The Col Collective visits Italian ascent where il Pirata trained for his biggest victories

The lastest video from the Col Collective sees Mike Cotty ride a climb whose reputation has burgeoned in recent years due to its association with the late Marco Pantani.

It was on the climb of the Cippo di Carpegna, close to his home town of Cesenatico in Emilia-Romagna, that Pantani would develop and hone his climbing skills,

And he would return there to train throughout a profesional career that reached its zenith in 1998, when he became the last man to win the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France in the same year.

Cotty, who had a special message of thanks to Pantani's mother Tonina for her help in the making of the video, said

Although the Apennines may not be as famous as the Alps to the north that's not to say they are any less of a challenge, often deserted their steep and irregular pitches are a playground of pleasure and pain.

The problems of the sport may have been well documented but despite what we know today as a kid growing up watching the Tour and Giro I couldn't help but be inspired by Marco Pantani, his unique style grinding out a big gear, hands on the drops, bandana covering his shaved head. It was these moments in the mountains that I watched way back then that stuck with me, made an impression and ultimately led me to want to explore these mythical places for myself.

H3e rode the ascent with Davide Cassani, who became a ccommentator after his riding career finished and is now coach to the Italian national team, and who added:

As a former professional rider and close friend of Marco's I was fortunate enough to be joined by Davide Cassani, now the coach of the Italian national team, to learn more about Marco's life and to experience the climb that he made famous the world over, in his own unorthodox style, as he tested himself time and time again to know if he'd be ready to conquer the Grand Tours on the short but challenging slopes of the Carpegna!

Vital statistics:

Cippo di Carpegna
Start: Carpegna
Length: 6.5km
Summit: 1,415m
Elevation gain: 667m
Average gradient: 11.25%
Max gradient: 20%

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

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