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Was Pantani a good time trialist?(14 posts)

Was Pantani a good time trialist?Fez
Dec 10, 2003 9:17 AM
Didn't follow the Tour the year Pantani won it, but I was wondering if he was any good at the time trial.

It would appear the mountains and the time trials are the stages where the most time can be gained or lost. Guys like Ullrich, Lemond, Indurain, Armstrong were all good in both areas. But what about Pantani?

If not, how did Pantani win the Tour? Luck (I think Ullrich had trouble that year)? Or lack of solid competitors (no Lance)?
Dec 10, 2003 9:26 AM
Conventional wisdom after Ullrich won the Tour in 1997 was that nobody would beat him for years to come unless the Tour changed the route a little. As a result, 1998 had more mountaintop finishes than usual, and shorter time trials, to negate Ullrich's perceived huge advantage.

In the Stage 7 TT, Ullrich beat Pantani by 4:21 - no small margin. But Pantani crushed Ullrich in the Alps - beating him at Les Deux Alpes by more than 8 minutes. In the Stage 20 TT, Ullrich again won, but only pulled back ~2 minutes from Pantani. At the end of the day, there were too many mountains and too few time trials for Ullrich to win.
short answer: nomohair_chair
Dec 10, 2003 9:37 AM
Pantani won the Tour in 1998.

In the first ITT, he came in 4:21 down on Jan Ullrich (Tyler Hamilton was 2nd at 1:10, Bobby Julich was 3rd at 1:18).

In the second ITT, Pantani came in 2:35 behind Ullrich and Hamilton, but that was good enough for 3rd place! You have to remember that the 1998 was the Festina affair, and by stage 20, a lot of riders and entire teams were gone. Still, there was a decent hill smack in the middle of the course, so climbers were favored. The top guys rode climbing bikes up the hill, and switched to TT bikes down the other side.

Pantani won mainly because of stage 15, which was an epic for all time. The weather was horrible, which Ullrich hates. He was hurting. Going up the Galibier, Pantani took off on his own, dropping Ullrich hard. The rain was pouring and everyone was crashing. Pantani was unaffected, and halted his attack only while Ullrich fixed a flat, eventually taking the stage alone at Les Deux Alpes, 1:54 ahead of the next rider, 5:43 ahead of Julich, and 8:57 ahead of Ullrich. And that was the Tour.
Riis had to babysit Jan to go down Galibiercyclopathic
Dec 10, 2003 10:24 AM
he was so afraid. Jan he lost more time going down then going up.
Dec 10, 2003 1:50 PM
The ITT with the hill in it was actually stage 12 of the 1997 Tour, not stage 20 of 1998. In the 1997 stage, where some guys switched bikes, Pantani came in 5th, 3:42 down on winner Ullrich. Surprise 2nd place was Richard Virenque, followed by Riis and Olano.

Pantani came in 3rd overall in 1997, 14:03 behind Ullrich.
long answer: no.sievers11
Dec 10, 2003 11:24 AM
how did Pantani win? those 3 little letters...EPO nmDougSloan
Dec 10, 2003 1:16 PM
'how' not as important to me as 'HOW'JS Haiku Shop
Dec 10, 2003 1:30 PM
aaand HOW! holy moly do i love to watch pantani ride up those mountains, EPO or not. it's second only to watching Cipo come from behind and KILL everybody on the line.

I fear those days are past, no?
I agree...........Len J
Dec 10, 2003 2:29 PM
watching him climb in 1998 was amazing, drugs or no drugs.

I had the same feeling wathing Pantini that year as I did the first time Ben Johnson broke the world record in the 100, I was flabergasted that any human could do that.

Turns out neither of them "did it clean", but it was still an amazing performance to watch.

yes, like watching someone hit the nitrous button nmDougSloan
Dec 10, 2003 2:49 PM
EPO or not didn't he pass 50% still?cyclopathic
Dec 10, 2003 2:26 PM
if you're at under 50% it doesn't really matter if you used EPO or altitude tent.
He recorded @ 60% (nm)TJeanloz
Dec 10, 2003 2:34 PM
And was convicted of "sporting fraud" - the conviction was overturned recently, however, because they decided that having a high hematocrit was not illegal, per se.
His conviction was thrown outKerry Irons
Dec 10, 2003 5:28 PM
Not because he didn't commit "sporting fraud" but because it was not illegal at the time he committed it. They passed the law after he tested at 60%, so he couldn't be declared in violation retroactively.
Wrong about TT improvementsterzo rene
Dec 11, 2003 10:41 AM
I had always suspecting his improved TT abilities were the result of EPO, but taking his legal troubles as proof of doping, his TT improvements in 98 and 99 were NOT due to drugs. His court travails implicate him in EPO use as far back as 95 when he couldn't break the top 10 in any TT, so his making top five in the Giro TT's in 98 and 99 couldn't have been due to the EPO.

It also doesn't take drugs to make a 120 pound guy a good climber and given the level of doping during his career it's highly doubtful that the results were changed at all.