My most nostalgic era of cycling was watching Pantani on the drops smashing up the climbs in the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France. In fact, he is possibly the single rider who inspired me the most when it comes to the mountains. I remember the exact time and place when I heard of his tragic and untimely death, and from my side something in the sport also died that day. The memory of Marco is a poignant one, his prowess on the bike and passion for climbing is immortalised in monuments on mountains such as the Mortirolo and Col du Galibier, and whilst this is where the world saw his fireworks on these grand stages it was his humble local climb hidden away from the cameras and crowds that knew him best. Cippo di Carpegna with ramps of over 20% is a short but intense brute of a climb. Pantani used it as a testing ground, his time determining his form for the season ahead. When asked about training on the Grand Tour routes he famously replied “Carpegna mi basta” - for me, Carpegna is enough. These famous words painted on the road alongside memorials and posters forever remembering the local hero. We were joined for this ride by the Head Coach of the Italian National Team, and close friend of Marco, Davide Cassani. A true gentleman indeed, I was honoured to spend the day with him on Pantani’s climb.