Pirata Walks Plank
The final touch to the contract to put Pantani in the same Team as Re Leone were too demanding and the contract was thrown out.
Waiting outside was Domina Vacanze, a Milan-based tourism and Hotel chain, that built Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt and have been waiting for the chance to enter cycling. The team will now be called Domina Vacanza-Elitron with the other sponsors being RDZ-Portalupi and the bike being supplied by Specialized.
It seems that Pantani was asking to much and wanted a lot of money only for his “Image”. This was found “inaccettabili” and Mercatone Uno, Pantani and his Faithfull men were sent packing. (…no kidding!)
This could mark the end of Pantani and the sad end of Mercatone Uno in Cycling. Pantani and his Men are now unemployed but have a few possibilities to stay in Cycling. The first being with Tacconi to team up with his old team mate Garzelli or with Riis at CSC or start all over again with a small budget and build a group a bit like Scanavino did last year.
This could be a factor for Aitor Gonzalez who will now probably stay with Re Leone and his team of 20 men.
I’ll keep Cipollini’s Manager busy today with a lot of phone calls so if they change their minds again you will be the first to know!
Vai Agile Boys! Ciao 4 Now