i could kick his ass
The bike he rode in the 98 Tour was a Wilier dressed....Pack Meat
Apr 5, 2002 12:20 PM
like a Bianchi. I ride a Wilier, it's a great ride.