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New 5 Live podcast will attempt to uncover what really happened to Italian cycling legend, Marco Pantani

Narrated by Hugh Dennis, Pantani: Death of a Pirate will consider one of the most dramatic questions in sport history… would the mafia really kill a cyclist?


WEBWIRE

“Saddle in – sorry – for one of the craziest stories you’ll ever hear, about the mysterious death of one of the most incredible climbers the sport has ever seen.”

— Hugh Dennis

The colourful life and tragic death of Marco Pantani remains one of the most compelling stories in sport history.

Narrated by Hugh Dennis, this new BBC Radio 5 Live podcast will attempt to uncover what really happened to the man known as ‘The Pirate’.

Widely regarded as the best climbing specialist in the history of cycling, Pantani was unbeatable.

A rock star of cycling, the Italian national hero was rarely out of the press for his achievements, alongside allegations of doping, race-fixing and corruption.

But when Italy’s greatest cyclist was mysteriously found dead, sensational allegations of mafia involvement saw the world of cycling collide headfirst with the murky underworld of organised crime.

With cycling-obsessed host Hugh Dennis, Pantani: Death of a Pirate will take listeners from the mountains of rural Italy, to the shady commercial underbelly of a sport on the rise, as we hear from mafia experts, journalists, historians, the police and big names in the world of cycling, including Matt Rendell and Phil Liggett.

Together, with an iconic era of cycling providing the backdrop, they will all consider one of the most dramatic and tantalising questions in sport history… would the mafia really kill a cyclist?

Hugh Dennis says: “’Would the mafia really kill a cyclist?’ has to be one of the strangest questions ever asked in cycling… and yet, ten episodes later, here we are. Saddle in – sorry – for one of the craziest stories you’ll ever hear, about the mysterious death of one of the most incredible climbers the sport has ever seen.”

The podcast will be released in full as a boxset on Thursday 22 June.

All episodes will be available on BBC Sounds’ Sport’s Strangest Crimes feed.


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