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CYCLING

‘No evidence Pantani was murdered’: prosecutor

Nothing has emerged in the latest investigation into the death of Italian cycling star Marco Pantani to indicate he was murdered, the public prosecutor in Rimini said on Friday.

'No evidence Pantani was murdered': prosecutor
Marco Pantani died in a Rimini hotel room on February 14th 2004. Photo: Patrick Hertzog/AFP

"So far no evidence to suggest murder has emerged," prosecutor Paolo Giovagnoli was quoted as saying in the Italian press concerning Pantani's death a decade ago.

Officially, Pantani died from a heart attack brought on by massive cocaine consumption at the Hotel Le Rose in Rimini on the night of February 14th 2004.

An investigation was reopened by Rimini prosecutors in August after Pantani's family lawyer Antonio De Rensis provided fresh evidence said to support claims of foul play.

But a leading forensic scientist commissioned by prosecutors to reinvestigate the legendary cyclist's death claimed on Thursday that Pantani may have accidentally killed himself after voluntarily ingesting a "mixture of medicinal drugs and cocaine".

In a report obtained by AFP, Professor Franco Tagliaro's conclusions appear to contradict claims by Pantani's family that the 34-year-old cyclist was murdered.

Two enquiries have been reopened by the Italian legal system into the Pantani affair, which continues to captivate Italians.

The first concerns the rider's death and the second a possible case of "sporting fraud" when Pantani was thrown out of Giro in 1999 for failing a blood test 36 hours before the race finished in Milan while holding a six-minute advantage.

It was the beginning of the scandal and the eventual demise of a rider known as 'Il Pirata' (The Pirate).

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CYCLING

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.

 

In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.

 

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